4 Stages of Healing from Childhood Abuse

Over the years, I have worked with many victims of abuse, women or men who were abused in childhood (I do not work with children).  Sometimes the abuse consisted of neglect; often it was physical, and emotional.  For many, it was sexual.  I find it interesting that in my practice, the men who were sexually abused as children were abused by someone outside of the family. the girls were all victimized by their fathers. (That is not the...

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How Do The Roles Play Out In Codependency?

As explained earlier, the roles learned by children are usually played out in adulthood.  How would each of the roles adopt the role of codependent?  It’s a little complicated but I’ll try to simplify as much as I can. Hero becomes the co-dependent in many situations. She finds a man who ‘needs her’ and begins to help him become all that he can be – whether he wants to change or not.  Ironically, the more she focuses on him and...

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3.5 Steps to Lasting Personal Change

Over the past few months, this blog has explored the roles, rules and characteristics of children raised in emotionally barren families.  We’ve talked about your personal lives, families, friends and characters.  But one constant has been the question: “Okay, that’s how I am, so how do I change myself?” Psychologists seem to agree that change follows a specific process which I’ve outlined here.  And they’re...

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The Most Common Characteristics of Adult Children

The next three characteristics are common in all the roles.  In fact, I think they’re common in all people – well everyone I know, especially the last two. Overreact to changes over which they have no control. Constantly seek approval and affirmation. Usually feel that they are different from other people. Overreaction looks different among the different roles.  Heroes may get angry because their plans went awry (ever noticed a hero...

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Three More Characteristics of Children from Troubled Families

As mentioned before, these characteristics first evolved from work with adult children of alcoholics but have now been generalized to anyone raised in an emotionally barren family. In the last two posts we discussed characteristics 1 – 4.  Today we’ll look at the next three which include: Have difficulty having fun. Take themselves very seriously. Have difficulty with intimate relationships. The first two of these characteristics may...

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Big Families and Small Ones: What About the Roles?

Over the last four weeks we have examined the four roles children assume when they are raised in a home with an emotionally absent parent.  Psychology seems to have a predilection for models of four; in this case the hero, rebel, lost child and mascot.  In healthy families, children’s behavior flows across all four roles. But in these families, children will adopt one of the roles and live by its parametes more than any other.  It’s as if...

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