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Za človeka gre 2021 / All about people 2021

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Characteristics of Family Dynamics With Addicted Member and Implications For Psychotherapeutic Practice

Digital technologies allow almost limitless distance connectivity options, but in family and intimate relationships physical communication and closeness is necessary. Family members are not always capable of establishing and maintaining appropriate closeness. The result is extremely pathological relationships in the family that do not allow the healthy and optimal development of its members. In a family where the addiction of one or more members is present, the experiencing is usually organized around three overarching themes that are at the heart of dysfunctional family system: denial, shame, and control. Dealing with these themes leads to typical recognizable dysfunctional patterns that manifest as problems in emotional regulation, conflict management, relating with others, and difficulties in caring for oneself and others. These patterns in a special way preserve a dynamic of addiction and help to live with it. To effectively deal with addiction and strengthen the family system, it is necessary to address and reshape those themes and patterns. The presentation will outline the above mentioned characteristics and give implications for psychotherapeutic practice with families where addiction is present. * The results were partly obtained within the project No. J5-2570, financed by the Public Agency for Research of the Republic of Slovenia from the state budget.

Barbara Simonič
Faculty of Theology, University of Ljubljana


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