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The Influence of Nostalgia on Family Structure

Discuss about the Perception of Transgenerational Family Relationships.

The essay concentrates on the improvement in the structures of the family. It succinctly elucidates the emerging problems pertaining to nostalgia or looking back to the history of the structures management. The process of looking back has often been observed as a merry moment as well as a moment full of lamentation that has been impacting upon the family members psychologically. Several questions have been raised in due course of time. These are:

  1. Whether it is healthy to dwell in the past
  2. Whether the habit of living in the memory is impactful in terms of dwelling in both ways- past and present

It has been found that nostalgia has worked as remedy and healing process for the soldiers during wars in barren land. However, whether it is as healing to the civilian families who spend day to day common life, is a matter of huge concern for the psychologist.  It has often been found that there has been a thorough conflict between individualism and collectivism thus affecting the structure of the family. In the United States, there has been a tendency to become nostalgic towards a collective family where they would live with their parents and other family members maintaining a strong tree line. However, the importance of family in the Asian countries is significantly noticed thus tending the European countries, where nuclear family structure is often observed, to a nostalgic mode by missing the old structure. This essay, hence tries to find out possible ways to mitigate negative effects of nostalgia in terms of creating effective concern to the families.

The rationale for having chosen this topic is that nostalgia and family structure has seldom been dealt with. However, no profound study has been identified so far. In this regard, it has been taken into certain consideration pertaining to the effective understanding of the process.

It deals with the techniques and the concepts of the systems that have been applied to the family relationships management and the influence of the origin of the family and the transgenerational dynamics, which is required in the development, and the role of a counselor in the development of the family relationships. The further aim of the essay is to understand the strengthening and the supportive factors which affect the relationship between the family members that can affect anytime throughout the life. The essay analyses this from a multi-contextual perspective. It consists of the application of the principles in the analysis of the selected family relationships and the identification of the principles of the well-being and development of every member of the family and the relationships between them. The dealings of this include the potential therapeutic interventions. The family systems therapy relies on the systems judging it from the point of family as an emotional institution. The therapy is offered to those families that are facing any kind of emotional crisis. The seeking of help by the members of the family in this case is many times helpful. The professional counselor is able to solve the issues through the application of the therapies that are useful in such cases (Munson & Bardill, 2015).

Family Systems Therapy

The development is family systems therapy is helpful in this case. The family systems therapy is completely based on Murray Bowen`s family systems theory. This therapy consists that not every individual can be separated from the networks of their surroundings and their other relationships. Many psychoanalysts tried to arrange different therapies for development of the human behavior in case of treatment of the behavior of the people. Bowen introduced the family systems theory after many researches (Nemesh, 2017). He came to this conclusion by viewing the people and the process of the family patterns of people with schizophrenia. The traditional individual therapy often concentrates on the inner psyche of an individual in order to introduce the change in the relationships and the other aspects of life. Bowen in his theory suggests that the behavior and the structure of the broader relationship should be dealt. He opined that a change in the behavior of the members brings a disturbance in the functioning of the family. Many therapists have proposed many forms of family therapy. The systems of family in general fall under many categories. The categories include the structural family therapy, the strategic family therapy, the intergenerational family therapy, the family systems therapy and the Genogram and the Eight Interlocking Concepts of family Systems Theory (Abbott, 2014).

Jay Haley, Milton Erickson and Cloe Madanes have designed the designer of structural family therapy. These therapists commented that the family relationships, the behaviors of the members of the family and the patterns that the family follow is important as they exhibit those same traits while the therapy. The therapists also keep in mind the system and the structure that is followed in the family and the system of the siblings as well (Caldwel & Senter, 2013).

The strategic family therapy on the other hand concentrates on the processes of the family and the functions of the family, which are based on the communication, and the patterns of solving the problems. It follows the pattern of evaluation of the family behavior outside during the sessions of the therapy. It actually consists of the reframing or the redefining a problematic situation for which the individual has gone to take the therapy. It includes a suggestion where the family takes the action, which seems to be the opposite of their therapeutic goals. This is done to bring the change, which is the ultimate goal of the therapy. This technique applies that the in order to bring the change it is not necessary to have an intensive analysis of the source of the issue (Carr, 2012).

Four Types of Family Therapy

The intergenerational family therapy is another process of therapy, which includes that the problems that the patients face are due to the influence of the generation. It is predicted that the generation plays an important role in the occurrence of the disease. The best example in this case is the transference of the anxiety. The anxiety in many cases has been found to be transferred genetically. In this therapy, Bowen designed it use in case of family therapies. This therapy is used in the treatment of the individuals, the entire family and the couples as well (DeMaria, Weeks & Twist, 2017). The therapy includes a psychological treatment of the entire family and the treatment is interrelated.

The genogram includes the pictorial representation of the history of the disease that occurred in the family. The family`s medical history is taken into account in this case. Sometimes it is found that the past illness has played important role in transferring the mental disorder. For example, the case of schizophrenia takes three generations to be transferred in the next generation. However, this is a rough estimation of the time. It sometimes takes more years than this (Durtschi & Wetchler, 2014).

