Culture and the brain combine to determine expectations and beliefs around relationships. In the many dialogues that I have had with hundreds of other clinicians, I have come to recognize that I, along with other therapists, are immersed in the very confusing cultural messages as the people we are trying to help. We were raised with the same set of beliefs, expectations, and implications of the messages that we receive daily. Like fish in a lake, we are unable to separate ourselves from the social environment in which we live.
In the culture of my great grandmother who was born, married and raised ten children during mid 19th century, Europe, it was accepted that if one of her children had behavior problems, she had a problem child. By the 20th century, if one of my two children had behavior problems, my child had a problem mother. It cannot help but influence how I feel about my childrearing skills. The culture in which we live determines what we can expect.