Therapist Reviews Family Dynamics in Movies & TV, Part 2 | Vanity Fair

hi my name is stephanie it’s anybody i’m a licensed marriage and family therapist in today’s video we’re going to be talking about family dynamics and television and film this is a scene from star wars the empire strikes back it is useless to resist don’t let yourself be destroyed as obi-wan did i always emphasize the importance of intent did darth vader really think that this was a method that would be effective in having luke join his side getting in a fight with him ultimately like chopping off his arm was this part of your strategy when you’re

originally thinking that you wanted to win him over to the dark side he tried strategy one which was a scare tactic there’s no escape don’t make me destroy you you can see that’s not working he’s like all right so let’s try this i am your father now will you join the dark side and that is a manipulative tactic you just cut my arm off like is this really the time for that revelation maybe he thought that would make luke feel a sense of loyalty and feel like oh this is like an answer to a question

i’ve always had about myself instead luke feels deceived that’s not true that’s impossible darth vader just does not have an understanding of luke’s motives how do

you rekindle a relationship with someone when you’ve missed out on a lot of history of their life you’ve got to treat this person almost like a stranger part of that is going to be patience they don’t have to clear out time for you they can give you what they’re able to offer you emotionally now and right now that might be nothing but if you are truly wanting to create a

relationship with this person you have to be patient with them and show them that maybe you’ve changed which would be evidenced by your ability to communicate and be more understanding this is a scene from the brady bunch every time marsha turns around they hand her a blue ribbon or something oh now jan you know that isn’t so marsha’s worked very hard for those things well all i hear all day long at school is how great marshes at this or how wonderful marsha did that marsha marsha marsha so i want to comment on how the parents

were responding to jan’s concerns they’re trying to give her the opportunity to express how she feels and i love that she’s talking with both parents that’s one of my favorite things about the brady bunch is that i think they did a great job of showing you know the benefit of having like two parents be very involved in the kids lives they were allowing her to express her feelings but then also you know they were kind of trying to challenge some of those thoughts i’m tired of being in marcia’s shadow all the time now jan you’re

not in anybody’s shadow marsha’s three years older than you she should have more to show for herself from a rational standpoint that makes sense right you’re like oh okay yeah but what’s jan supposed to do with that because marsha’s always going to be three years older than her and if she already has an inferiority complex then that means that she’s signing up for the rest of her life to feel like she’s three years behind her sister jen come on you have to be realistic about this nobody nobody has smooth sailing all the time well that’s

right marcia has her disappointments too she doesn’t always win intellectualization is actually a defense mechanism so when you’re in an argument with someone and that person is dead set on rationalizing themselves out of that conversation you think well hey they’re thinking it through that’s a good thing you know this other person’s all in their emotions and this person is thinking logically like when you tell somebody to calm down from a rational perspective that makes sense but that person feels completely invalidated and usually that does not solve the problem i think if they would have tapped

a little bit more into her emotional world it might have been even more productive this is a scene from turning red what is this it’s nothing just the boy he’s absolutely boy who is he did he do these things no it’s just made up mom it’s not real that hat is that the sketchy clerk from the daisy so when a parent invades their kids privacy what you think you’re communicating to your child is i will always protect you but that is not typically what’s actually communicated what you’re communicating to your child is i do not

trust you thank goodness i was here that degenerate won’t come near you again now is there anything else i should know about mimi nope all good i thought in this moment she was going to have all this anger i say appropriately toward her mother but what we saw her do instead you sicko what were you thinking why would you draw those things those horrible awful sexy things she was genuinely upset with herself for having a crush right but we all know a crush is a part of our development it’s a part of socialization but she

missed out on the opportunity of solidifying what she was looking for in a partner because she was shamed for having a crush sometimes you know the way we express our love is completely toxic when we are constantly criticizing chastising protecting our kids we’re keeping them from developing confidence in certain areas where really she probably could have handled the situation herself but her mother took that opportunity away from her and that’s one less skill she’ll have when she’s an adult this scene is from the sopranos you know it’s always what you think isn’t it it’s never

