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Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy


Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy Psych422 Chapter14: Family System Therapy The Family Systems Perspective Individuals are best understood ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy

Theory and Practice of Counseling and
  • Psych422
  • Chapter14 Family System Therapy

The Family Systems Perspective
  • Individuals are best understood through
    assessing the interactions within an entire
  • Symptoms are viewed as an expression of a
    dysfunction within a family
  • Problematic behaviors
  • Serve a purpose for the family
  • Are a function of the familys inability to
    operate productively
  • Are symptomatic patterns handed down across
  • A family is an inter-actional unit and a change
    in one member effects all members

Adlerian Family Therapy
  • Alfred Adler
  • Adlerians use an educational model to counsel
  • Emphasis is on family atmosphere, birth order,
    and family constellation
  • Therapists function as collaborators who seek to
    join the family
  • Understand the purposes of underlying childrens

Adlerian Family Therapy Therapy Goals
  • Unlock mistaken goals and interactional patterns
  • Engage parents in a learning experience and a
    collaborative assessment
  • Emphasis is on the familys motivational patterns
    (e.g., a desire to belong)
  • Main aim is to initiate a reorientation of the

Multigenerational Family Therapy
  • Murray Bowen
  • The application of rational thinking to
    emotionally saturated systems
  • A well-articulated theory is considered to be
  • With the proper knowledge the individual can
  • Change occurs only with other family members
  • Triangulation
  • A pattern of interaction with two-against-one
  • A third party is recruited to reduce anxiety and
    stabilize a couples relationship

Multigenerational Family Therapy
  • Make the most use of genograms
  • Differentiation of the self
  • A psychological separation from others
  • Involve (1) psychological separation of intellect
    and emotions and (2) of independence of the self
    from others.
  • The greater ones differentiation, the better
    ones ability to keep from being drawn into
    dysfunctional patterns with other family members.

Multigenerational Family Therapy Therapy Goals
  • To change the individuals within the context of
    the system
  • To end generation-to-generation transmission of
    problems by resolving emotional attachments
  • To lessen anxiety and relieve symptoms
  • To increase the individual members level of

Human Validation Process Model Virginia Satir
  • Open communications
  • Individuals are allowed to honestly report their
  • Enhancement of self-esteem
  • Family decisions are based on individual needs
  • Encouragement of growth
  • Differences are acknowledged and seen as
    opportunities for growth
  • Transform extreme rules into useful and
    functional rules
  • Families have many spoken and unspoken rules

Experiential Family Therapy Therapy Goals (Carl
  • Application of existential therapy to family
  • Help individuals achieve more intimacy by
    increasing their awareness of their inner
    potential and opening channels for family
  • An interactive process between a therapist and a
  • Encourage members to be themselves by freely
    expressing what they are thinking and feeling
  • Techniques grow out of the therapists intuitive
    and spontaneous reactions (Therapist use of self)
    to the present situation in therapy

Structural Family Therapy
  • Salvador Minuchin
  • Focus is on family interactions to understand the
    structure, or organization of the family
  • Symptoms are a by-product of structural failings
  • Structural changes must occur in a family before
    an individuals symptoms can be reduced

Structural Family Therapy
  • Therapy Goals
  • Reduce symptoms of dysfunction
  • Bring about structural change by modifying the
    familys transactional rules and developing more
    appropriate boundaries

Strategic Family Therapy
  • Jay Haley
  • Focuses on solving problems in the present
  • Presenting problems are accepted as real and
    not a symptom of system dysfunction
  • Therapy is brief, process-focused, and
  • The therapist designs strategies for change
  • Change results when the family follows the
    therapists directions change transactions

Strategic Family Therapy Therapy Goals
  • Resolve presenting problems by focusing on
    behavioral sequences
  • Get people to behave differently
  • Shift the family organization so that the
    presenting problem is no longer functional
  • Move the family toward the appropriate stage of
    family development
  • Problems often arise during the transition from
    one developmental stage to the next

Family therapy as a whole
  • Basic assumption
  • An individuals problematic behavior grows out of
    the interactional unit of the family, community,
    and societal systems
  • Focus of family therapy
  • Short term, solution-focused, action-oriented,
    and here-and-now interaction.
  • Focus on how current family relationships
    contribute to the development and maintenance of

Family therapy as a whole
  • Role of goals and values
  • Specific goals are determined by family and
  • Global goal is to reduce familys distress
  • How family change
  • Cognitive, emotional, or behavioral changes
  • Change needs to happen in relationships, not just
    within the individual

Family therapy as a whole
  • Techniques of family therapy
  • Techniques are tools for achieving therapeutic
  • Personal characteristics (respect, empathy,
    sensitivity) are even more important
  • Always consider what is in the best interests of
    the family.

From a multicultural perspective
  • Contributions
  • Many ethnic and cultural groups place great value
    on the extended family
  • Approach each family as unique culture
  • Limitations
  • Few limitations for multicultural counseling

Summary and Evaluation
  • Contributions
  • Inclusion of all parts of the system rather than
    being limited to the identified patient
  • Rather than blaming either identified patient
    or the family, the entire family has an
    opportunity (1) to examine the multiple
    perspectives and interactional patterns that
    characterize the unit and (2) participate in
    finding solutions.
  • Limitations
  • lose sight of the individual by focusing on the
    broader system