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savior

( saviour )

The dysfunctional family role seen in dysthymic patients who act out the mortified ambitions of a primary family member so that the family member can vicariously experience what they cannot do themselves. Saviors must limit their own success, however. Otherwise the primary family member may appear to become depressed, due to underlying but hidden grief over the loss of those unrealized ambitions.

Definition by David Allen.

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