As I mentioned a bit ago, I have been bingeing on Where Should We Begin? by Esther Perel.
The first episode of the second season (“You Need Help to Help Her”), she’s talking with a couple who has a young adult daughter with problems. Most of the details of the episode aren’t relevant to this post, but if you have a child with any sort of mental health issue, you might gain some insight from it.
Basically, there weren’t (known) problems, and suddenly, there were big problems, and the whole family dynamic and structure changed.
At the end, Esther is summing things up, and she says this (emphasis mine):
“When mom speaks of the holistic view, the way I would define it is this. I am a family therapist. I think systemically. I think about problems in context, problems in an ecology, not just what causes them but what maintains them. How is the relationship system, how is the family organized around the problem?”
Maybe you’ve thought about this before, but I’ve never thought specifically about problem maintenance (when the problem doesn’t start as a systemic one).
I’ve been thinking about this and am starting to apply it to my closest relationships.
- What am I doing that maintains problems? (within my level of awareness)
- How can I change that? (within my level of control)
- Where can I connect disconnects to make life happier for everyone who lives here? (within my levels of awareness and control)
Hopefully, in time, we can all connect in to that, but I’m starting first, and we’ll go from there.
Blew my mind.