Center on Sibling Dynamics™

Addressing sibling conflict, trauma, and friendship

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Services

Let it Out – facilitated discussion groups

We will pilot two types of closed, facilitated discussion groups for adults:

  1. who felt Targeted in the past by a sibling or diminished in the present.
  2. who believed they have been Aggressive in the past and/or currently dismissive of a sibling, and who wish to change set patterns.

Dates and times to be announced.


Resources

More Fun with Sisters and Brothers – “teaches 4 to 8 year-old children the key social and emotional competencies that research has shown are critical for fun, friendly and low-conflict sibling interactions.”

Sibling Leadership Network – “provides siblings of individuals with disabilities the information, support and tools to advocate with their brothers and sisters and to promote the issues important to them and their entire families.”


Arts

Songs

Being at War with Each Other – sung by Barbra Streisand, Music and Lyrics by Carole King.
He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother – sung by The Hollies. Music and Lyrics by Bobby Scott and Bob Russell.
Once Were Brothers – Vocals, Music, and Lyrics by Robbie Robertson.
Over You – sung here by Blake Shelton. Music and lyrics by Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, expressing Shelton’s shock and heartache when, as a teen, his older brother was killed in a car accident.
Ms. Celie’s Song (Sister) – sung by Táta Vega. Music by Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton. Lyrics by Quincy Jones, Rod Temperton and Lionel Richie. From the film, A Color Purple.
Two Little Sisters – sung by Carly Simon and Meryl Streep. Music and Lyrics by Carly Simon. Theme song from the film, Marvin’s Room. 1997.


Film & Television

While sibling storylines abound in film and television, we are curating a list of films that veer away from conventional representations and delve more deeply into sibling dynamics.

Film
Tell Me Who I Am. Directed by Ed Perkins. 2019. Netflix. An excellent documentary illustrating the importance of trust between siblings along with the power of love to heal adversity, as they reckon with their sexually abusive childhoods.

The Prince of Tides. Directed by Barbra Streisand. 1991. Columbia Pictures, Barwood Films, Longfellow Pictures. (Marketed as a romance, the subtext is of a troubled man who speaks with his sister’s psychiatrist after his sister’s suicide attempt. It illustrates the impact siblings have on our lives.)

The Willoughbys. Directed by Kris Pearn. 2020. Netflix Animation. Based on the book by Lois Lowry. (A flawed film – due to the reckless treatment of children running through traffic – it centers around four siblings who go to great lengths to remain together.)

Television
Grace and Frankie, Season 4, Episodes 5-6, Netflix. (Frankie connects with her estranged sister.)

This is Us, NBC.


Images (clockwise from top):

Shirley Charlton, No More Tears Brother, 2009, pastel on paper, private collection.
Abbott Handerson Thayer, Brother and Sister (Mary and Gerald Thayer), 1889,
oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Brian J. Kelly, Siblings. 2014. on flickr.
J.K. Califf, Siblings. 2011. on flikr.