122 Helping Family Members with Maladaptive Communication The Freeman-Walters partner system would look quite different. This dia- gram should help students appreciate the interdependence of boundaries. Gwen and Martha are estranged from one another, indicated by the solid line around each (rigid boundary). As a result, the boundary around the partner system is weak (diffuse). It is important for students to be able to visualize other family patterns. The Takahashi family’s executive system would mirror its partner system. However, the estrangement between Gwen Freeman and Martha Walters in the partner system leads to problematic patterns in the executive system (see figure 10.5). Gwen and Martha’s estrangement leads to their estrange- ment in the executive system and enmeshment between Martha and the children. 2. The visual representations also can be used to illustrate the com- munication patterns in a family and their relationship to subsystem func- tioning. The bidirectional arrows indicate an open and reciprocal flow of information and accompany permeable boundaries. Rigid boundaries typically prevent healthy communication, while diffuse boundaries may lead to open lines of communication between some members, but the exclusion of others. 10.4 Freeman-Walters partner system Freeman-Walters Partner System Gwen Martha
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