Chapter 14

  1. Introduction to Family Systems Therapy
    • -basic assumptions- individuals problems are best understood within the context of their social system (couple, family, workplace)
    • -social systems each have their own specific dynamics
    • -dynamics of the system often overpower the individual
    • -system is organized to maintain stability/equilibrium
    • -members have roles within the system (fragile, trouble maker, care taker)
  2. How are problem behaviors viewed?
    • -members get stuck in unhealthy, repetitive patterns
    • -individuals symptoms can be functional to system
  3. Problem behavior may...
    • -serve a purpose for the system
    • -be unintentially maintained by the dynamics of the system
    • -be a function of the systems inability to operate effectively
    • -be a system of dysfunctional patterns taught across generations
  4. Theraputic Prinicples
    • -change to any part of the system will effect everyone in the system
    • -get members to see they are part of a larger dynamic
    • -identify ways to change maladaptive patterns of behavior and communication
    • -more people out of limiting roles
  5. Phases of therapy
    • -form a relationship (joining)
    • -conduct an assessment (family assessment interview, genograms
    • -hypothesizing and sharing meaning
    • -facilitation change
  6. Useful lenses to assess the system dynamics

    • -focuses on motivations, purpose, function of behavior
    • -what motivates the individual behavior
    • -does it serve a purpose for the system?
    • -benefits to having problems
  7. Organization lens
    • -focuses on the leadership, power, and hierarchy of a system
    • -functional when all members have some say and responsibility based on maturity and life experience
    • -typically best with parents in more power w more power shifting to children as they grow older
  8. Process lens
    • -focuses on patterns of communication
    • -what is the family doing with their time in therapy?
    • -what is the pattern of communication? verbal or non verbal
    • -reactions as a therapist
  9. Sequence Lens
    • -family members tend to interact in patterns of events
    • -different levels
    • 1. face to face
    • 2. daily routines
    • 3. developmental changes
    • 4. transgenerational
    • -developing adaptive, functional, fair, balanced sequences
  10. Developmental Lens
    • -focuses on the traditional phases of a family
    • -single adult..married couple...children...adolescent...children leave children care for parent
    • -focus on managing adjustments to new phase
  11. Multicultural/Gender lens
    • -focus on ethnic, racial, ses, gender, age
    • -what is the families ethnic, cultural, racial, religious background
    • -interact with dominant society?
    • -system beliefs about gender, ethnic, age roles
  12. Strengths
    • -cross-cultural applications
    • -takes the blame off of individuals
  13. Weaknesses
    -in earlier forms, therapist had a great deal of power
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Chapter 14
chapter 14 family systems therapy