358 erickson was masterful in his use of paradox a

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Unformatted text preview: to do the old behavior in a new context” (Nichols & Schwartz, 1998, p. 358). Erickson was masterful in his use of paradox. A paradox is a contradiction or a puzzle, and the interventions involving the use of paradox are based on the notion that families experiencing symptoms or problems find it difficult, or are naturally resistant to, instituting changes. In those cases, it is sometimes more useful either to forbid them to change or ask them to change in ways that seem to run counter to the desired goals. The therapist is counting on the family members’ rebelling against the directive, and as they do, the desired result is achieved. In a famous example – perhaps a fiction, but illustrative nonetheless – a farmer is attempting to push his cow into the barn. The cow naturally resists by pushing back against the farmer. The farmer then is instructed to pull the cow backward by the tail away from the barn. The cow again resists by pulling against the farmer, but this time the cow’s resistance lands her in the barn. Chapter 4: Strategic & Systemic Strategic therapy models combine the concepts of the Palo Alto group and Erickson. The defining characteristics of these models of family therapy are: • a focus on current family communication patterns that serve to maintain a problem; • treatment goals that derive from the problem/symptom presented; • a belief that change can be rapid and does not require insight into the causes of the problem; • the use of resistance to promote change by applying specific strategies (Piercy, et al., 1996). The models primarily associated with strategic therapy are the MRI brief therapy and the Haley/Madanes strategic models. They are presented below, together with Bandler and Grinder’s model, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). Mental Research Institute (MRI) The earliest strategic model came from the work at the Mental Research Institute (MRI) founded in 1959 in Palo Alto by Bateson’s colleague, Don Jackson who was joined by Jay Haley, Virgi...
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