Every living system seeks balance. In nature, this process is called homeostasis. Within a family system, homeostasis explains why members adopt certain roles. In healthy families, members take on different roles at various times to meet the family’s needs. But in dysfunctional families, the roles are more rigid. For example, if one parent is addicted to alcohol, the other may be busy providing for the family and seldom home. One child may take on the role of Caretaker, preparing meals for younger siblings while another becomes the Hero—the one who strives to do everything perfectly.
But the family dynamics that shape family roles aren’t limited to severe dysfunctions like substance abuse. One of my coaching clients grew up in a loving, close-knit family in which he was the Hero. Because his parents wanted him to have opportunities they never had, he was expected to get straight A’s, a good education, and a successful career. And while this role enabled him to become an accomplished and wealthy lawyer, his life was falling apart. High blood pressure was causing health problems, workaholism threatened his marriage, and the responsibilities of providing for his elderly parents, an expensive home, and three children in private schools overwhelmed him.
Another example is Casey, who dreamed of becoming a professional photographer. Casey was in a financial-services job she hated, but in which she felt trapped. Growing up, both of her parents struggled to hold down jobs. Casey started babysitting at the age of 12, and had been helping her parents financially ever since. She lived with her boyfriend, who was supporting his ex-wife and son. He was unsupportive of her making a career change, because they needed her income to pay the bills. By continuing to make others’ needs more important than her own, she had unconsciously recreated her family role of Caretaker in her adult relationship.
While our family role may have made sense growing up, it often wreaks havoc in our adult lives. As our primary role takes hold, parts of us become suppressed—parts we need to live a healthy and fulfilling adult life. These can include the part that feels like a worthwhile, deserving person; the part that feels intelligent and competent; the spontaneous, playful part, or the part that can feel and express joy.
If the role you play is sabotaging your life, change the behaviors that reinforce it. If you play the People-pleaser who always says what others expect for approval, start expressing your real thoughts and feelings to others. If you’re the Hero who works relentlessly to achieve, bring fun into your life. Take an improvisational comedy class, do karaoke, visit a water park, or anything else to reclaim your spontaneous, playful part.
Many people’s unhappiness is rooted in the habitual role they play. By consciously shedding your limiting role, not only will you achieve greater well-being, but you’ll reclaim the innate wholeness with which you were born, that’s critical to living a healthy, balanced, and fulfilling life.
© 2010 Lauren Mackler
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Lauren Mackler is a coach, psychotherapist, and host of the Life Keys radio show on hayhouseradio.com. She’s the author of the international bestseller, Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life. Sign up for her Live Boldly newsletter at www.laurenmackler.com.
This article was also appeared on Sheerbalance.com.
Read this article, Women’s attraction may lie in immune sytem DNA on m24Salud.
Researchers from the University of Western Australia made a DNA study with 150 college students and they found that ‘the secrets of attraction are hidden in immune system genes that we inherit from our parents’.
Scientists can not ensure ‘why the strength of the immune system influences the women success in relationships’.
Furthermore they said that neither can fully explain “the relationship between the sweat, and the irresistible genes, but there is a clear possibility that there are clues in the genetic constitution of the women immune system’.
Another theory is that women with varied MHC genes could be more outgoing.
“It is possible that MHC-diverse women have more sexual partners because they actively seek more partners, rather than because males prefer diverse partners,” wrote the researchers.
Relationship expert Lauren Mackler says parents may affect how successful a woman is at finding a boyfriend – but not necessarily because of genetics.
“We are invariably attracted to people based on how familiar that person is to us from childhood,” says Mackler, author of “SoleMate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life.”
“As human beings, we are always seeking homeostasis, or balance, and looking for the parts of us that got lost as we grew up and had to adapt to the family system. So we’re attracted unconsciously to the people who embody these traits. We are looking for our other half and may not always find him.”
