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Beyond the Myths of the “Normal” Family Views of normality and health are socially constructed, influencing clinical assessment and goals for healthy family functioning(Walsh,1993). The vision of a so-called “normal” family is largely in the eye of the beholder, filtered by professional values, personal family... 顯示更多 Beyond the Myths of the “Normal” Family

Views of normality and health are socially constructed, influencing clinical assessment and goals for healthy family functioning(Walsh,1993). The vision of a so-called “normal” family is largely in the eye of the beholder, filtered by professional values, personal family experience, and cultural standards. Two myths of the “normal” family have perpetuated a grim view of most families.

One myth is the belief that healthy families are problem-free. Based in the medical model, health has been defined clinically as the absence of problems. Unfortunately, this leaves us in the dark about positive contributions to healthy functioning. More seriously, it leads to the faulty assumption that any problem is symptomatic of and caused by a dysfunctional family. This belief has tended to pathologize ordinary families attempting to cope with the stresses and disruptive changes that are part of life (Minuchin, 1974). No family is problem-free. Slings and arrows of misfortune strike us all, in varying ways and times over each family’s life course. What distinguishes healthy families is not the absence of problems, but rather their coping and problem-solving abilities.

A second myth is the belief that the idealized “traditional family” is the only possible model for a healthy family. For most, this conjures up the 1950s image of a white, affluent, nuclear family headed by a breadwinner/father and supported by a full-time homemaker/mother. Early theory and research in the social sciences and psychiatry, seeking to devine the “normal” family in …………
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