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Treating families is an honor and privilege. It is here where the Mainspring Approach can be observed and experienced across generations.
Usually families come to therapy because one person is having a problem. We refer to this in counseling as the identified client. Through the process, families learn that the changes they are asking the identified client to make can only be changed or maintained through the support of the family unit.
We have come to the conclusion that phrases such as generation curses and historical trauma have a lot to do with the passing down of ideas, beliefs, experiences and values. In other words, how I be has a lot to do with how my grandparents and parents learned to be.
Like many therapists treating families, they see and engage the family unit as a system. A system of relationships, ideas, beliefs, values and way of being. Sometimes, if left unchecked, these systems lead to cycles of chaos, dysfunction, disruption and dis-ease. In other words, a generational pathology.
The mainspring approach seeks to understand the cause of the dis-ease and how it behaves. The identified client embodies the heighten presentation or behavior of the pathology, thus, becoming the entry way to exploring the generational pathology.
The Power of the Mainspring Approach
1. Telling the Truth
2. Setting Intention
3. Telling a Different Story
The approach goes beyond asking why is this happening? This answer often leads to symptoms but not the origin of the dis-ease.
To assist families in understanding the core issue(s), the approach invites families to explore their truth through kindness towards self and others.
What does this look like in therapy?
How did this happen?
This question is powerful, in that it goes right to the core of the family pathology. The approach recognizes that it's sometimes hard to tell any truth, yet alone accept a truth when threatened by shame and guilt. This approach allows the family to explore difficult issues while minimizing the experience with shame and guilt. An experience that actively works to wrap the family in empathy and kindness while they explore hidden truths and traumas.
Who did you learn this from?
Where did you learn this from?
These questions help to identify the relationships, ideas, beliefs, values and the how to be that are causing disrupton. This approach allows the family unit to shift from "Joseph is being a bad child" to "what happened to Joseph?" Looking at the experience, "What did Joseph learn from that experience, who taught him to process or think that way about his experience?
Within the identifying and exploring the truth step, it lends itself to the creation of intention.
Families that are able to speak truthfully about their experience and have the tools to communicate it, are freed from the fear of being disowned by others and self. Creating space to do things differently, to live differently, to tell a different story that acknowledges who we are and where we are going.