Unformatted text preview: ion of the problem and
an index of progress.
2. Problems are viewed as faulty interactions among people.
3. Symptoms stem from problems in ordinary family life that have been
mishandled and the situation reaches an impasse or crisis.
4. Transitions in the family life cycle are the most vulnerable to the development
of problems. Symptoms are likely to develop if people overreact to ordinary
difficulties, or if they ignore problems by underemphasizing life’s difficulties.
5. When a problem develops, its continuation and exacerbation are usually the
result of a positive feedback loop. The solution that arises in response to a
problem simultaneously worsens it.
6. Chronic symptoms are not a defect in the system, but a problem that has been
7. The solution requires an interruption of the positive feedback loops through
altering behavior patterns.
8. Paradoxical, seemingly illogical interventions, often succeed in changing the
9. Change is effected most readily if the goals are relatively small and clearly
stated. Change in one part of the system affects change in other parts of the
system and may lead to changes in other areas of life.
The brief therapy approach is pragmatic. Interventions are based on direct
observation in the session about how a behavior functions. Understanding
“why” a behavior occurs – insight – is not a goal of therapy. In fact, attending to
such inferences may detract from observing the system.
The Brief Therapy Center uses a team consisting of observers and a therapist. The
team uses a room with a one-way mirror for observation, a telephone connecting
the observers with the therapist, and equipment to tape the sessions. The
therapist may offer suggestions to the family or the team of observers may Chapter 4: Strategic & Systemic
intervene. These therapist-observer interventions have been found helpful in
promoting change in even the most resistant or difficult families. The therapist
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- Spring '09
- Family therapy, therapist, Jay Haley, Nichols & Schwartz