Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Enabling is a term that's commonly used in addiction medicine and sometimes in psychiatry. Others areas of social service and education will use it as well. It's a word that is loved or hated and sometimes attached to ideology that may or may not belong.

Wikipedia describes the term "enabling" "in it's counseling or psychological sense' and says that it has 'double meaning" . They refer to the 'enabling acts' of government that empower groups versus the term 'enabling' as I use it here.

Enabling refers to dysfunctional behaviors that perpetuate a person's illness or dysfunction. They are part of the 'system' in which a sick person moves. For instance an adult can 'procure' alcohol for an adolescent which outwardly may appear innocent and helpful but clearly contributes to youth alcoholism.

Most of what we refer to as enabling is not so overt. A number of 'ideologies' are specifically enabling because they perpetuate a negative situation for an individual or group.

Enabling behavior most often serves the enabler at the expense of the person who is the 'victim' of this form of negligence or covert aggression.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

No comments: