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Discussing Family Roles

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Question: Provide a brief description of two specific roles (scapegoat, lost child, chief enabler, etc.) in the family system. Then, explain the challenges that each role may present and how you might address these challenges.

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Solution Summary

The solution discusses family roles.

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The solution below should get you started. In this particular task, you are being asked to provide 2 specific roles and to explain what each can present in terms of challenges and solutions. I suggest keeping the answers simple and concise. I suggest this outline:

1. Role 1 - what is it about? 100 words
2. Challenges & solutions - 100 words
3. Role 2 - same as in #1
4. Same as in #2

The Scapegoat:
The scapegoat in a dysfunctional family system is an emotional responsibility that according to theorists is seen by the family as the problem child and troublemaker. The issues of the family, especially individual issues are 'out-shined' by the activities, actions and needs of the scapegoat so that all the negative attention is pulled towards him or her. They are shamed and when they act out they are made to feel guilty - a construct of the actions of family dynamics. Consider for example a mother and father already having issues with their relationship. Now imagine that they have a son who gets in trouble for acting out in school because of issues at home. Both parents are called into school to hear about their child. The mother soon scolds her son, saying "everything would be okay if you stop ...

Solution provided by:
  • MPhil/PhD (IP), Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • MA, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • Certificate, Geva Ulpan (via Universita Tel Aviv)
  • BA, University of the Philippines
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