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Role Reversal in Family Therapy

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Explain and give an example of role reversal in a family. What are the expectations of each gender? How does that change or shape the family?

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Role reversal is a counseling and therapeutic technique that uses drama, or more precisely, psychodrama, in order for family boundaries to be set or re-set in many cases.

Specifically, in the Mayseless article that I have attached below, it states:

"Based on family systems theory, Minuchin (1974) suggested that role reversal develops when families are unable to maintain hierarchical generational boundaries in which parents guide and nurture their children and children seek comfort and advice from their parents" (Mayseless, et al., 78).

Source:
Minuchin, S. (1974). Families and family therapy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Additionally, the article explains that:

"From a relational perspective (Boszormenyi-Nagy & Spark, 1973), role reversal is seen as stemming from unfulfilled needs of a parent to be parented and cared for, needs that are directed toward a child rather than toward the parent's own parents, friends, or romantic partner" ((Mayseless, et al., 78).

Source:
Boszormenyi-Nagy, I., & Spark, G. (1973). Invisible loyalties: Reciprocity in intergenerational family therapy. New York: Basic Books.

The sources I have noted explain unique cases, however, the theory that is developed is important for understanding role reversal in family therapy.

As a teenager, at about 14 years old, our family did take part in ...

Solution Summary

This solution will assist the student in understanding what role reversal is and how it is used in family therapy. The solution will also discuss gender expectations and how role reversal changes or shapes the family.

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