In this episode, Jenny addresses the following scenario: A pastor has befriended a new church member and finds that after a very positive connection full of compliments, the relationship has become increasingly critical, with negative gossip about him spreading around church members. Jenny discusses the nature of fast-tracking of togetherness in a relationship. What pacing of a new relationship prevents unhealthy fusion and cultivates thoughtful boundaries? The dynamic described is especially relevant in non-family groups such as community clubs, workplaces, and faith organizations. However, it can also play out in extended families when an in-law enters the fold with an exaggerated welcome.
This podcast is pertinent to this online symposium in a couple of weeks: https://www.thefsi.com.au/events/symposium-navigating-challenging-relationships-in-ministry/
About the Managing Challenging Relationships series: In this Podcast series, Dr Jenny Brown responds to written requests to share her thinking about a tricky relationship challenge. She draws from her understanding of Bowen family systems theory to shed light on especially challenging relationship situations. She provides some ideas to make sense of the issue and draws from her clinical experience to describe a real-life example of dealing with a similar dynamic.
Note: Some details of questions have been changed for protecting privacy.