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American Counseling Association

What is your role in your family of origin? Does that legacy affect your current functioning among peers and kin as an adult?


Re: Topic 5 DQ 2

Everyone plays a particular role within the family (Ratcliff, 2014). These roles have an impact on the relationships we develop later in life and how we see ourselves in relation to them.  My role in my family of origin as a child was hero. I cared deeply for my family and just wanted us to be happy and connected to each other like the family in “The Cosby Show.”

My parents had problems in their marriage mainly due to my dad’s alcohol use. They had a lot of arguments about his poor decision to choose alcohol over the needs of his family. I was always seen as mature and responsible in the eyes of my parents. They both depended on me to help my younger siblings with homework, walk them to the store and even keep tabs on the friends my older brother associated with.

They came to me to vent about their problems. I somewhat felt guilty because I listened instead of telling them to talk to each other. The role of hero was not a role I wanted as a young person, it is the role that I ended up in. My siblings and I were impacted in different ways.  I took on the role of the hero while my siblings took on other roles of scapegoat and lost child.

This role does still affect how I relate to my relatives and others as an adult. I do not feel overwhelmed in this role as an adult because I have set boundaries around what I choose to deal with and not deal with in relation to my friends and family. Having this role as a child has helped me to maintain self-worth and determination as an adult.


Ratcliff, S. 2014. Family of Origin Roles. American Counseling Association. Retrieved from blogs/2014/05/12/stuck-in-that-blasted-family-of-origin-role


My response:

Good morning Sherri,



Miracle Hardy  

2 posts

Re: Topic 5 DQ 2

I am the oldest sibling and took on the second mother type of role. I was responsible for tending to my younger siblings when my parent was unable to. I was raised by my grandmother up until age 12, then moved in with my aunt who had 5 kids of her own at the time.

There was a 6-year difference between me and her oldest. I looked after them; getting them from school, making sure they ate, and got dressed. I think my role then very much does influence my interactions with friends and family now.

I am still kind of a mother bear, even though I do not have children of my own. I like looking out for people, making sure people’s needs are met even if that means sacrificing some of my own sometimes. I know that is not a good thing but it’s what I do. I actually enjoy helping people. I get great satisfaction in doing so and being the one people count on. That is kind of how I got into the field.



My response:

Good morning Miracle


Loujan Downs  

1 posts

Re: Topic 5 DQ 2

Uniquely, my sister and I have the same role of a united front, which is to be a rock for one another so we can break this existing, un-healthy cycle in our family. She is my half-sister and share the same father and we were born in the same year. My father is an alcoholic, my mother has a difficult to manage severe mental illness, and my sister’s mother consistently relapses with her substance use disorder. Previously, my sister wanted to control the situation by trying to communicate with our parents and be supportive however she could. She felt that was the “right” or best thing to do. I was distant from both my parents and her mom, because I know that constantly using drugs or drinking 20hrs out of the day, the brain is not functioning normal and I didn’t want to focus my energy on that.