Marriage and family therapy
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Marriage and Family Therapy. Upstate. Couples and Family Therapy Family Therapy Graduate Programs The Development of Family Therapy Assessment of Family Functioning (Olson’s Circumplex Model, p. 369) Family Systems Theory - Applying Systems Concepts to Families. Upstate.

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  • Couples and Family Therapy

  • Family Therapy Graduate Programs

  • The Development of Family Therapy

  • Assessment of Family Functioning (Olson’s Circumplex Model, p. 369)

  • Family Systems Theory - Applying Systems Concepts to Families.

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1. Family is system made up of interrelated parts that interact in persistent and enduring ways. What creates enduring patterns?

2. Enduring patterns of interaction created by rules (often implicit)

3. A family is more than the sum of individual members

4. To know the family one must observe the interactions that occur when the family functions as family.

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  • There are many different approaches to family therapy some adhere closely to family systems theory and some do not

  • Some Family Therapy Approaches

    • Multigenerational Family Therapy – Murray Bowen

    • Structural Family Therapy – Salvador Minuchin

    • Strategic Family Therapy

    • Experiential Family Therapy

    • Behavioral/Cognitive Behavioral Therapies.

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Multigenerational Family Therapy – Bowen

1. Multigenerational Transmission Process- genogram – focus on the past

2. Differentiation of Self

A. Independence of self from others (esp. members of family of origin)

B. Separate intellect from emotion.

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3. Triangulation

A. When two people in order to reduce stress bring a third party into the relationship to reduce anxiety and gain stability

B. Parents who are emotionally estranged from each other overinvolve their children.

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4. Family Projection Process

A. Bowen believed that often parents who are having problems select as the object of their attention the most immature of their children, thus triangling in this child

B. Others believe that unconsciously a child triangles himself/herself in to reduce the tension in the parent’s relationship.

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5. Emotional Cutoff

A. The flight from unresolved emotional ties to ones family

B. May take the form of running away, cutting off contact or being unable to complete unfinished business with family.

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Bowen Family Therapy

1. Understand multigenerational influences by use of genogram

2. Learn to respond differently with family of origin resolving unfinished business maturely

3. Work on independence of self from others

4. Work on separating intellect from emotion

5. Resolve husband-wife issues maturely without triangling in others

6. Confront problems maturely without cutoff or avoidance.

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Structural Family Therapy – Minuchin

  • Family Structure – invisible set of rules that organize the ways family members relate to each other. Structure resists change.

  • Therapists must help the family modify its stereotyped patterns and redefine relationships

  • Understand boundaries and have healthy boundaries between subsystems

  • Boundaries – barriers which govern the amount and kind of contact and interaction one has with another.

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  • Each subsystem has appropriate tasks and functions. When members of one subsystem take over or intrude on a subsystem in which they do not belong, the result is some sort of structural difficulty

  • Unhealthy boundaries may result in disengagement – family members become isolated and relationships suffer

  • Unhealthy boundaries may result in enmeshment which is characterized by family members being over involved in each others lives.