Being Needed vs. Being Loved

By Paul Dunion / September 26, 2022

Whether there simply wasn’t enough love available during childhood, or you witnessed one parent needing the other, or you didn’t believe you deserved love, many intimate relationships reveal one person settling for being needed. I’m not sure if it happens with some awareness or is a completely unconscious dynamic. It may be that there is…

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The Glorification of the Paternal

By Paul Dunion / August 14, 2022

What about fathers and daughters? We seem more able to get our teeth into other family dynamics. Stories of fathers and sons, mothers and sons, and mothers and daughters all seem to reveal themselves more vividly. I have worked with many fathers of daughters and many daughters in my counseling practice over the years. Having…

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Redemption for the Scapegoat

By Paul Dunion / March 7, 2022

Of all the childhood roles in a family, scapegoats are in dire need of being in repossession of their essential goodness. Scapegoats enter the family, and all too soon become aware that the Hero child has secured the position of recognition and approval. Scapegoats rigidly attached to their role when the system is heavily stressed…

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Maturation for the Mascot

By Paul Dunion / January 16, 2022

The youngest child in a family often occupies the role of Mascot. If the stress in the family is not excessively severe, the child in this role knows how to play, have fun, and bring lightness to family life. This child’s gift of love is an offering of endless comedy with the price being arrested…

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The Sacred and the Seductive

By Paul Dunion / December 28, 2021

  The words sacred and seductive do not commonly travel together. However, I’ve come to appreciate how the meanings of these words can contribute to a deepened resonance with the Self. Two old meanings of the word sacred are “confirming what truly matters” and “to sacrifice”.  An old understanding of the word seduction is “to…

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Deliverance for the Lost Child

By Paul Dunion / September 27, 2021

Personal power, fulfillment and emotional maturation greatly depend upon being able to identify and bring care to the childhood roles we occupied in our families of origin. No family is without stress and when exasperated, easily becomes a source of complex trauma for the children. Conditions such as mental illness, physical illness, addiction, and parental…

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Resurrecting Talk of Wisdom

By Paul Dunion / July 26, 2021

Like a broken-down vehicle sequestered to a junkyard neither destined for repair nor recycling, conversations about wisdom appear to be consigned to oblivion. What happened to one of the most esteemed aspects of the human condition? Did we decide that it’s just too much to aspire to? Did we decide that knowledge is enough? We…

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In Need of Deepening

By Paul Dunion / July 24, 2021

Sometimes, we settle for knowing what we experience by having an understanding of what it isn’t. So, it may be with the idea of depth. Typically, we know it isn’t about being superficial, shallow, or mundane. We use the language of depth regularly, “What she said was quite deep,” “This book is so deep that…

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Interrupting Heroic Patterns

By Paul Dunion / July 7, 2021

  There are several roles that children can take on in a family. The more stress in a family the more rigidly children cling to one particular role, which leaves the advantages of the other roles unavailable to them. The most popular role is identified as the Hero. Inevitably, this child will receive the most…

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A Blessing for Being

By Paul Dunion / December 9, 2020

There are ancient rivals named Becoming and  Being. Even if you have not thought about Becoming or talked about it, your body knows Becoming  as doing. You get educated, pursue occupational  goals, you achieve, you create a home, you pay bills and rake leaves in Autumn.  Without a great deal of consideration, you give Becoming…

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