“Hi Mr. Falk, I would like to book an appointment for my 14 year old daughter. She is totally out of control.”
“Sure, when would you all like to come in?”
“No I don’t think you heard me, it is our daughter who needs your help.”
“Yes, I heard you. Who’s all in your family?”
“Me, my husband, our 18 year old son and our daughter…oh and my mom.”
Great, does it work for the five of you to come on Friday afternoon?
Long pause…… (deep sign / deflated tone) …Ok, Friday at 3:00 will work,
“Thanks, see you then.”
One of the classic lazy brain cop-outs
is to deflect a systems problem onto an identified patient
like the “14 year old,” in my family example. Today, in our stressed out world, I wonder who the identified “14 year olds” are? One of my mentors
taught me to listen
very closely to the truth
which is often veiled
in the disguise of rebellion and resistance; sometimes noisy, sometimes silent.
These actions and attitudes are an easy target to stick our unhappiness and blame onto. They are often not even close to the deeper root cause.
I have to catch myself all the time with this lazy thinking. For me I stop, take a step back and discipline myself with the mental toughness of thinking systematically instead of blaming the low hanging fruit / easy targets.
Let’s do better for all the “14 years olds” being blamed for “family problems.”
Who knows, they might even be the most honest voice in the crowd.
Systems thinking is GOLD.