Perspective of the therapist

Religion does play a major role in one’s background as this is also a factor and a major marker of an individuals’ general behavior; roles and responsibility; and communication style. Most of the older generations are devout with their beliefs and try to raise their progeny with the same fervor as they claim to have but due to minor but pivotal factors such as external stimuli or being exposed to numerous interactions with different cultures, these devout beliefs may be carried out by the newer generation but do not have faith in them as the new generation is more focused on their own wants and needs.

This may lead to the individual living in two worlds at the same time as they do not want to embarrass or lose the trust given to them by their families, while secretly living a life of their own based on their ideas and wants. Let’s take a typical Chinese family wherein there are six members of the family. The grandmother (75) (patriarchal side); the parents; the eldest – male (27); the second is a female (15); and the youngest – male (8). As with typical Chinese families, the father is the immediate authoritarian figure of the family but the last word comes from the patriarchs’ mother.

The Eldest son, being male, is in charge of his siblings’ behavior, whatever the transgressions or misgivings his siblings make. He is also responsible to be a model child to everyone. If the parents and the grandmother is not present to give due punishment to a transgression done by either of his siblings’ he is in authority to give those as well as accept punishment from his parents or grandmother for his lack of control over his siblings. Respect and face is important in Chinese Culture, thus also displaying the roles of each family member in this family.

The eldest are to be addressed with their respective forms such as “Grandmother”; “Father”; “Older Brother”; so on and so forth, without doing so would be disgracing the family honor. Conflicts are normally found in typical family systems, in this case as the grandmother is the eldest of this unit of society, she has the last word on matters that affect their family as a whole – more like a law of conservation. Not all family systems are one hundred percent guaranteed to give you a happy ending and it does differ to one’s perception on the matter. Some form of abuse does come in many forms and can also be managed in certain ways.

In regards to this family, it is more likely emotional abuse has risen in the form of emotional abuse as each member of the family would like to be in the good side of the immediate authoritarian figure. If other factors do come in like peer pressure for example, the younger children might take up an interest with alcoholism, drug use, or even being a sexual deviant to name a few in order to cope up with the stress that they have found inside their own very family. They see these factors as a way to escape and as a release from the situation that they are in, more like a defense mechanism kicking into place.

If one of the Immediate does find out of such actions, certain steps are made to rectify this problem, some steps may even have the offending person be disowned as they have made actions that would let the family lose face. The outcome of such matters would really depend on the perspective of the therapist on the individual and as well as the needs of their client, which would be clear cut. In conjunction with such knowledge of the persons’ background, one must ascertain the willingness of the subject.

Solutions may be pointed out to the subject in order to cope up with situations such as the one above but it is sorely up to the subjects’ discretion to choose so. One must keep in mind factors such as education; where the individual grew up; disciplinary actions; habits; personality; the individuals’ peers; the way and quality of life must be taken into account as these would point out the main cause.


The Nation (2005, May 12). The Family World System. Retrieved January 20, 2008, from http://www. thenation. com/doc/20050530/anderson

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