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Family-System Therapy Theories and Practices An Introduction Copyright © 1997-2002 Melvin W. Wong, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved. Melvin W. Wong, Ph.D. 黃偉康博士 Licensed Clinical Psychologist ChristianMentalHealth .com 220 Montgomery St., Suite 1098, San Francisco , CA 94104
Melvin W. Wong, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist ChristianMentalHealth.com
220 Montgomery St., Suite 1098, San Francisco, CA 94104
1357 Mowry Avenue, Fremont, CA 94538
Tel (510) 794-8898 Fax (510) 475-1473
Class Attendance & Finish the Reader
Each student is expected to complete one paper assignments A written report (about 10 pages) to be submitted to the office, entitled:
“If I were a master Family Systems Theorist”
When you become a master family systems theorist, how would you describe your system theory?
How would your theory be different from the four theories we have discussed in class?
In what way is your theory similar to the four theories we have discussed in class?
What makes your theory relevant for Hong Kong Chinese families?
What makes your theory relevant for Christians?
How would you implement your theory in prevention efforts at church?
Friday, July 26, 2002
Handed in at Kay Wong’s office
If you need your grade to graduate,
Please say so on the front page of your paper!
(If you need more time to finish your work, please make an application for extension at the registrar’s office or through Kay Wong)
09:00 to 10:30 AM Instruction session 1
10:30 to 10:45 AM Break 1
10:45 to 12:00 PM Instruction session 2
12:00 to 01:00 PM Lunch
01:00 to 02:30 PM Instruction 3 (or film)
02:30 to 02:45 PM Break 2
02:45 to 05:00 PM Instruction session 4
05:00 to 05:30 PM Q/A Individual Time
Nichols, M.; Schwartz, R.,
Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2001
Michael P. Nichols,The Essentials of Family Therapy
Curricula (English) References From:
C. R. Barké, Ph.D.; Tamara L. Kaiser, Ph.D.; Michael I. Vickers, Ph.D.
Curricula (Chinese) References From:
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts
Like all human groups, the family has emergent properties -fall into two categories
A Three-Person system; according to Bowen, the smallest stable unit of human relationship. “Diverting conflict between two people by involving a third.”
“The unhappy mother uses her last born son to triangulate against his father”
She is unhappy with her marriage and to find stability and significance in her identity as a woman, she chose her youngest son to be a husband replacement: He is young and compliant
Mary Richmond, 1917
Families are not isolated wholes (closed systems), but exist in a particular social context, which interactively influences and is influenced by their functioning (they are open).
Her approach to practice was to consider the potential effect of all interventions on every systemic level, and to understand and to use the reciprocal interaction of the systemic hierarchy for therapeutic purposes.
Emotional and physical barriers that protect and enhance the integrity of individuals, subsystems, and families
Rather than worrying about who started what, family therapists understand and treat human problems as a series of moves and countermoves, in repeating cycles.
What is the Family Systems Secret?
Fix the Marriage
The Family is Fixed
Family is Bad: Father & Mother are Bad
Like all human groups, the family has emergent properties – Parental Happiness determines family happiness
(available at the Baptist Seminary library)
(Murray Bowen, Boszormonyi-Nagy, James Framo)
(Virginia Satir, Carl Whitaker)
Strategic (Communication) Model
Relationship based on differences that fit together in which qualities of one make up for lacks in the other
Therefore, in marriages, there will always be differences because each spouse is different: This is the perpetual tension that exists in a marriage
Tendency of families to resist change in order to maintain a steady state
Interactions among group members that emerge as a result of properties of the group rather than merely of their individual qualities
The symptom-bearer or official patient as identified by the family
Families are structured in Subsystems as determined by
Generation, gender, common interests and function
which are demarcated by interpersonal
The invisible barriers that regulate the amount of contact with others
Boundaries safeguard the separateness and autonomy of the family and its subsystem
Boundaries are described on a continuum
Healthy Family Functioning
Unhealthy Family Functioning
Structural family therapy goals focus on restructuring, altering any or all of the structural components, thereby promoting changes in symptoms and symptom-maintaining behaviors of members.
HUMANISTIC FAMILY THERAPY
Open/Closed Family systems
Satir identified four family roles, which represent patterned ways that individuals may behave.
Diagnostically, Satir uses several tools,
Three common types of unsuccessful solutions (symptoms)