Sarah Osborn's Archive

Macrosystem: You can’t escape it.

12 Commentsby   |  11.14.09  |  Uncategorized

The macrosystem is comprised of the larger societal institutions, such as government, economy, media, and so forth, which lay the social and historical context for development (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). It is a pretty easy idea to grasp because this system is so large it is easy to spot its influence on our lives. I like that the definition of macrosystem includes the historical context, because it is so important to remember. The macrosystem of our ancestors has an affect on us today. Racism and stereotypes that can be traced back to pre-civil war are still affecting the development of minority youth today, and not just with affirmative action laws. Some events which occur in the macrosystem may affect certain individuals more concretely than others. For example, the current health care bill being passed around Congress has the potential to affect a family currently without health care that takes care of a terminally ill family member. If that legislation passes it could improve the quality of life for that family exponentially. Whereas people with health insurance who are in good health may only feel the impact of that legislation gradually. More »

Sarah Osborn's Comment Archive

  1. DC talk, Manhattan Project, Star Trek, conspiracy theories, and Mother Teresa… good stuff!
    Em, that’s a really good point about people only having the power others give them- so true, even on smaller system level (like family).
    Sybil, I like what you are saying about race relations. I wonder how much we would have to go back and fix to make everything right today.
    Tommy, interesting little analogy. The US as an overfunctioner. I’ve never thought about it that way, but it completely makes sense.
    Kevin, I would be really interested to hear some of your conspiracy theories. Landing on the moon- was it real or in a studio?

  2. Sarah Osborn on Content
    12:43 pm, 11.12.09

    I like to think that the client speaks in code. They use a combination of process and content to communicate their message. It is the therapists task to find the patterns in the code so they can decipher it. In dyads and sessions I have observed, I have noticed that people tend to repeat certain phrases or key words, or will always go back to a certain topic. I think a good way for the therapist to get past the content and “decode” the client’s language is to point out the patterns/repetitions and ask the client directly about them. I think it would also be helpful for the therapist to ask about patterns in process they have seen. If the client gets especially fidgety when talking about a certain topic, that may be a code for something deeper. The therapist can ask directly in order to get the client to talk about it.

  3. Sarah Osborn on Emotional Cutoff
    12:29 pm, 11.12.09

    I agree with your explanation of emotional objectivity, but I still think that there are circumstances where a cut-off is necessary and healthy. What if, after the victim ignores the bully and walks away, the bully still slugs him anyway? I think this happens a lot in families. It would be easy for the bully to judge the victim as taking a “holier than thou” approach.
    Also, just because the victim does not react by taking part in the fight, it does not mean that his emotions are gone. I would say that it is not the reaction to emotions that is most detrimental, but the emotions themselves. Those are the thoughts that the victim has to live with, and I think that they can be emotionally and physically draining, no matter how much rationalization you use.
    Also, I think that emotional cut-off is not only beneficial for the person, but also for their family. I think it may be necessary for a person who has been abused by a family member to cut them off so as to protect themselves and their own family and children. I think it would be a poor decision to put children in danger just for the sake of family harmony and differentiation.