The eight interlocking concepts of family systems theory includes, the formation of the foundation of the Bowenian approach. These concepts are interconnected and a dense understanding of one is necessary in order to understand the others. It includes the differentiation of the self where a person is able to separate the feelings and the thoughts and the person is able to cope up with the goals of the life. It includes an emotional triangle which includes the representation of the small but stable network of human relationship systems. The family projection is another process of this therapy. This includes the transmission of the anxiety of the parents, the difficulties in the relationship and the emotional concerns of a child. The multigenerational transmission process contains that the individuals searches partners who have similar problem with the similar intensity. In this case it has been observed that usually a couple who is having a low level of differentiation have children who have the same deficiency (Moaveni, 2012).

While understanding the stressors and the supportive factors that affect a family, it is necessary to understand the nature of risk and the problems that resides in the families. It is treated as the source to prevent and dealing the abuse of drugs and alcohol in families. The substance abuse is one of the most important issues that are being faced by the family. According to many critics, it has been observed that the children in a family have faced substance abuse in many cases. This is the reason they indulge themselves in the consumption of the drugs and the alcohols. They remain in the custody of the parents. It has been found that the children found their parents involved in the problems of drugs and alcohol. The result of the substance abuse of the parents is the neglect of the children. Due to the involvement in drugs and alcohol, the parents tend to neglect their child and pay less attention to their children. The children who get neglected from their parents land up in consuming drugs, alcohol and they land up in experiencing depression. The prenatal substance exposure is another by-product of parental substance use. The prenatal exposure to alcohol sometimes causes the alcohol syndrome, which is fatal. It has long-lasting effect on the children. In this case, it is necessary for the parents to support their children and bring them out of the worst phase of depression (Miller-Graff, 2016).

Applications of the Bowenian Approach

The concept of risk and resilience are necessary factor in this case. They have always remained the agent of development. It has been the agent of the critical review. The exact reason behind this problem is not exactly known yet. The problem becomes more potent while it is not paid attention to. An effective support should be there to the ones who are affected due to this (von Schlipp & Schneewind, 2014). The risk includes the environmental effects like the no positive social support, which includes the parental dependency of drug and the increased substance abuse. On the other hand, it has been viewed that the environmental and the risk factor is required to reduce the risk. The availability of the drugs and the low monitoring of the parents give rise to an increased substance abuse. It has also been found that the environment increases the expression of the risk factor. The chaotic and the poor school environment give rise to an increased substance abuse. Final situation is while the environment exacerbates the effect of the risk factor. The few employment opportunities give rise to the increased substance abuse. The factors that influences the use of the substances are poverty, drug-abusing guardians, when the family relations starts getting poor, the impoverished house, the chaotic home and the physical and mental abuse. To avoid these problems the family must remain strong, the family members should be supportive, and they must understand each other. To deal the problems the family members must share a good bond among them and understand each other’s problems. In case of addiction, the family members must make efforts to bring the victim back in the balanced world (Lee, 2014). 

The approach of the counselor should be organized in this case. For solving the problems of the families, the term denial is important. In this case the denial implies to the denial by the individual of consuming the substances. The person who is abused does not do it willfully or deliberately. It is because of the use of the substance that the person uses the set of defenses. The resistance is another part of this process (Whiston, 2012). It consists of the negative response to someone. The therapist can minimize this situation by understanding the stage and the condition of the client. It is based on the client who is unable to do something. It has been found that the resistance on the part of the person who is affected in the family to engaging family members into the therapy appropriately might reflect the dynamics of the family into the treatment and the correct the maladaptive interactional structure that are related to the problem of the substance abuse (Yoshida & Busby, 2012). The family relation gets destroyed because of the substance abuse treatment. The counselors base their idea on the understanding of the relations of the family members. They lay their focus on the disease model.  In this case, the principles framed out in the Satir Model and Harry Aponte’s Model are being taken into consideration to see how the models help in identifying implications for the well-being and development of family members and also their relationships and for potential therapeutic interventions (Hostetler & Feinberg, 2014). The most effective solution of this situation is the emotional understanding between the family members. The therapies can work only if the support of the family members is huge. The members of the family can bring the patient back from the traumatized situation to the normal and the real world. The members of the family have a major role to play. It acts more strongly than a therapy. The therapy has certain limitations. The limitations can be avoided only with the support of the members of the family. Problems can arise in any family but with the proper treatment of the depression by the members of the family and the avoidance of any neglect can keep the person away from the upcoming depression.

