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Experiential Family Therapy

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'The root cause of family problems is emotional suppression' and ... Psychotherapy of the Absurd (Whitaker) 18. Gus Napier. Carl Whitaker (3 generation rule) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Experiential Family Therapy


1
Experiential Family Therapy
  • Alice Garcia-Irvine, Kathy Findley
  • Laura Rocha

2
History of Experiential therapy
  • Emerged from humanistic-existentialist movement
    of the 1960s
  • Drew from
  • Gestalt Therapy
  • Psychodrama
  • Client-centered
  • Encounter-group movement

3
Main premises
  • The root cause of family problems is emotional
    suppression and denial of impulses
  • Individuals-fulfilling roles
  • Bridging the family-second priority

4
Theoretical Key Concepts
  • Emphasis on freedom
  • Emotional experiences
  • Here-and-now
  • Honest emotion
  • Individual before the family

5
Theoretical Philosophy
  • Humanistic
  • People are good
  • Honest emotions
  • People are resourceful, energetic, creative
  • Existentialist - freedom of choice

6
Innovators and History
  • Carl Whitaker (1912-1995)
  • Anti-theoretical
  • Be yourself
  • Intuition
  • Virginia Satir (1916-1988)
  • Communication
  • Individual self-expression

7
Resurfacing
  • Experiential family therapy lost popularity
  • Then resurgence of trends of therapy
  • Key figures
  • Leslie Greenberg and Susan Johnson
  • Richard Schwartz

8
Emotionally focused couples therapy
  • Greenberg and Johnson (1985)
  • Attachment theory
  • Emotion as communication
  • Defenses
  • Deeper emotions

9
Richard Schwartz
  • Internal Family Systems model
  • Clients confront sub-personalities
  • parts
  • disowned selves
  • Conflict in others (family, friends)
  • Conflicts with/within self

10
Problem Families
  • Confuse instrumental expressive functions of
    emotions
  • Control emotions of children
  • Dull emotional experience
  • Not tolerant of individuality
  • Victims (children of these families)
  • Boredom, apathy and anxiety later

11
Satir and problem atmospheres
  • Satirs observations
  • Emotional deadness
  • Cold affect
  • Dont enjoy the family
  • Lack of warmth
  • Avoidance by work/school

12
Satir continued
  • Destructive communication in smothering feelings
  • Blaming
  • Placating
  • Being irrelevant
  • Being super reasonable.
  • All are due to low self-esteem

13
Satirs approaches
  • Spontaneous
  • Did not allow complaining
  • Used positive connotation
  • Taught affection
  • Loving, yet forceful
  • Use of touch as communication
  • Was present and supportive

14
Normal Family Development
  • Innate inclination toward self-actualization
  • Conflicts with social structure
  • Not a lot of parental control
  • No restriction of childs emotions
  • Sharing experiences
  • Open, natural, spontaneous

15
Problematic Behaviors
  • Suppression of feelings
  • Denial of impulses
  • Lack of warmth
  • Avoidance
  • Security rather than satisfaction

16
Qualities of therapist
  • Creative and spontaneous
  • Unblock awareness
  • Support individuation
  • Force personality on family
  • Caring and accepting
  • Increase experience levels
  • Increase affect
  • Dont diagnose

17
Goals of therapy
  • Personal integrity
  • Expand experience
  • Liberate affect and impulses
  • Little focus on presenting problem
  • Promote communication
  • Promote interaction

18
Primary Techniques
  • Family Sculpting
  • Family Puppet Interviews
  • Family Art Therapy
  • Conjoint Family Drawings
  • Animal Attribution
  • Play Therapy Techniques
  • Role-Playing
  • Gestalt Therapy
  • Psychotherapy of the Absurd (Whitaker)

19
Nonconformists
  • Gus Napier
  • Carl Whitaker (3 generation rule)
  • Two therapists
  • Personal encounter
  • Joined family
  • Confrontational
  • to overemphasize either the individual or family
    connectedness is to distort the human condition
    (David Keith)

20
References
  • Goldenberg, I., Goldenberg, H., (1991).
    Family therapy an overview (3rd ed.).
    Belmont, CA Brooks/Cole.
  • Nichols, M., (2008). Family therapy concepts and
    methods (8th ed.). Boston Pearson Education.
  • Piercy, F., Sprenkle, D., (1986). Family
    therapy sourcebook. New York Guilford Press
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