Family Systems Vocabulary 3

catherine.boynto
Flashcards by catherine.boynto, updated more than 1 year ago
catherine.boynto
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Flashcards on Family Systems Vocabulary 3, created by catherine.boynto on 02/02/2015.

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A process from Structural Family Therapy by which a family therapist adjusts and modifies one's role during a clinical session to feedback received from the family system in order to achieve joining. Accommodation
A concept from family systems theory that identifies the affiliations between two or more family members, based on common interests or shared beliefs, but without the intent to keep others out; or simply an attraction by certain members within a subgroup. Alliance
As the complement of pragmatics, this term refers to a sensitivity toward holism, complexity, and the larger patterns which connect family members. An aesthetic family therapist views therapy as an art and focuses more on patterns and holism and less on techniques. It has been asserted that to be successful, therapists must work from this perspective and a pragmatic position. Aesthetics
A concept from Narrative Family Therapy which defines the meaning ascribed to a "lived experience" by a family member that contradicts or falls outside of the member's or family's dominant narrative. Alternative Story
A form of communication, defined in systems theory, which consists of quantities, differences, and analogies. This concept has connotative meaning. Such communication consists not of words, but of the nonverbal, paraverbal, and contextual aspects of interaction. Family therapists refer to this concept when they identify the process (as opposed to the content) of a therapy session. Analogic
A clinical model which utilizes learning theory and is often integrated with resources from cognitive therapy. It begins with a problem analysis to : 1) pinpoint specific behaviors that are causing distress; 2) prioritize the range of problems; and 3) determine the frequency of the problem behavior. The family therapist then redefines the problems at a family systems level to define the antecedents and consequences. The goal is to define the problem in overt behavioral terms and then to develop achievable goals with problem-solving solutions in which all family members can participate. These interventions may include education, communication training, and contingency contracting. Behavioral Family Therapy
A clinical process which describes a cluster of symptoms associated with Borderline Personality Disorder, but which occur, not just in a diagnosed individual, but are present and identifiable throughout several generation of the same family system. The patterns which appear in a family system include splitting and reciprocal projective identification among family members, typically children in coexisting triangles, such that one child is perceived as good and another as bad. Borderline Process
A concept developed in Structural Family Therapy, which identifies abstract dividers that are present between family subsystems. They me be defined spatially by the way family members align structurally with one another. These are set by the implicit rules defining who participates, and how, within each subsystem. They may be altered over time as the nature of the subsystems and the family's environment changes. Family therapists often describe them as rigid, flexible, diffuse, open, or closed. Boundaries
A clinical model directed toward brief problem resolution with the goal of helping family members change their responses to specific problems. It is based on two central notions: 1) that the family member's complaint is the actual problem and not a symptom of other underlying historical issues; and 2) prior solutions attempted by the family have served only to reinforce the problematic behavior. This is a limited, pragmatic, nonhistorical, step-by-step strategic approach based on understanding of family behavior which suggests that most problems result from the mishandling of normal life difficulties. The therapist's role is to discover what keeps the problematic behavior persisting and what is needed to change it. Brief Family Therapy
This clinical pattern which describes a process of "binding" family members tightly and rigidly within an isolating family system. For example, at adolescent separation, children may view themselves as too weak to leave the family and they are, in fact, rewarded by parents for remaining at home. Centripetal Family Patter
This clinical pattern which describes a process of "expelling" family members early and forcefully from the family system, particularly at the stage of adolescent separation. These family systems often lack internal attachment and cohesiveness, and the adolescent is compelled to try to find with one's peers to closeness she/he has failed to experience within their family. Centrifugal Family Pattern
A concept from systems theory which refers to the non-linear, recursive nature of the interaction in family systems, as well as in other organized systems, where the behavior of one component effects the behavior of a second component, which effects the behavior of a third which, reciprocally effects the behavior of the first component. This process implies that behavior may be based as much on the interactional dynamics of a system as on the internal psychological processes of each member. Circular Causality
A clinical technique, developed by the Milan group of family therapists, which describes a goal of eliciting differences in perceptions about events, problems, and/or relationships from each family member. It is based on the premise that family members frequently describe a problem in terms that are often too broad or too narrow. It suggests two types of questions: 1) ones that identify connections and broaden a member's understanding of their larger context; and 2) ones that draw distinctions and narrow a member's focus from generalizations. Circular Questioning
A concept which describes family systems which are self contained and often isolated by their limited recognition and use of feedback, as compared to other systems which utilize free exchange of information with their external environment to alter internal interactions. This system is often organized to preserve its status quo and to resist change. Closed Systems
A role of a family therapist, developed initially by Murray Bowen, where one functions both as a role model for individual family members in their differentiation process and as a facilitator of family of origin exploration. The therapist encourages family members to work on solving their own problems rather than functioning in the role of an "expert." This role is also present in the Symbolic-experiential model. Coach
A family dynamic which occurs when two members join together, often covertly, against a third member; sometimes referred to as a relational triangle. These dynamics may cross generational boundaries, such as when a child and one parents form a coalition against the other parents, or when a grandparent and child form a coalition against a parent. Haley asserted that the forming and reforming of coalitions may serve to keep the power distribution in a system more nearly balanced. This term may also refer to an "unbalancing" clinical technique in which the therapist joins with one member of the family system, or with one subsystem, in order to imbalance a part of the system and re-establish more appropriate subsystem boundaries and decrease distance between members of that system or subsystem. Coalition
A clinical model, developed initially by Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck, and often integrated with Behavioral Family Therapy, which is based on the assumption that behavior and affect follow from thinking. In family systems each family member's beliefs about another will affect their patterns of interaction. For example, if a spouse returns home with a depressive and agitative mood, the partner may assume (incorrectly) that she/he is the cause of the spouse's mood and withdraw. The goal is to restructure and redefine distorted beliefs to change the dysfunctional behavioral patterns. Cognitive Family Therapy
A process in family systems whereby the various components of a family fit together. In each system this determines the unique ways in which that family behaves and interacts. Coherence
A concept from family systems theory that defines the emotional bonding among family members. According to the Circumplex Model of family systems, this may be measured along a continuum ranging from "disengaged" (very low) to "separated" (low to moderate) to "connected" (moderate to high) to "enmeshed" (very high). The central categories of "separated" and "connected" are thought to lead to optimal family functioning. Cohesion
A process central to the practice of Medical Family Therapy in which health care providers, including family therapists, physicians, nurse practitioners, and psychiatrists, work together in the care of patients. The goal is an integrative paradigm for thinking about health and mental health problems, and treatment. Collaboration
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