Have you ever caught yourself in the middle of a conflict with your partner using arguments such as “that is simply not true!” or “you’re not being rational!” or any number of “logical” statements trying to trap our partners in their web of irrational-ness! Or am I the only one that does that? When things get heated between partners, often times, our initial go-to response in attempt to defend ourselves is to employ logical and, what we believe are, highly intellectual statements to “prove” our partners wrong. Well, I blame science for this fruitless and damaging relational interaction. Science, especially in our Western cultures, has taught us that words such as “rationale”, “logic”, “proof”, and “truth”, are the holy grail of our English language and should be valued above all. However, as it goes with interpersonal relating, using scientific reasoning as a defensive strategy to against our partners “illogical” perspective has dire consequences and usually will undermine any semblance of intimacy. In this regard, “science” is wrong, and so we need to find a new vocabulary and a new way of understanding when it comes to rationale and logic.
What does it take for the modern family to be successful? Statistics paint a fairly gloomy picture for the modern family. We hear stories about divorce, out-of-control teens, infidelity, “broken homes”, and sometimes even physical and emotional abuse. Definitions of a successful family vary, but most sociologists and family therapists agree on a few key fundamentals that differentiate successful families from unsuccessful families. So, how do we define success in a family? This is the definition of a successful family that I’ve come to adopt in my family therapy practice:A successful family promotes a sense of positive family and individual identity, fosters satisfying and fulfilling interactions among all members, and copes with stress in a way that results in more flexibility and cohesiveness in the family.