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Fran Ackerman

Fran Ackerman

Fran Ackerman received her MSW from Simmons School of Social Work in Boston. She did postgraduate training in family therapy at the Ackerman Institute, Georgetown Family Center and at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic. Her major interest is Bowen Family Systems Theory. She is currently on the faculty of the Hebrew University School of Social Work and has been on the faculty of the Ackerman Institute and the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic.

In the drama, "Disciplining Grandchildren," Violet criticizes her daughter Arlene because of the way Bobby behaved during the party. Arlene defends herself and criticizes Violet. Arlene feels hurt and angry. They distance from one another.

Retirement is a complex issue that affects the individual as well as the family. For many of us, work is a major part of our self definition. Who is Bob if he is not a lawyer? Is he proud of being a husband, a father? He has probably invested more time in thinking about succeeding as a lawyer than in thinking about the kind of husband he wants to be. In addition to supporting our sense of self, work also occupies a major portion of our time. What would Bob do if he retired? Would he begin to experience loneliness, or ask himself some difficult questions which do not have easy answers, such as: What is the purpose of life in general, of my life in particular? What is really important to me? He might have to face problems in his relationship with his wife.

In response to a family crisis, Harvey and Janice are struggling to keep their family from changing, Harvey by trying to convince Janice that she should be home more and Janice by enlisting Rita to "fill in" for her.

Dear WholeFamily Counselor, I have been married for twenty-one years. I have three daughters. The two oldest have had a child (one each) within the last year. This has put a huge burden on myself and most of all, my wife. She spends a lot of time caring for the grandchildren. This is something she does not want full time. Both our daughters still live with us. I have asked them to get their own place. This has led to major problems between my wife and me.
My Wife Has Parkinson's. I Am Finding It More and More Difficult to Care for Her At Home

Q Dear WholeFamily Counselor, I am happy to say that I have three grandchildren; a granddaughter who is twelve, a grandson who is ten and one who is three. But I feel the wonderful things people always told me about being a grandparent might be a little exaggerated. I do enjoy watching them grow up. I'm curious about who they will become as human beings. But I can't claim that I have created a special relationship with them. They don't seem to feel particularly connected to my husband and myself, even though my children push them to be nice to us. The oldest ones are into their own friends, and the baby clings to his parents. I am disappointed, and even a little hurt.

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