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Functional and dysfunctional families

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There are certain characteristics that manifest in families and those characteristics are useful in determining whether a family is functional or dysfunctional. So, what are some of those characteristics and what is the therapists role during therapy.

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Characteristics that define a functional and dysfunctional family
1.Clear and open communication

How does the family communicate? In a counseling session, for instance, it is important for the therapist to assess this with regard to who communicates with whom.

A dysfunctional family has conflicted communication i.e. poor communication.

2. Rigidity and flexibility

Functional families are flexible, dysfunctional families have rigid roles. Every member in a family plays a distinct role. These roles do not necessarily follow birth order structure. In a dysfunctional family, the members will not be flexible in adapting new roles.

Most family members are rigid and it comes out in the form of emotional enmeshment.

3. Control

In dysfunctional families members try to control each other. It can be witnessed in a spousal system- (husband/wife) where the husband controls the wife. For example, joint accounts. In a counseling session, the therapist needs to ...

Solution Summary

The solution addresses the signs that would help to pinpoint if a family system is healthy or unhealthy.