By: Kim Christink , M. Div., D. Min.

Published On: January 1, 2015

You look the spitting image of your mother! This may be a compliment or a feared comparison. Family genetic physical attributes, are not the only inheritance that is passed down from one generation to another. Emotional and relational DNA is also automatically passed down to our children and their children.

Our emotions are energies that move us to act. How we channel our powerful emotions within our family allows for both bonding and boundaries to be established. How we show love and how we show disapproval is taught from infancy. Knowing what you have inherited from your parents helps you understand how capable we are at performing attachments and maintaining our emotional relationships in a healthy manner.

Unfortunately for some individuals they have not inherited much in terms of healthy relational modeling. They can be impoverished in terms of their ability to express love, anger, or to navigate through conflict without destroying trust and the love bond. When individuals through no fault of their own have not inherited such emotional endowments, professional help is often needed.

Therapy allows for a safe surrogate relationship in which to get feedback and instruction. When we have not inherited enough financially we need to dig in and possibly work the second part time job in order to balance the books. It is no different within marriages and families. Often we need to do some emotional and relational work with a professional in order to ensure a positive relational outcome.