You Can Go Home Again and Enjoy It!! But How?

You Can Go Home Again and Enjoy It!! But How?

Thinking about the December Holidays and the New Year

Home is the place where,
when you have to go there,
they have to take you in.
–Robert Frost
The Death of the Hired Man

In Thinking about Thanksgiving!! You CAN Go Home Again and Enjoy It!, I addressed multiple reasons for working to resolve relationship traumas among family members. The how of this task is a little more complicated. The initial cognitive change on this path to achieving a more differentiated, less reactive perspective is to learn about your family in a different way, to become curious about all family members and learn how to ask questions.

Monica McGoldrick in her book “You Can Go Home Again – Reconnecting With Your Family” writes;

“If you want to understand your mother as more than the dragon lady whose domineering intrusiveness overwhelms you even at the age of 40, you need to get a picture of her as a daughter, a niece, a sister, a friend, a co-worker, a granddaughter, a lover and a cousin. Then you will also want to learn about your mother’s mother in the same kind of way.

You might want to ask, ‘Mom, how did our father react when his father stopped talking to him? How did Uncle Al take it? What about Aunt Martha? Who was actually there when the fight occurred and how did they handle holidays and family gatherings after that?’”

To be productive in questioning, one needs to have realistic goals and expectations. My mentor and colleague John W. Jacobs, MD recorded Betty Carter stating, “The only appropriate motivation for working with the family of origin is for one’s own maturity–becoming more ‘responsible’ for one’s self so that one can act more ‘responsibly’ toward others.” Being critical, pointing fingers, seeking to apportion blame, or demanding apologies and recompense for all of the perceived slights you have experienced is not going to be helpful in making your life better, which is the ultimate goal.

 Ronald B Cohen of discusses how to approach bettering your family relationships during this holiday season.Remember, you are not doing this to change anybody other than yourself. You are doing this to get a clearer picture of who you are, how you became who you are, and what the family influences, both immediate and multi-generational, are on you. You are doing this to make life better for yourself, your children, your grandchildren and future generations. Someone has to do this work to break the negative cycles and it might as well be you.

The task is about resolution of the right relationship amongst family members and going home is the best place to do that because if you address the issues of your family of origin, everything else becomes a whole lot easier to deal with. Learning about your family heritage can free you to change your future.

Please share your December thoughts, feelings and experiences in the “Leave a Reply” box below. Please feel free to ask questions as well. To request more information and/or schedule an initial consultation, click here: (

Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year!

You are encouraged to forward this blog to anyone who would be interested in reading it.


Ronald B Cohen, MD, PC Ronald B. Cohen, MD
Bowen Family Systems Coach
1 Barstow Road, Suite P-10
Great Neck, NY 11021
(516) 466-7530
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