As part of my master’s work in counseling at An East Coast University, I took a Family Therapy class with Dr. D. She pressed us to articulate our family norms, rules, values, and taboos—those rules you may not even know exist until you happen to break one. Dr. D. wanted us to realize that the life operating system we call Normal or Truth may more accurately be called MomandDad. We needed to discover this for ourselves before went mucking around in someone else’s family. Making explicit the expectations that came with membership in our own families was an important step in learning to discern whether client behavior is unhealthy or simply different.
As my classmate in the school of life, I know you are dying to tell me about your family but I get to go first. Where to start? I think I’ll just share a few rules which never made it into the original classroom discussion.
Are you scared yet? You should be.
This is the first post in the series Family Rules. The next post is here.