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Family Systems Theory

Preziented by Kimberly Kozlik and Catherine Prentice

Catherine Prentice

on 17 November 2014

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Transcript of Family Systems Theory


A relational, multi-modal approach.

Alfred Adler (1870-1937)
Murray Bowen (1913-1990)
Virginia Satir (1916-1988)
Carl Whitaker (1912-1995)
Salvador Minuchin (b. 1921)
Jay Haley (1923-2007
Cole Madanes (b. 1941)
Alfred Adler
(Corey, 2013)
Pioneered Family Systems in WWI.
Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs, educated public and professionals alike through open public family sessions.
Family Interactions and Patterns of Communication
Three Generation Perspective
Murray Bowen
Family patterns connect across generations.
Nonreactive approach through differentiation of self.
Triangulation; de-tangle problematic family interactions.
Development of Genograms, family life cycle development and multicultural perspectives.
(Corey, 2013)
Family Systems Therapy
Major Contributors
(Corey, 2013)
Virginia Satir
Human Validation Model
Therapist and family relationship first priority.
Stressed the importance of communication and emotional experience.
Encouraged congruence in family communication"making contact" to develop peaceful relationships among members (Corey, 2013, p. 433).
Empathetic listening, therapeutic presence and nurturance (Satir, Banmen, Geber, & Gomori, 1991, as cited in Corey, 2013).

& Congruence
Symbolic-Experiential Family Therapy
Carl Whitaker
Challenges family status quo.
Creative and intuitive facilitation.
Recognizes autonomy in relation to the family system.
Encouraged family struggles to surface in therapy in order to confront the real struggle.
Structural Family Therapy
Reorganizing stereotyping patterns in families
Family structure must change before individuals can change
Therapists strive to understand "power, organization and alignments in the family" (Corey, 2013, p. 434).
Salvador Minuchin
Strategic Family Therapy
Jay Hayley & Cloé Madanes
Haley focused on "hierachy, power, and strategic interventions" (Corey, 2013, p. 434) through integrating family stuctural therapy.
Madanes focused on "brief, solution-oriented therapy" (Corey, 2013, p. 434).
A direct approach that solves problems in the here and now, it does not seek to understand problems.
The focus is on the problem and not on the symptom.
Family Systems Perspective
Recognizing the relationship between individual choice and family systems.
Families are living systems that interact in relation to and reaction to macro, micro, and meso systems.

"The Forth Force"
(Corey, 2013)
(Corey, 2013)
Figure 2. Carl Whitake Quote. Pinterest. Retrieved from http://www.pinterest.com/pin/54043264252360953/
(Corey, 2013)
Systemic VS Individual

