Relationship Between Family Members And The Family System Essay

Relationship Between Family Members And The Family System Essay

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Relationships serve as the communication channels that bond family members together. Attachment theory presents a way of recognizing and assessing the quality of relationships between family members (Landers et al, 2013). John Bowlby (1988) established attachment theory through the study of mammals and humans. He proposed that infants develop their initial relationship with their mother but not always. In addition, he suggested that this relationship serves as the foundation for all subsequent relationships throughout life. This initial relationship creates a subsystem within the family system. The mother’s responsiveness to the infant establishes the quality of attachment the infant will develop (Landers et al, 2013). In most cases, when an infant experiences their mother or primary caretaker as nurturing and responsive, the infant will develop a secure attachment. However, when the infant experiences a primary caretaker as unresponsive or inattentive, an insecure attachment can develop creating the foundation for depression, anxiety, fear, and a host of other problems (Landers et al, 2013).
Substance use disorders are often the result of unresolved childhood attachment disorders generated by the inability to regulate one’s emotions (Carruth, 2006; Minnis, Flemming, & Cooper, 2010). Individual’s with unresolved attachment disorders often engage in taking substances in excess to hide their inability to regulate emotions. A parent with a SUD, who is preoccupied with their drug of choice or recovering from the use of mind altering substances misses the opportunity to engage in healthy bonding with her own children thus perpetuating the cycle of attachment disorders (Wedekind et al.,2013). An infant’s fundamental needs are th...


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...an individual’s developmental path may be significantly altered throughout life.
Areas of concern for those struggling with DTD include, rejection of the self and others, acting out, impulsivity, lack of trust for others, sleep troubles and night terrors, poorly developed emotional and physical health, depression, and substance use disorders (Van der Kolk & d’Andrea, 2010). According to Van der Kolk (2010), viewing these symptoms as separate disorders rather than as systematic parts of a single encompassing problem will likely lead to treatment failure.
Adult attachment styles are associated with distinctive patterns of interpersonal behavior and emotion regulation. Individuals expressing high attachment anxiety tend to include the preoccupied or fearful avoidant type. These individuals are often characterized as clingy or controlling and attention-seeking.

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