Recently I worked with a client.

The client had difficulty with family of origin interactions.

Have you noticed how dealing with your family is like:

  • Entering the twilight zone.
  • Instantly being turned back into a child.

This is not uncommon.

We are perfectly normal functioning adults.

Then we get together with our birth family and …

All our old feelings and behaviors magically appear.

It is like we are on autopilot.

It is like our siblings and parents are on autopilot.

That’s because you are.

The patterns you and your family created in your childhood are deeply ingrained.

Then if you add the extra pressure of:

  • The expectations of holiday gatherings.
  • An illness or death in the family.

Everything escalates more quickly.

This is exactly what my client had been experiencing.

The client had an upcoming family gathering.

A parent was seriously ill.

The siblings were gathering to figure out what to do.


My client didn’t want to fall back into their old childhood role.

So, we worked through:

  • How things had worked at past family gatherings.
  • How the client felt at past family gatherings.
  • What the client’s thoughts were about these events.
  • How the client wanted to think, feel and act at the upcoming event.

After the event the client and I debriefed.

The client mentioned how they were able to act differently.

But the client pointed out how their old inadequate feelings still surfaced.

I assured the client that:

  • This is normal.
  • That acting differently even with old feelings was a success.

“Oh, I hadn’t thought of it that way” replied the client.

The client thought because old feelings still came up, they had failed.

Not at all!

They had succeeded!

Because in spite of old feelings, the behaved in a new way.

It will be a work in progress before the old feelings disappear …

And are replaced with new thoughts and feelings.

It takes time …

And practice.

That’s ok.

The work of self-improvement is not:

  • A magic wand
  • Once and done

The work and the success are in the small consistent steps.

So, keep practicing all the tools you have learned in my past blogs.

You are a work in progress.

We all are!

If you would like help mastering any of the tools I teach, just click schedule my FREE assessment