Lauren Mackler, bestselling author of Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life, renowned coach, and relationship expert, talks about mastering the art of aloneness and becoming the partner you seek. Lauren has risen to international prominence as the creator of Illumineering, a groundbreaking coaching method that integrates family systems work, psychodynamic psychology, and coaching to help people free themselves from the shackles of their life conditioning, and create the personal and professional lives to which they aspire.
Read this article by Rosemary Black on New York Daily News.
In Tiger Woods’ case, the fact that he has signed in to intensive inpatient therapy means he’s committed to getting better, but the healing process won’t be anywhere close to finished by the time he leaves the Mississippi facility where he’s reportedly staying.
Inpatient sex addiction rehab, says Leslie Seppinni, Ph. D., is often an intense several weeks or months during which the person tries to learn alternative strategies for dealing with stress through therapy and journaling.
“It can be incredibly helpful and life-changing,” Seppinni says. “When you are dealing with the fallout from your behavior, intensive inpatient therapy can help you get the coaching strategies you need so you can go back into the world, having gotten to the core of some of your emotional problems.”
Outpatient treatment is still needed, she says, and relapse is common.
“There is a high percentage of people who relapse,” Seppinni says. “Every once in a while, the addiction rears its ugly head again. People expect some relapse.”
Some experts question whether sex addiction is even a real disorder, and it may not be listed in the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s widely-used Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Sex addiction is real, but Tiger Woods doesn’t have it, according to Danine Manette, author of “Ultimate Betrayal: Recognizing, Uncovering and Dealing with Infidelity.”
“Tiger Woods is no different from Alex Rodriguez, Tom Brady or any other professional rich man who surrounds himself with unlimited women,” she says. “It’s horrible because he’s married and is now violating the commitment that he made to his wife. But it’s not sex addiction.”
True sex addicts experience personality changes, are unable to function in the outside world and may substitute pornography for contact with real people, she says. Intensive inpatient therapy may be appropriate for them, Manette says.
“But people like Tiger Woods go into treatment because they believe that if they show they are working on something, people will be willing to reinvest in them,” she says. “The reality is that Tiger has no self control.”
Still, proponents of sex addiction therapy say it can work – if it targets the person’s underlying issues and doesn’t focus on the addiction as a sickness that was present all along.
An addict always seeks relief from emotional pain, explains relationship expert Lauren Mackler, and if the treatment plan doesn’t include ways for the client to cope with that pain, it will be ineffective.
One of Mackler’s clients had been a sex addict for 11 years, she said, and had bought into the idea that “he was what he was,” she says. He felt that the best way he could manage his addiction was to have online sex rather than an actual sexual relationship, and had tried one therapy group after another.
He had not ever tried dealing with his emotional burden, which included a critical and demanding father, Mackler said. When he was able to work through childhood issues, that helped with his sexual issues.
Treatment for sex addiction, Mackler says, is usually sought by a person only when he is caught.
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Lauren Mackler, bestselling author, life coach, and relationship expert, talks about her personal journey that inspired her bestselling book, Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life and workshop. Drawing from her own experiences; those of her coaching clients; and the fields of psychology, physiology, sociology, holistic healing, and strategic business practices, Lauren has developed a unique program for reclaiming your innate wholeness. This gradual, stepbystep process involves understanding where your selfdefeating patterns come from and how to move beyond them. She helps you uncover and retrieve your authentic self—who you really are beneath the layers of life conditioning. Laurens groundbreaking program will help you live in a more conscious and deliberate way, move beyond your self-defeating patterns, and become the person you were born to be.
Dreams reveal much about our selves and our lives. Early societies used dreams as symbols, but today, most people never learned how to harness the power of dreams. Join Lauren and guest Dr. Judith Orloff to learn how to use your dreams as a practical tool to enhance your life.
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Lauren Mackler, bestselling author, renowned coach, and relationship expert, talks about the most critical factors in achieving success. Lauren Mackler is one of the foremost visionaries in the personal and professional development field today. She has risen to international prominence as the creator of Illumineering, a groundbreaking coaching method that integrates family systems work, psychodynamic psychology, and coaching to help people free themselves from the shackles of their life conditioning, and create the personal and professional lives to which they aspire.
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