Eight Strategies for Conflict Management in Family Meeting 
By Mariana Martinez Berlanga,

Published on May 2018 by FFI Practitioner


Family Firm Institute’s most popular article from the first half of 2018! Family meeting presents a challenge for consultants of family businesses. During these meeting, in addition to having a specific task in their specialized area … they need to manage the conflict that frequently arises when important topics for the family are addressed. Conflict is defined as opposition or disagreement (1). It arises when individuals faced with a difference of opinion try to change the feelings, thoughts, or behavior of others…

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En español

The Family Projection when the Father is the Primary Caregiver
By  Mariana Martinez Berlanga

Family Systems: A Journal of Natural Systems Thinking in Psychiatry and the Sciences. 2016, Vol. 11 Issue 2, p165-182.

The family projection process describes the triangle formed by mother, father, and child, the underlying fusion among them, and the anxiety that emerges from the undifferentiation. The original formulation of the family projection process points to the intense mother-child fusion with the support of the father on the outside angle. This presentation describes two families with symptomatic children that illustrate this phenomenon. In both families, the mother is the primary breadwinner and the father is the primary caregiver. The question posed is whether or not the reversal of traditional parenting roles plays a role in the way the family projection process manifests itself. An analysis of the cases supports the notion that, regardless of this family arrangement for caregiving of the children, the most intense fusion remains between mother and child, with the father participating by focusing primarily on his wife.

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Myths and Realities about Culture and Families: Examples of Latin Families
By  Elaine King and Mariana Martinez Berlanga

Posted on May 11, 2016, by FFIPRACTITIONER

Culture is often thought of as a set of fixed, rigid, unchangeable characteristics belonging to a group in a specific geographic area. People exhibit this view with comments such as “this is an Asian family” or “this is a Middle Eastern family,” assuming that this description is enough to explain much of an individual’s behavior and how a family functions. However, if the concept of culture is to be useful in understanding families, advisors need to realize that culture is a dynamic variable that interacts with other variables such as multigenerational process, levels of maturity in a family group and changing contexts.

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Estate constraints often do not work as planned
By Mariana Martinez Berlanga, Peter M. Bloom

Published on February 2015 by Family Business Magazine

In a letter to James Madison dated September 6, 1789, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “[T]he earth belongs in usufruct to the living . . . the dead have neither powers nor rights over it.” But contrary to Jefferson’s suggestion, in multigenerational family businesses, the earth often belongs to the dead. While we are all influenced by past generations, some family businesses (and their stakeholders) a…

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