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1 the communication involves two or more people who

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Unformatted text preview: bind (Nichols & Schwartz, 1998). 1. The communication involves two or more people who have an important emotional relationship. 2. The pattern of communication is repeated. Chapter 4: Strategic & Systemic 3. The communication involves a “primary negative injunction,” (Nichols & Schwartz, p. 28) or a command not to do something on threat of punishment. 4. The communication also involves a second abstract injunction also under threat of punishment that contradicts the primary injunction. 5. A third negative injunction both demands a response and prevents escape, effectively binding the recipient of the demand. 6. The recipient becomes conditioned to respond, and as a result, the entire sequence is no longer necessary to maintain the symptom. For example, a father demands that his son engage in a nightly discussion at the dinner table. When the child attempts to participate, the father is irritated that his dinner is interrupted. The father is then critical of his son’s lack of conversation. The son is caught in a bind since both his attempt to talk and his silence are punished. For the child, the meaning of communication becomes unclear and he develops a disordered style of communication that is labeled schizophrenia. During that same period Milton Erickson proposed radical new ways to change “psychiatric” symptoms and problems. The prevailing theoretical assumption was that symptoms stemmed from deep psychological problems. “Curing” the problem required that patients gain insight into the unconscious impulses governing their behavior. By contrast, Erickson, focused on the specific symptoms and problems presented by the patient. He believed first, that people had the ability to solve their own problems if they could be induced to try new behaviors; second, that change could be swift rather than a long arduous process; and finally, that the patient’s own natural resistance to change could, ironically, be used to bring about change. As a hypnotherapist, he developed many ingenious techniques for “getting people to do something different in the context of the old behavior, or...
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