‘Holes in Roles’ is the term used by Albert Pesso to describe the innate desire of children to ‘make things right’ in their family system. We all have an in-built sense of loving justice, a sense of how things should be, and when this is disturbed by events the child steps into the emotional breach. An absent parent, a lost sibling, even a country at war – all can provide the impetus for the child to seek to fill the hole that the absent role presents.
This can lead to an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and omnipotence, and an inability to satisfactorily deal with the powerful energies that are released as a result. Feelings and impulses are suppressed, or dissociated. A pattern of emotional giving is established which makes emotional receiving difficult, or impossible.
Developmental needs must be met in the right kinship relations, at the right time. When this doesn’t happen, restorative work is needed. ‘Holes in Roles’ work within the therapeutic holding of a PBSP ‘structure space’ is one of the cornerstones of Pesso Boyden therapy.
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