It is often possible to look into families experiencing difficulties and find that one of the most fundamental disagreements is IF ACTUALLY HAVE A DISAGREEMENT. What statements usually give this away? “I do not know what the fuss is about?” “I can’t understand why we should be in therapy for this”; “It is not such a problem, not as much as s/he is making of it at last”. This is a clear example of cases where a problem highlighted by a member of the couple or a member of the family is not being acknowledged by other members. So what is happening in these cases? It is most often a result of how people interpret each other’s behaviour and how they make sense of what is happening. We usually refer to this as the narrative of what is going on in the family or simply how family member talk about what is going.

The answer to this discrepancy lies in the past of each and every member of the couple. As therapists, we look into the attachment narratives of each member in order to understand where this interpretation is coming from. The Attachment narrative model looks into relationships and connections built by people in their emotional and relational spheres. People build narratives/stories about their relationships that help their understanding of their past experiences and through which they project and live their future ones.

– Mike Orland is a family therapist practicing the systemic approach. He offers therapy to individuals, families and couples, and runs the family therapy services within Willingness. He can be contacted on