Family Issues

The Bellelli Family, also known as Family Portrait - Edgar Degas

The Bellelli Family, also known as Family Portrait – Edgar Degas

Edward Degas was the first to paint a psychological portrait of a family. He used expression, gesture and grouping in order to describe their attitudes towards life and each other.

The parents are far from each other:
The father is separate from the main family group. A table with papers divides him from them. His job is to work. He leaves the children to his wife.

The mother is enveloped in her dress, her outlines hidden. Who is she? Does she know? Is she looking far off towards another life?

As with the parents, so with the children:

No one looks directly at anyone else.

The younger daughter seems to be looking past her father. She may be staring at a future without warmth. Perhaps to keep the peace she carries messages between the parents. Will mediating and peace-keeping be her job as an adult?

Another daughter seems enveloped in the triangular shape of the mother. Will she be an imitation of her mother? She looks at us. Perhaps she will make the effort to define herself, to create a destiny of her own.

Therapy can address:

  • How your childhood experiences color your present life.
  • Helping you to free yourself from the roles, habits and alliances of the past.
  • Finding ways to put habits from the past to better use.
  • Making your current family a safe and comfortable home.
  • How close or far you want to be from loved ones in the present.
  • Helping you to decide when to give your children – or your inner child – all the ice cream wanted and when not.
  • Issues with living parents that need attention now while there is still time.