Monday, December 10, 2012

Families as Systems

“The more satisfying their experience of growing up has been, the more likely are people to choose a partner who provides them with a sense of continuity of that experience.  Whatever the nature of the early family life, everyone has a profound need to maintain a sense of identity developed in the early year; invariably, there are close links between the old family and the new mate” (p. 222).

“Clinicians also become much more aware of the family.  Some therapist discovered the family system by being bruised by it…working with an individual and being totally defeated by the family’s power over the patient…”

The major problem we see in the individual approaches is that it fails to take account of the powerful interdependence between family members…it is very difficult for individuals to change, maintain that change, if the family does not change too…it doesn’t matter who has the presenting problem or what the problem is – whether it’s a child who wets the bed, an alcoholic husband, a couple considering divorce, a wife who is depressed, a runaway adolescent, or a capable student who is failing in school.  The ‘symptom’ is merely a front for the family’s larger stress (p. 271).”

Ideally, we would like to start with the larger system we are able to assemblewe want to relate to the most global system first, then move on to the smaller subsystems…we may work for some time with the couple…we can then work with individuals…individual therapy should be like the Ph.D. – the last stage in the training (p.273).”

From "The Family Crucible"

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