Ordinary people and family systems

The Importance of an Affective Life Certainly, as the Lord tells us, one can become a source from which rivers of living water flow cf. Yet to become such a source, one must constantly drink anew from the original source, which is Jesus Christ, from whose pierced heart flows the love of God cf. Formation in Self-Giving

Ordinary people and family systems

I had never seen Ordinary People and truly enjoyed watching the very believable family dynamics that occurred. The scene I chose to focus on occurs at about one hour into the film. Calvin, the father, and Conrad, the son, are putting up the Christmas tree when Beth, the mother, enters the room after having found out that her son has quit the swim team.

Her affect is very morose and angry. This is a very emotionally charged scene in which several hurtful and angry things are said.

How are you different?

There are several patterns that are acted out within this scene, though the end contains a pattern breaking move by Conrad. Put in another light, Conrad quitting the swim team could be concerning for both parents as it could indicate a loss of interest in previously pleasurable experiences in line with depression.

However, instead of talking to Conrad from a position of concern, Beth frames things as Conrad acting out to hurt and embarrass her. Calvin enacts his typical pattern by acting as a buffer between Conrad and his mother.

She instead tells Calvin to ask Conrad why she is so upset. When an argument erupts, Calvin literally stands between them while they shout at him to tell the other what they think. Lastly, Conrad has a historical pattern of trying to protect his mother.

The subtext of this comment is that Conrad is weak. Several of these patterns could also be seen as themes throughout the family. In general, Conrad is the problem.

Ordinary people and family systems

Beth puts on a great outward expression, but has difficulty with her own emotion and asking for help. Presumably, they all are acting and reacting this way in response to the death of Buck, the oldest, though it is hard to tell since, except for a few flashback, we only really see their actions after the loss of Buck.

It would be interesting to try to understand how much of these patterns and themes existed before the death of Buck. Treating this family would be extremely challenging. Not having any real experience in conducting family therapy, I would probably borrow from a couple theoretical orientations.

In an effort to disrupt the system a bit, I would have them all talk to, and maybe even through, me. This would be in line with aspects of Systems Theory and parts of Strategic Theory. The purpose would be to insert myself into the dynamic and disrupt the triangle that exists for them.

I would also hope that in doing this Calvin would be able to set aside his role as mediator and perhaps begin to explore another way of being important in the family. As I mentioned above, there is a quality of co-dependence to the way he makes excuses for his wife and tries to shield her from responsibility.

In Cognitive Behavioral Family Therapy there is often an identified patient. I imagine that Beth would largely be the identified patient as she seems to have the most problems. For one, it would be important to try to help her see that her coping mechanism of shutting out uncomfortable emotions weakens, not strengthens, her family.

While I would want to validate her experience, I would also try to get her to understand how shutting Conrad and Calvin out is having a negative effect on their family as a whole. Yes, his quitting the swim team could be an act against her, but there are several other possibilities for why he did this, many of which have nothing to do with her this would be in line with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Ordinary people and family systems

Conrad travels the farthest distance in the movie. Beginning at a very stuck position, we see him challenge and change himself in several areas.

I would seek to support his moves and try to remain cognizant of how his changes may upset the overall system of the family. In the movie, towards the end, Conrad walks over and gives his mother a hug, telling her how much he missed them while they were away playing golf. This kind of strength is very admirable.A tram (in North America streetcar or trolley) is a rail vehicle which runs on tramway tracks along public urban streets; some include segments of segregated right-of-way.

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In the United States, the term tram has sometimes been used for rubber-tyred. As you read you will learn information of the movie Ordinary People, the theory of family systems, and how they relate to one another.

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I will describe some basic information about the movie as well as key points that I feel will connect to the idea of family systems. Be informed of the feminist perspective and how it contributes to your understanding of family systems.

Be informed of the variety of clinical practices used by the family therapist. Understand that the interventions in family therapy are aimed at pattern breaking rather than individual symptoms. Further, Ordinary People allows for consideration of bereavement diagnostic criteria, family dynamics, and posttraumatic growth and is one of the most realistic portrayals of varied responses to the unexpected loss of a loved one.

Bowen’s family systems theory with its concepts on overlapping relationship triangles and the triangulation of emotions is helpful in understanding the Jarrett family. The preceding discussion highlights several instances of such triangulation: the initial triangles of (a) mother and her differential treatment of her two sons, (b) and (c) the.

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