On Capitol Hill, we all know each other. Clients are also neighbors, friends. We run into each other at Eastern Market, at neighborhood gatherings. In my practice, I see spouses, parents, the grown kids, cousins, aunts, grandparents. This is not unusual here. It really is a village.
I love working with families. It means a larger identity can be addressed, the family soul. Using those words makes it sound too esoteric. It isn't. It's clan identity I can address when I see different actors in a sacred family drama.
I often see several members of a family after a loss, or when someone is very ill. In a family crisis, everyone participates, even the family members who are 1,000 miles away. We share DNA, we share our life histories. When something big happens, everyone in the family feels it.
Sometimes storms pass through families. More than one person gets sick, someone dies or feels suicidal, gets fired, divorced. There's a feeling of foreboding in the family soul at times like that, like it feels right before a dangerous thunderstorm.
How can I support the spirit of the clan as well as the individuals as the storm moves through? How can I help stabilize and encourage the family members who are healthy and can act as anchors? How do I address the pain of the ones who are facing the storm head-on? Is it even possible to hope for balance? Maybe the chaos is inevitable.
I have no idea whether or even if I can support family souls during times of crisis, but I have to try. Right?
It's a glorious feeling when the storm passes. A baby is born into the family, or someone gets married, graduates successfully or something else full of promise takes place. It's always such a relief.
The American family soul is currently experiencing a shitstorm of crisis. I'm definitely not taking that on, though. One clan at a time, please. Thank you.