Many families suffer from ongoing dramas, cast as a sad and sometimes comical mix of victims, villains, and heroes. The key first step in escaping the melodrama and restoring authenticity within the family is for one family member to step out of the drama and into a place of responsible maturity. This person – sometimes the patriarch or matriarch, sometimes a son or daughter – is normally our entry into the family system. We support this person in maintaining a grounded presence, and then guide other family members into and through the crucial conversations they have avoided with one another.
Only when each person takes 100% responsibility for family harmony does the family dynamic have the potential to be authentic and enduring.
Common family situations faced by our clients include:
- All family members are reasonably aware and mature. The family elders (parents, patriarch, matriarch) wish to collaborate on a next-generation family plan.
- An adult child is struggling, lost, or estranged from the rest of the family.
- An adult child has been raised with a sense of entitlement, and the parents don’t know how to break the pattern.
- Squabbling or warring exists among adult siblings and the parents don’t know how to mediate.
- A next-generation child in a family business seeks more responsibility, but the parents or other family members either don’t feel the child is ready or are committed to retaining control.
- Unclear role definitions, agreements, or succession planning are draining energy in a family business.
- An adult child in a family business desires a career outside the business, but feels pressure to stay.
- The family dynamic is dysfunctional. One or two family members are torn on whether to work in and through the dysfunction or exit the dynamic and take care of themselves.