The reason Therapists always want to know about the family

“Sisterhood and brotherhood are conditions people have to work at. It’s a serious matter.You compromise, you give, you take, you stand firm, and you’re relentless… And it’s an investment”.

People always ask what is the reason that Therapists always want to know about the family. Well its simple – whilst our parents are our caretakers, it is our siblings with whom we have our first social relationships, laying the foundations for all our future relationships.

For example, in my own family of origin, I am the oldest daughter. Research has shown that the oldest child is so anxious about the birth of another sibling that it does all it can to be “good”, so their parents will still love them – even after the arrival of the new sibling.Well that was the case for me and I have followed the patterns of responsible behaviours common to many who are the oldest.It is no mistake that I have landed in a profession that cares and supports, and I also think like my parents and have worked hard to maintain the status quo in my family. My sister often will often look to me for advice and direction.

Being the oldest is not always the best place to be.I am envious of my younger sister who is more spontaneous, adventurous and full of fun. I would much prefer to have others make the family decisions which would take some pressure off my shoulders, however, this now more the case as we have evolved and grown over the years.

Other identified family roles are the scapegoat,the focus of the family through negative behaviours, the surrogate spouse who enables certain behaviours, the caretaker, the child who assumes the role of peacemaker, mediator and the invisible child – the one who feels somewhat invisible within the family.

It is important to identify the role you played as a child and your sibling relationships, because these patterns can shape future relationships and our attitudes on how we view the world.