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A nurse's family background, values and experiences will either positively or negatively affect the kind of care he or she gives. This depends on whether the nurse either has explored his/her background and uses it as a valuable resource or fails to see that it may affect care or even be a restriction to quality care. An individual can take specific steps to use family background as a potent and valuable resource. This paper describes a collection of self-directed and group exercises developed at the University of British Columbia School of Nursing that can be used to explore family background and hence use it more positively.