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Please Help Me Remember the Name of this Dysfunction


OneFifthQuiverFull

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Hi all,

I hope someone can help me! Someone in one of these forums brought up a familial dysfunction. I looked it up, it resonated with me on some levels, and I printed it off to show my husband and my eventual therapist.

I've tried to search here, tried to google, tried to find my print-off and no luck.

This dysfunction is where there is a child of the home who the parents want to control throughout their lives but obviously especially through childhood. It's usually only one child or can be only one child with the other siblings being led to believe this designated child is a "bad one" and deserves what they get. It's almost like a scapegoat black sheet. The child in the dynamic feels an unrelenting need to please the parent(s), all the way through childhood.

Anyone know what I am talking about?

Thank you !!

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You can look up child abuse and then subdivisions of it. This falls under a particular family dynamic, like you said, but I can't remember the name, either. But it should be on psychology websites that explain different terms.

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Could the term you are looking for be "identified patient," AKA "symptom bearer" or "presenting problem?"

Basically what these terms are saying is that the person initially identified as being or having the problem (the scapegoat) isn't really the problem. Other aspects within the family system are the real problem.

Sorry, that's so grossly oversimplified. Googling for those terms and Family Systems Therapy might be helpful in finding the term you want.

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  • 1 month later...

If you're interested, this is a text we used in my grad-level Family Systems class for basic Structural Therapy. **I didn't upload it, but I still have the book. I feel like it's pretty straightforward for the layperson! Although I don't strictly adhere to the treatment guidelines during family sessions, I do use it more often than any other theory to conceptualize familial dysfunction. Hope it helps!

https://moodle.umons.ac.be/pluginfile.p ... A9ment.pdf

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Thank you!! I WILL read it. I still haven't gotten it together enough to book a therapist, since other things have to take priority right now. But I appreciate this good start with something to read.

Is it you who introduced the word initially? If so, I thank you. Just reading the description has calmed my hurting heart a great deal.

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