Don Paglia | Marriage and Family Counseling. Constellations Workshops


“We can’t live together: when partners bring family entanglements –
A Bowenian trained therapist uses Systemic Constellations for a married couple”

This is a true story of a couple (real names and circumstances changed/altered) of an example of the way unresolved childhood trauma can be played out within a couple’s relationship.
By Don Paglia

Danny (what his wife, Cathy, calls him) and Cathy came to the workshop in separate cars. Married once, then divorced briefly, then for a while living together and, eventually remarrying, the couple are once again now physically separated. Out of this 19-year old “rocky” relationship came four children: two during the married years, and two later in their cohabiting years. When they originally came to counseling their stated purpose was to “stabilize” their relationship. Their very dramatic “on and off” relationship appeared to indicate a difficulty with the Intimacy – Distance continuum within the relationship. What seemed to be also playing out within the relationship was a full blown-out over-functioning wife married to a wounded little boy – Danny. He told of long periods of depression that had kept him in bed for days and unable to work at various times in his adult life. Cathy took care of Dan, and while they still loved each other, they seemed unable to live together – at least not for very long. Cathy would reach a point where she would become angry and resentful over Dan’s bouts of depression and his inability to financially provide for the family. This cyclical pattern had been going on in large and small ways during the course of the relationship.

The three of us met twice for marital counseling sessions prior to their attending my monthly constellations workshop. Cathy had initially reported that she was the oldest child of four and that her youngest sibling, a boy, lived only six days; Cathy was seven years old at the time. Dan was the youngest of three children and the only son. Dan’s father died when he was nine. His mother, along with the help of her mother’s parents, then raised Dan and his older sisters.

(For more)
The knowing field: International Constellations Journal, Issue 21, January 2013

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