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All about psychology > Advice in Helping My Family

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message 1: by Rose (last edited Mar 02, 2011 10:13PM) (new)

Rose (rharper) I'm an anthropologist major who has a little interest in psychology, but my main interest is helping my younger bother. He's come under the influence of my our older half-brother. For a time, family and friends fear the latter might be a budding sociopath, but he's developed into a master manipulator. I don't think he'll ever reach the level of cult leader, but he definitely has my younger brother - and a few others - under his spell. I would greatly appreciate any articles, authors, books, lectures, etc. that might help me to help my younger sibling to start thinking for himself.

message 2: by Empress, Patient Zero (new)

Empress (the_empress) | 60 comments Mod
Rose, two years later I see no one has answered you. I am curious if there has been any improvement with your brother's situation?

message 3: by Rose (new)

Rose (rharper) Depends on what you might call "improvement". My parents had been helping my little brother with living accommodations and costs until they found out the about 90% of it was going straight to our half-brother. After a good deal of discussion, they gave him a short list of compromises to choose from, and he chose to basically cut ties with my parents and move in with Mark. We're hoping he might get tired of doing all the work and getting only a crumb of the benefits, and branch out on his own.

message 4: by Empress, Patient Zero (new)

Empress (the_empress) | 60 comments Mod
Rose wrote: "Depends on what you might call "improvement". My parents had been helping my little brother with living accommodations and costs until they found out the about 90% of it was going straight to our h..."

Oh gosh that doesn't sound good. I don't think ultimatum in this case would work. If he starts feeling resentment toward his parents for making him choose, he might even choose to stay with Mark, out of stubbornness and feeling of rejection.
Do you still talk to him? I think rebuilding family ties and bonding with him without demanding anything would do much more. Even if it is only to make him feel loved and accepted.

Of course it is easy for me to talk and give advice when I am not in this situation.

Btw. I left this group because the mod is not active and I will quit again, but will be re-joining to talk with you.

message 5: by Cecelia (new)

Cecelia Jones | 2 comments Hi, I agree that continuing to keep in touch with your brother. He needs to know that you care & will try & act as if he doesn't care -but you know that it isn't true. I'll see if I can find any data on this & get back to you...I also encourage you to maybe do the same- I found a lot of great info on google scholar & u may as well look for info on a decent website, also the American Psychological Assoc, and the American Psychiatric Association ....I think your parents should stand their ground so don't ask them to join you on this. Not to say that they can't come along with you if you visit or talk if you call, you wrote they made contingencies & I'm assuming it was about giving $ & those are important for them to stick to, but I don't see why they can't join you in other ways to connect. U didn't mention it, but is there any drug use on your brother's part? Ok, take care, CC!

message 6: by Ted (new)

Ted Feder (tfeder) | 1 comments All family relationships are based on emotion and therefore, I believe it will be very difficult to build healthier bonds without your younger brother going in to some type of therapy - his choice, but in order for him to build his self esteem which will allow him to separate himself from the "other" whoever that may be, he needs a new mirror - someone who can help him exist based on an intimate relationship but without the criticisms and judgements that are always present in a family.

message 7: by Cecelia (new)

Cecelia (ceceliapricejones) | 3 comments Ultimately yes, he should probably be in therapy - but my experience tells me that the statement will not do much to strengthen ties with him. In fact, I dont know many who likes to hear it! I say strengthen family ties having defined boundaries that are not crossed (the family may want to enter therapy to get a handle on how to do this successfully) and then bring up the suggestion of therapy - which will be much easier to do if they are also in therapy! CC!

message 8: by Carol (new)

Carol | 1 comments Hi Rose, no doubt this is sad and frustrating for you. Of course, since your younger brother is an adult, he is free to make his own decisions about what is best for his life- however incorrect you may feel they are! Fact is, he is getting some needs met by remaining with his older brother. I think the best thing you can do is maintain ties with him and show him that you support him no matter what. If you demonstrate that you actually validate his choices at the time he makes them, he may feel free to begin questioning them himself, rather than having to defend himself. This begins to be an opening into which he grows more confident about himself and in which he is free to reconsider things at any time. You can be sure the older brother is campaigning for his own interests and as he has such string influence, you don't want to position yourself against that. Best wishes.

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