Stressors and Supportive Factors in Family Relationships

Just like any therapy model, which is based on the solid foundation of assumptions, hypothesis and certain beliefs, Satir Model sits perfectly with the basic principles to understand the issues related to family therapy (Schonert-Reichl & Weissberg, 2014). Satir Model is set on the belief that there is always a possibility of change, even if that change takes place within a particular individual which actually gets influenced by the kind of perceptions, that individual carry, the way he feels and kind of expectations he carries. The model comes up with the belief that sessions conducted for therapy purposes, need to be conducted by way of experiments, which gradually helps to bring forth an overall change in the well-being of an individual, not only in terms of doing some activity but also in the way he feels. This change which comes from within lays great impact an individual’s relationship management with the family members in a positive way. The fundamental aspect which this model focuses on is to let individuals cope up with the problems that crop up in their lives. Occurrence of problems is a common feature in everybody’s lives but the important aspect which individuals need to focus upon, is how to tackle those problems rather than look for solutions (Galvin, Braithwaite & Bylund, 2015). The solution highly depends on the support of the family. The support of the family members is of prime importance. 

There are many relations, which become a part of any family. Relation between parents and their children, relationship between the siblings, relationship among the cousins and between uncles and aunts, all carry significance in the lives of an individual. This model comes up with the idea that, the ones seeking therapy for bringing about personal development and well-being, are encouraged to be in a state of Congruence (Pilecki & Józefik, 2013). Congruence is believed to provide individuals with a sense of empowerment, which implies that they are in complete control of their situation and hence they do not get influenced negatively. An empowered individual would always remain calm and composed, due to which the relationship with the family members will not get hampered as a sense of understanding shall prevail within. Ability to tackle tough situations and being in control of those situations go a long way in not only maintaining harmonious relationship among the family members and allow for personal growth and development (Galvin, Braithwaite & Bylund, 2015).


Harry Aponte’s theory is based on certain principles which, when applied by the individuals seeking therapy, would invariably instill well-being in the relationships and allow an individual to grow and develop in all respects. The principles of intervention formulated are as follows:

  1. Aponte stressed on the fact that people should aim to have their focus on concrete issues, around which the therapy should be organized. Ideally, the issues should be relevant enough to grab the attention of the family members, which should contain the dynamics of a family’s integral issue (Fawcett, 2013).
  2. The attention of the family members should be grabbed to identify the issue, for which the therapy is getting conducted, in the present moment. Considering the current scenario, rather than relating them with any past incident is really important to get to the root of the problem.
  • This theory works with the principle of primarily understanding the issue and then make the family members go through those similar situations in the therapy sessions. This enactment of the issues can take place either among the members of the family or between the one conducting the therapy and the family members.
  1. No matter what issues on which the therapists work, they make sure that families get attended to from time to time, which require to be rebuilt for enabling them to have a lasting impact.
  2. The therapeutic process followed to let the families get rid of the problems primarily focus on nurturing the strong points within the family (Payne, 2015).
  3. The therapeutic sessions help in bringing about positivity among the family members by getting out of the issues, for which they had gone for the therapy

So, the different ways through which the therapies get conducted on the family members facing certain issues and problems, imply that they would genuinely be extremely effective to help people get things sorted out (Parker, 2017). Making families enact their problems in front of the therapists, allow them to get a clear idea about the exact problem, which in turn help the family members to understand clearly about the approach which they should adopt, in case such situation arises in future. All the activities will surely help in letting individuals grow and develop themselves even further, improve their personal relationships through better understanding (Echterling & Stewart, 2014).

It can thus be recommended that proper therapeutic understanding has to be taken into account. In terms of creating an effective environment for the family members, this has to be implemented. Nostalgia indeed compensates for sore states of human psychology. However, it often ruins the present. Hence, it shall be the obligation of therapeutic strategy for the psychologists that the families ought to be brought back to cohesive culture where reciprocity in terms of decision making is highly prioritized. In this case, a counselor needs to provide a situation to the family members whereby all the family members are to be driven to close bonding with each other so that they feel that their present is however better than their past.

This report concludes that family relationships hold importance for each and every member within the family, which must be taken care of in times of crisis, through adoption of certain measures and principles. To be in control of the environment, so that individuals do not get carried away or influenced by external factors, is of paramount importance as they tend to have adverse affect on the relationships among the family members. This will allow people to become composed and attain a distinct level of personality which invariably help in their growth and development. Family members have to focus upon the core issues and look to deal with them in the current scenario. The families members undergo therapeutic sessions not only for seeking solutions to their problems but also take positive vibes out of those sessions. These therapeutic sessions would be effective, only if the members apply the tricks and solutions put forward to them by the therapists and hence develop the maturity to tackle tough situations. The insights garnered from the sessions attended should be put to use on a regular basis. It is suggested that the counselor can only provide the patient with some therapies but the practice of such therapies can only be done in homes. A regular check has to be kept at home so that the patient or the effected members of the family can recover soon. The neglect of the parents can make the situation worse. The children need attention always from his parents. The upbringing of a child has always remained a serious issue. The behavior of an individual depends upon the family culture that can be maintained only by the interaction of the family members with each other. Therefore the role of the family is of extreme importance.


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