The most important step on my journey toward creating an authentic family was being able to recognize and acknowledge that adults bring their unhealed developmental traumas, unresolved conflicts, and unmet developmental needs to their families. These are often the hidden elements that they are working on at the individual and/or couple level. The more that adults are willing to be honest and forthcoming about the unfinished business they bring to their family relationships, the easier it is to create an authentic family.
Once the adults have identified their own unfinished business, they can contract with each other to cooperate on completing things that were not completed in their past. It is important for them to resolve old conflicts, particularly any unhealed developmental trauma, to avoid passing this baggage on to children or contaminating friendships and work relationships with it.
Family drama dynamics come into play when there are three or more individuals involved, whether they be parents, children, siblings, friends, or coworkers. Most people do not understand that a “dramatic” shift occurs in interpersonal dynamics when a system expands from two people to three. Notice that the word dramatic contains the word drama. This is no coincidence. As soon as three people are in a relationship, there are enough active players to fill all three roles in the Drama Triangle. These dynamics appear, however, only after family members have built sufficient trust and intimacy. Once this secure foundation is in place, it is likely that members’ unhealed developmental traumas will surface. For this reason, conflicts involving relationships between three people tend to be the most intractable.
Staying conscious and clear in a family system can be quite difficult, as members’ unrecognized and unhealed developmental traumas can unconsciously trigger conflicts related to unmet needs. The success of family and other three-way relationships depends on the degree to which each person has identified and healed his or her own developmental trauma. This is critical for avoiding Drama Triangle dynamics and makes it easier for each person to get his or her developmental needs met within the family structure. Even trained professionals have difficulty working with two or more people, and for the very same reasons. It is really important for healthcare professionals to heal their own childhood traumas before working with families. If they don’t, they may get triggered and activate countertransference responses.
Here are some steps that can help you move forward on your journey to create authentic family relationships.
Use the various resources on this website designed to assist you with improving your score these items.
The resources on this website include the following:
Read my book, GET REAL: The Hazards of Living Out of Your False Self.
Read the page posts on topics related to codependency, counter-dependency and authenticity.
Watch my podcast on aspects of codependency, counter-dependency, and authenticity.
Watch or listen to our interviews on these topics.
Download and take the self-quizzes available on my podcasts to help you identify specific issues to target.
Read the testimonials from those who have used these resources for inspiration.
Take online Courses such as Freaked Out 101, which helps you identify and heal any unhealed childhood traumas.
Select and read the resources that draw you the most.
Use all of the other available free resources on this website.