Motivation Monday BRC Recovery, Spearhead Lodge & Makana Path Family
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Weekly Focal Point

“Family Roles”

~ Hero ~ Lost Child ~ The Mascot ~ The Scapegoat ~ The Caretaker (Enabler) ~
Family Role Series
5. The Caretaker (Enabler)

The member of the family who takes on the role of keeping all of the other roles alive is known as the Caretaker. This person is often the primary enabler to the active substance abuser and is interested in making sure their family's faults are not seen by outsiders. The Caretaker usually feels it is his or her responsibility to keep everyone else content and happy to the best of their ability. They will often go out of their way to solve all of the family problems. "If my family member is not okay, then I am not okay," is a common belief system that the Caretaker operates from which causes them to take actions for others that are not truly their responsibility. Playing this role becomes overwhelming over time and results in this person beginning to neglect their own needs. This mode of operation can lead to emotional bankruptcy and the Caretaker may "lose themselves" in the process. Often times, we see that the person who is playing the Caretaker role has been out of touch with who they really are for quite some time and benefits from engagement in family recovery groups, therapy and family recovery literature to find themselves again.
3 C's of Al-Anon
1. We didn't CAUSE it
2. We can't CONTROL it
3. We can't CURE it

Considerations for the Week
1. Am I able to identify characteristics of this role within myself or other members of my family?

2. Will I consider that doing things for the substance abuser in the family system is not really about taking care of them, but potentially about avoiding my own fears or attempting to self soothe my guilt and shame? 

3. How can I encourage the Caretaker in my family system and help them to find support of their own?
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