Family-system therapy principles

Normal personalities are inner-family systems of semi-in-dependent subselves or “parts.” Experience suggests that using family-system therapy principles with subselves is often effective at reducing a wide range of personal and some physical problems. A basic premise here is that when one or more adults’ inner families are out of harmony, their relation-ships and outer families have “major problems.”  


  • personality fragmenting
  • excessive shame and guilts 
  • excessive fears 
  • excessive reality distortions 
  • overtrusting or undertrusting
  • difficulty feeling, empathizing, and bonding

By Peter K. Gerlach, MSW

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