IV. Fundamental Concepts

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Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

IV. Fundamental Concepts
of Family Therapy

Power Point presentation prepared by

Leslie Barnes
-
Young, PhD, Francis Marion University

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Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

Systemic Concepts


Recall that systems theory holds
that many problems are a product
of the relationships that surround
them.


The family is a
system

with
characteristics of its own.


The focus of investigation is on
the interaction within and among
systems and individuals.

Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

Cybernetics


Is concerned with the study of
feedback mechanisms in
systems.


Two types of feedback loops:


Negative, signals the system to
restore the status quo


Positive, signals the need to
modify the system.

Both

types result in homeostasis.

Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

Systemic Concepts cont.


Circular causality


We
mutually influence

each other
via



Patterns of Interaction


Family members’ characteristic
ways of behaving.


Centrality of Communication


Patterns of interaction expressed
are both verbal and nonverbal.


“One cannot not communicate.”


Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

Systemic Concepts cont.


Rules


Define the family


May be overt or
covert


Boundaries


Regulate the flow of
information in and
out of the system



Triangles


A three
-
person
system


Theorists disagree
about their stability


Change


1st Order change is
superficial.


2nd Order change
alters the system.

Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

Family Life Cycle


Adopted my many family therapists.


Includes predictable life stages and emotional
issues beyond those described by individual
models of development.


Illustrates inherent family complexity.


Acknowledges the impact of multiple
generations on development.

Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

For more information on systemic
concepts in family therapy



http://www.oikos.org/baten.htm