Psychiatry News

Context is Everything: The ‘Where’ of Family Dinners

The Family Dinner Project

Mass General Hospital psychologist discusses the importance of family dinners

07/Feb/2012

Highlighting the importance of family dinners is a goal of Anne Fishel, PhD, Director of Family and Couples Therapy at MGH, who has been doing extensive work with families on this area, according to a recent article on Public Radio Kitchen.

Fishel says that a key consideration is to find ways to make family dinners more interesting and fun, yet still be easy to change -- such as seating arrangements. If the routine seating arrangements are changed, or you set the table differently, maybe even with flowers and candles, a new mood is created, and a new conversation may develop.

Fishel says that , as a family therapist, she encourage her clients to sit in different seats in her office: perspectives can change when you see the world from a different vantage point. Most families tell her the same thing about the seating at dinner: each family member sits in the same chair night after night. No one can quite remember how these decisions were made.

Read more of Fishel's suggestions for what you might do shake up the “where” of family dinners.

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