FAMILY SECRETS: CLASSIFICATION AND CONSEQUENCES

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by Fedele Termini

This article examines the phenomenon of family secrets from a systemic-relational perspective, starting from the observations by Karpel and other authors, with the aim of providing a classification system for different types of such secrets, and identifying potential and common adverse consequences within the family system, arising from the emergence of symptoms in an individual family member. Through empirical knowledge and clinical practice, some clinical cases are analysed to illustrate the four major types of family secrets, constituting distinct taxonomic clusters, which can be further divided into several subgroups. The final part of the article illustrates an innovative psychotherapeutic technique, which could be described as a 3D (three-dimensional) approach and investigates and addresses family secrets through the use of metaphors.

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