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Do You Have Your Five Freedoms in Your Culture?

Do you have the freedom to experience, think, desire, feel and imagine, in your family? Does the rest of your family have these freedoms? Does your culture promote such freedoms?

Virginia Satir, the Guru of family reconstruction therapy, recommended some powerful guidelines to ensure that these freedoms are met. Not only for the emotional intelligence of children to develop, but also for young adults to flourish.

The Five Freedoms By Virginia Satir
1. TO SEE AND HEAR What is here, Instead of what should be, Was, or will be.
2. TO SAY What one feels and thinks Instead of what one should.
3. TO FEEL What one feels, Instead of what one ought.
4. TO ASK For what one wants, Instead of always waiting For permission.
5. TO TAKE RISKS In one’s own behalf, Instead of choosing to be Only “secure” And not rocking the boat.

The power of these freedoms is in unlocking our potential to actualise our talents, our passions, our interest.

The power of these freedoms lead us towards aiming for the starts, being heard and understood, being validated and being allowed to interact with the world as an equal. With no psychological fears standing in our way, we flourish.

We can reach for the stars. We can take calculated risks and trust that we will be heard, caught, and listened to when we fall- because we have had the experience of these nurturing freedoms.

We must also recognise that all these freedoms, or lack of, exist within a social setting, influenced by culture and religion. It may not be all peaches and rainbows, and the world is also filled with troubled societies and political discourses.

So while we aim for our freedoms, we must be realistic about achieving them at the cost of our detriment.

And if you are all grown up, looking back at your life and the freedoms you may not have been blessed with, then think about how the lack of freedoms have led you to where you are now, your level of resilience, your niche and knowledge, and the changes you're making to your coming generation in order to honour their freedoms.

In summary, these freedoms are ideals, but reality can take its own course. We can only strive for these Five Freedoms at best.

If you feel that you'd like to talk this through with a trained professional, you can always drop me a line at

The cultural kaleidoscope of the world has its implications, and no one sized model will fit all.


For a resource that is more relevant to parenting:

Satir. V. (1995) Making Contact. California, USA: Celestial Arts.

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