Going to the Source with Sibling Therapy

The wounds that come from a childhood riddled with family dysfunction can affect us for the rest of our lives. They influence the quirks and eccentricities that make us who we are, but they also have the ability to create deeply rooted fears, shame, and pain in our psyches. More often, however, it is the defenses we put in place to protect us from having to deal with these wounds that can be the most problematic of all in helping us move forward in our personal lives and relationships. While individual therapy can certainly be of tremendous benefit in one’s psychological and emotional growth, often times it is the help of our siblings – the witnesses and co-carriers of said wounds – that can actually be of the greatest utility in one’s therapeutic growth. As this article put it, “the sibling relationship is the laboratory where a person learns to deal – or not deal – with issues such as conflict, rejection and affection. … For example, Dr. Lewis says, her clients’ sibling relationships often parallel their romantic relationships. ‘Where they get stuck in a marriage is almost always where they were stuck in childhood with their siblings.'”

 

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