The Language of Role Function Ambivalence

Case Examples
  • David M. Allen
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)


This chapter will be devoted to clinical examples of client or system-member statements that obliquely point to conflicts and confusion over role functioning. Because role function ambivalence goes hand in hand with self-suppression, many of the verbalizations discussed in the last chapter could also be included in this chapter. The discussions that follow represent only a change in focus. I will divide statements indicating role function ambivalence into two general types: statements that indicate confusion about one’s own role and statements that indicate confusion about the roles of other significant family system members. Statements of the first type both hide and reveal the individual’s true self, even as they at once express and negate the individual’s persona. Statements of the second type compound the confusion and lead to games without end and distancing behavior.


Alternate Interpretation Panic Attack Borderline Personality Disorder Role Function Married Child 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Allen
    • 1
  1. 1.BurbankUSA

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