Christina M. Bobesky, Ph.D., Program Director 
Alexandria Lake, M.S. Student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 

Communication patterns within social systems emerge over time spent in that environment. This is important to assess when training to work in the counseling field. Creating and maintaining a family narrative is common, particularly related to guiding sentiments or proverbs. Using proverbs is another way to reinforce expected or desired behaviors within the family. Outward expressions of parenting often reflect sentiments that shape a child’s relationships and behaviors (Rogers, 1990). There are three elements to consider when assessing the use of proverbs, including context, social expectations, and cultural standards; all serving a particular function (Rogers, 1990).  
Alexandria describes the family mottos that guide her behavior.  
“Within the structure of my family, certain proverbs such as “blood is thicker than water” and “family before everything” were slogans that I heard often. I came to understand that family is the most important aspect of one’s life. My parents would always tell the children that these are the only siblings you will ever have, and that these relationships mean more than any friendships. Like other families, my family also used humor to show affection. This counterbalanced the seriousness of these mottos while also showing warmth. Family proverbs and customs provide comfort, reassurance and familiarity within families; this is something that can transcend multiple generations (Smit, 2011). Thus, the family unit provides itself with its own socioemotional support and stability from within (Smit, 2011).” 
Rogers, T. B. (1990). Proverbs as psychological theories… or is it the other way around?  
Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 31(3), 195–207. doi: 10.1037/h0078917 
Smit, R (2011). Maintaining family memories through symbolic action: Young adults’  
perceptions of family rituals in their families of origin, Journal of Comparative Family  
Studies, 42(3), 355-X. Retrieved from https://0-searchproquestcom.cazen.iii/ docview/871450239?accountid=26712