how i feel oh poor you it’s all your mother’s fault isn’t it i didn’t say that you’re a mama’s boy you’re gonna call me names now the perspective of a lot of people would be that the therapist was too quiet but i actually think that it’s just a reflection of how solid the individual therapy he’s been doing with the sun is and the sun was able to actually advocate for himself i was in the garage and you said what kind of animal smokes marijuana at his confirmation he was using illegal drugs in the home did

it ever occur to you that i might have been self-medicating you can hear the words he’s using you can hear the phrases like self-medicating staying firm in his opinion on things you could tell that there’s been a lot of growth they probably did some role play they probably came up with talking tracks for this session and the therapist fully trusted his client to conduct and guide that session an area that this therapist could have improved in was letting the parents know this is a collateral session this is your opportunity just to learn more about what

led him to being in this office the fact that your child has included you in these sessions lets you know that obviously you’re very important to them if you’re speaking and no one’s listening to you you’re wasting energy so i would have actually asked the father i’m noticing that you’re looking down do we still have your attention would you like to tell your parents what your grandmother said what’d she say that it’s all a big nothing what is life one of the biggest models that is used for self-harm or suicidality is a model called dialectical

behavior therapy and including family in those sessions is a part of that model but there are some instances where that can actually be counterproductive and this could possibly be one of those situations where the family is the biggest trigger for those thoughts this is a scene from the kardashians i’m kind of like in shock and i’m also telling myself like don’t be nervous this is one of the best moments of your life in some ways they’re dealing with a lot of the same stuff that a lot of us are dealing with like blended families how

do i tell my kids i feel like i need to tell them now because they’re gonna see it on that no no you probably should go in private i was happy to see that courtney was already thinking i don’t want my kids to find this out through social media that is just not usually the best way for people to find out important information is that upsetting why are you sad baby do wish that my kids were here i think it would have made them feel more included in the decision kind of and like part of

the surprise i do think that the kids should have been involved that’s the worst fear of a blended family is that now in this structure i no longer matter and when you don’t incorporate people especially kids into those decisions it’s just confirmation of those fears the best way to recover from a situation like this is to create a space where all the kids don’t feel like they could be punished for sharing negative opinions or fears i think that it’s really important for scott to like be accepting of my of our relationship so that the kids

can feel good a lot of times the blessing of that other parent is all a kid needs to feel like they’re not being split in two this is a scene from home alone did anyone order me plain cheese oh yeah we did but if you want any somebody’s gonna have to barf it all up because it’s gone what is the matter with you he started it hit my pizza on purpose he knows i ate sausage and olives look what you did you little jerk this kid is what we refer to as the identified patient they

carry the burden of being the problem of the family people in this house you’re the only one who has to make trouble i’m the only one getting dumped you’re the only one acting up now get upstairs this is much easier to use them as a scapegoat than to recognize that there are some dysfunctional patterns within the family the presenting problem with this family is that they are having difficulty the parents and providing each child with attention for you to be able to leave a whole kid at home you know that really says something about how

busy you are how much you have going on and that really is the problem i had a therapist that told me that they don’t see kids because kids don’t have problems parents do this is a great example of that one cannot physically abandon their kid without emotionally abandoning them how does this play out into adulthood we know it’s self-sabotaging it’s using that avoidant attachment where it may be you don’t want to be vulnerable with anybody you might be in a relationship for years yet you haven’t opened up about your secrets maybe this person has never

seen you cry you’re in life trying to create the relationships you’re seeing other people have without the tools to be able to do that therapy is important because it gives you a completely new setting which opens the floor for new possibilities expanding on hope it gives you new ways to communicate with the people that you care about to be able to have conversations that maybe you’ve never felt comfortable having on your own and getting a little support getting some ideas and techniques on how to best communicate we all play a part in our family dynamics

we contribute to dysfunction and one of the biggest things that i work with my clients on is recognizing your contribution and if there are some things that you’re wanting to see changed it’s going to start with working on yourself thanks for watching this video take care

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