The Black Sheep Of The Family Co.
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-Black sheep of the family is someone who is marginalised, scapegoated, misunderstood. They may be particularly sensitive, emotionally intense, curious, and are wired differently. When the family has identified a person as the black sheep, all members project unwanted negative traits onto the scapegoat. Pointing fingers at the black sheep of the family is an unconscious strategy for some family members to evade their own emotional materials.
The official term for the black sheep of the family in Systemic Family theory is the “Identified Patient” (IP). This term is used to describe the phenomenon of how a family with unhealthy relationship dynamics assigns one person in the family as the scapegoat. Theories on family systems have taught us that it is not uncommon for family members to carry particular ‘roles’. Apart from the black sheep scapegoat role, some other common roles include the baby, pet, and peacemaker. Through the mechanism of projection, pointing the finger at another family member as the cause for all woes is a common unconscious strategy used by some family members to evade their own emotional pain and sufferings. Being made the black sheep of the family forms a toxic family dynamic, which can result in complex trauma and a wide array of psychological impacts.
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