Hel clients break the lethal [wounds + unawareness] cycle!

Motivate clients to evolve and
a family mission statement

By Peter K. Gerlach, MSW
Member NSRC Experts Council

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The Web address of this article is http://sfhelp.org/pro/rx/mission.htm

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        This article is one of a series on effective professional counseling, coaching, and therapy with (a) low-nurturance (dysfunctional) families and with (b) typical survivors of childhood neglect and trauma. These articles for professionals are under construction.

        This series assumes you're familiar with:

        Before continuing, pause and reflect - why are you reading this article? What do you need?

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       This article is one of a series on effective clinical interventions with low-nurturance family clients. A "low nurturance family" is one in which members seldom get their primary needs met in wholistically-healthy ways. An effective intervention is an instinctive or intentional behavior of the clinician which significantly raises the family's nurturance level in the opinion of all involved. The interventions summarized here are general, common, and usually are a series of related sub-interventions. Each clinician will evolve a personal style about designing and delivering such strategic behaviors. Over time, many become habitual, and require no conscious thought.

        To get the most from this article, first read:

  • this introduction to professional family clinicians and educators,

  • this slide presentation on the [wounds + unawareness] cycle that is a root stressor with typical low-nurturance families (best viewed with Internet Explorer or Netscape browsers)..

  • this overview of the clinical model on which these articles are based;

  • this summary of requisites for effective professional service with these clients;

  • scan these terms which are liberally used throughout these clinical articles;

  • this overview of effective clinical assessment of these six types  of client families; and these basic Project-6 assessments...

  • this introduction to effective interventions with low-nurturance families and traumatized persons reducing significant psychological wounds.

Why Project 6 Exists

        Premises: see how you feel about these proposals - with your own family in mind...

Families exist to fill the short and long-term needs of their members and (at least) local society.

Average family adults inherit a lethal [wounds + unawareness] cycle from their ancestors and society.

Children who don't get their needs met adequately are at risk of developing serious false-self (psychological) wounds - and spread the cycle without knowing it.

Most major social and ecological problems are promoted by low-nurturance families + social unawareness of five major family hazards + social and legislative indifference to family nurturance levels and unwise child conceptions.

All child caregivers have an innate responsibility to (a) know these things well, and (b) to work together to reduce them in their families and communities.  

       Most people take the "purpose" of their family for granted, and live day to day with only hazy goals for filling members' primary needs over the years. This risks not filling the long-range needs of their family members as well as they might. A classic example: few parents consciously aim to teach their kids effective-communication, problem-solving, and healthy-grieving basics and skills by the time they leave home. Do you agree?

        Typical stepfamilies are much more complex than intact biofamilies, and have a significantly different set of additional developmental tasks to master over the years as they merge three or more multi-generational biofamilies - with no experience, and little informed guidance.

        Just as any responsible captain and pilot would not leave home port without charts, navigational aids, and a clear destination in mind, stepfamily co-parents need specific long-term goals and a "navigation plan" to reach them. Otherwise they risk the fate described wryly by David Campbell in his helpful career-planning book - "If You Don’t Know Where You Want To Go, You’ll Probably End Up Somewhere Else."  The high rate of American stepfamily re/divorce (many say it's over 60%) suggests most co-parents fail to take this (and the other 11 Projects) seriously enough.

        Project 6 is about adults evolving a meaningful long-term family mission statement, based on the challenging array of goals outlined in these 12 co-parental Projects. That gives them the best odds of avoiding these five major hazards and growing a high-nurturance family over the years..

Useful Project-6 Interventions - specially for courting and newly re/married or committed stepfamily clients. You may have already made some of these interventions for other Projects. For useful process assessments and related interventions, follow the link.

1)  Review the [wounds + unawareness] cycle (Lesson 1), and ask if the co-parents think it's significantly affecting their family

2) Ask "What's the long-term purpose of your family?"

3)  Option - ask "When you're old, what do you want to have accomplished with your family?"

4)  Review the concepts of needs and family nurturance levels;  

5 Review typical minor kids' developmental and family adjustment needs

6 Review typical primary-relationship needs 


6 Option -

7)  Option  -

8)  Option -

9)  Option -

10) Option -

1) Ask "What's the purpose of your family?"

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Updated April 30, 2013