“Focused always on symptom relief rather than on fundamental change in the emotional processes that underlie their symptoms, the chronically anxious family will constantly seek saviors, then pressure the expert-whether medical, educational, therapeutic, legal, or political – for magical administrative solutions.

“When engaged in therapy, such families only ask ‘how to’ questions, constantly searching for techniques to manage conflict, manage money, manage sex, manage illness, manage children, manage teenagers, manage parents, manage in-laws. The quick-fix mentality therefore provides the ideal atmosphere for the proliferation of demagoguery and quacks, since it wants more than speed; it wants certainty.

“This search for easy answers drives the family to catch professionals up in an endless game of reassurance for problems that cannot be changed except by interventions that focus on their own emotional being, a game that circles back to their tendency to sue for malpractice, itself often a quick-fix solution for unresolved emotional processes.”

– Edwin Friedman, “A Failure of Nerve,” pp. 84-85