This concept describes the relationship patterns between parents and children in the family of origin. The developmental literature leaves no doubt as to the importance of the early years for the developing brain. Children become sensitive to the nonverbal and verbal signals in the nuclear family. Naturally these early patterns leave individuals sensitive to repeating the behaviors or trying to avoid them in later life.
The nuclear family relationship system has set the stage for future life. Tension in relationship is handled through automatic mechanism unless one can be aware all the time. Awareness of our thoughts and nonverbal reactivity gives us more time and more choices.
For most of us a slight increased in tension results in automatic behavior, designed to bind the anxiety. There are only a limited number of choices: marital conflict, distance, reciprocal relationships, physical or emotional problems in one spouse or both spouses and finally projection of anxiety onto children. This last mechanism has an entire concept devoted to it, as it is the mechanism for continuing the process into the future.