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Christmas is like the special annual edition of a soap opera, except the stars aren't Pauline Fowler or Deirdre Barlow — they're your mother, your granny, your great-grandfather, your step-father, your sister-in-law and your nephews. Same cast, same food, same rituals but a slightly different story line. As any decent drama writer will tell you, there is always a back story to the characters: how you became who you are and the events in the past that have brought you to the present.And your personal back story is, in part, down to your ancestors.
If you've followed pop psychology, been in a twelve step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Adult Children of Alcoholics, watched Oprah, or read books and magazines, you've probably seen or heard the term dysfunctional many times, and may even have an idea that it means a messed-up family with problems.According to clinical psychologist Oliver James, from the moment we gather on Christmas Eve, our parents and siblings demand that we enact an appointed role."We're like fictional characters, each assigned a scripted role, tightly directed in its performance, clothed in psychological costumes and required to sing and dance to our family tune, especially when there's a family gathering such as Christmas," he says.Assertive communication is defined by mutual respect, diplomacy, and directness.Our Assertive Communication worksheet includes one page of psychoeducation, and a second page of practice exercises, that will help your clients learn to use assertive communication in their own lives...
But, to psychologists, dysfunction has a specific meaning, and the manifestation in families isn't always so obvious or dramatic.