Building on Lieberman’s Transgenerational theory (1979), which posited that many inexplicable family problems could be traced to unresolved conflicts arising from clashes between cultural differences across generations, forty multi‐generation families that have been treated with either a child, an adult, or a member from the older generation as symptom bearers were reviewed in this project. This paper is a discussion of the findings obtained from exploring these presenting symptoms from the perspective of transgenerational dynamics, and a presentation of a treatment approach in working transgenerationally. In addition to family histories, we also focused in this work on the importance of working with problematic interpersonal patterns across generations in order to negotiate a more satisfactory and developmentally appropriate boundary between subsystems.
Analysis of clinical data with Chinese families shows that many individual mental health problems can reflect unresolved conflict in transgenerational relationships
Transgenerational theory is useful in helping us understand the link between generations
Along with structural family therapy theory this enables members of multi‐generations to negotiate a developmentally appropriate pattern between subsystems
Using biofeedback in a family assessment protocol to elicit children’s responses to parental conflict helps link repeated patterns transmitted transgenerationally