Development of Family Systems
Assessment Tools Samples
Virginia Satir
Human Validation Model
Brought patterns in families alive in the present.
Valued the importance of a family connection based on a strong and nurturing relationship showing interest and wonder.
Recognized the importance of emotional honesty in family interactions.
Under stress families tend to adopt four communication stances:
Blaming: Preserving self by shifting responsibility to others.
Placating: Taking blame to protect another from being held responsible or trying to make everyone happy so others will no be upset with the other person.
Super Reasonable: In order to maintain control of difficult emotions one has factual responses
Irrelevance: Distraction to avoid painful problems.
Multigenerational Family Therapy
Murray Bowen
Clinical and theoretical model evolving from psychoanalytic theory.
Unhealthy patterns in family of origin needs to be identified and understood in order to change patterns in current family system.
"Interactional patterns among family members are transmitted from one generation to the other" (Acar & Volton-Acar, 2013, p. 50).
(Corey, 2013)
(Corey, 2013)
Adlerian Family Therapy
"Enable parents as leaders
Unlock mistaken goals and interactional patterns in family.
Promotion of effective parenting.
(Corey, 2013, p. 444)
Bowen focused on understanding family systems to avoid focusing on a set of techniques, differentiating is more of a journey (Murdock, 2009).
Process questioning (Murdock, 2009).
Dealing with family-of- origin issues.
Detriangulating relationships.
(Corey, 2013, p. 444)
"Empathy, touch, communication, sculpting, role playing, family-life chronology (Corey, 1013, p. 444).
Family Therapy
"Promote spontaneity, creativity, autonomy
and ability to play".
Confrontational approach to maintain anxiety in family unit to promote change (Corey, 2013).
Goals: "choice, freedom, self-determination, growth, and actualization (Whitaker & Bumberry, 1988, as cited in Corey, 213, p. 440).
Encourages family members to be themselves.
Fact remain constant but thoughts around facts can create change (Kaye, Dichter, & Kieth, (1986).
Education and/or insight are less effective motivators of change than experience is (Kaye, Dichter, & Kieth, (1986).
Two types of anxiety that promote change; anxiety from staying-the-same or anxiety from catalyst to change, and change is driven by the anxiety that is most prominent (Kaye, Dichter, & Kieth, (1986).
(Corey, 2013, p. 444)
Structural Family Therapy
"Structural changes must occur in a family" in order for one's symptoms to be eliminated" (Corey, 2013, p. 440).
To "reduce symptoms of dysfunction" (Corey, 2013, p. 440).
Change can occur within the system through creating boundaries and rules.
(Corey, 2013)
"Restructure family organization; change dysfunctional transactional patterns".
(Corey, 2013, p. 444)
Strategic Family
"Eliminate presenting problem; change dysfunctional patterns; interrupt sequence".
(Corey, 2013, p. 444)
Change unhelpful communication patterns and abusive behaviours within the family.
Once the family structure shifts, change occurs (Vetere, 2001).
Encourages families to discover new ways of responding (Vetere, 2001).
The first family therapist; first to use a systemic approach.
Family constellation influenced by birth order.
Desire to belong motivates behaviours in children that turn into patterns in family relationships.
Rudolph Dreikurs (1952, 1973); created organization in family therapy through "a typology of mistaken goals" (Corey, 2013, p. 437).
Relationship based on mutual respect in therapy and within the family.
(Corey, 2013)
(Corey, 2013)
Figure 1. Alfred Adler Quote. Pinterest. Retrieved from pinterest.com/nicoleonorato9/alfred-adler
Declaration of Self-Esteem.
Communication and Meta-communication; "clear, complete, and assertive", congruent.
Self-Mandala (Murdock, 2009, . 411).
There are considerable differences between systemic & individual approaches to therapy
Discover process & rules in family system.
Family members are included in therapy.
Relationships are emphasized
Attention to "transgenerational meanings", rules & perspectives (Corey, 2013, p. 436).
Focus on diagnosis.
Emphasis on "causes, purposes, and cognitive emotional and behavioral processes" (Corey, 2013, p. 466) of coping.
Concerned with clients personal experiences.
Carl Whitaker
Figure 3: Bush Family Genogram. GenoPro. Retrieved from http://www.genopro.com/articles/death-distance-dynamics-bush-family.aspx
Check out a Family Systems Stressor-Strength Inventory. Copy and paste the link below:

Western family models are not universal.
Collectivist cultures may not accept a combined individualistic and collectivist approach to understanding family dynamics.
Criticized for manipulating the client to change (Hampton, 1991, as cited in Murdock, 2006, p. 453).
Does not always support client as expert (Becvar & Becvar, 2006, as cited in Murdock, 2006).
Extended family is held in high esteem in many cultures therefore, value is placed in the systemic approach.
Neither family or individual is held responsible for dysfunction.
Influences outside the family system impact family dynamics.
Positive interaction patterns are developed through observation and recognition of dysfunctional patterns.
(Corey, 2013)
(Corey, 2013)
PsychotherapyNet. (2012, November 13). Genograms in psychotherapy video with Monica McGoldrick [Video file]. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0MXxGH33Lo
(Corey, 2013)
(Corey, 2013)
(Corey, 2013)
(Corey, 2013)
(Corey, 2013)
(Corey, 2013)
(Corey, 2013)
PsychotherapyNet. (2013, July 26). Strategic couples therapy video [Video file]. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tku1SkU_9c
PscyhotherapyNet. (2012, June 27). Salvador Minuchin on family therapy interview video [Video file]. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch/v=2evU02UocpQ
(Corey, 2013)
ThinkingAllowedTV. (2010, September 24). Virginia Satir: Becoming more fully human (excerpt) - Thinking Allowed DVD w/Jeffrey Mishlove [Video file].Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=gW3KShRdKMo
(Corey, 2013)
Boontarika. (2014, July 11). Relationship triangle - quick definition [Video file]. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=eF-2PLKIIIc
(Corey, 2013)
Salvador Minuchin
Jay Haley & Cloé Madanes
MOFY Nation. (2013, October 10). Modern family: The family tree - youtube [Video file]. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=1h8WDVMqngM
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