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Unformatted text preview: hypotheses requires that therapists take account of all observations and organize them into a meaningful construct. Thus, the action regarding hypothesis building is experimental. New information leads to confirmation or rejection of the working hypothesis followed by the formulation of refined or altogether new hypotheses. The value of a hypothesis is not tied to whether or not it is true or false, but whether it is more useful or less useful as a guide to furnishing the therapist and family with new information. The hypothesis functions as a discipline to the treatment and a guide to gathering new information. It helps the therapist track the interactional patterns. Working through a hypothesis keeps the therapy from falling into disorder and muddle. Systematic, active hypothesis testing helps counter entropy. Entropy in a system refers to “the disorder, disorganization, lack of patterning, or randomness, [and a] decrease in entropy can be taken as a measure of the amount of information” (p. 6). Circularity, to Selvini Palazzoli, refers to “the capacity of the therapist to conduct his [or her] investigation on the basis of feedback from the family in response to the information he [or she] solicits about relationships and, therefore, about difference and change” (p. 8). The Milan team defines circularity as the ability to obtain authentic information from the family. Using a construct from Bateson – “that all knowledge of external events is derived from the relationship between them” (p. 8) – suggests that in order for the therapist to obtain authentic information, every member of the system must describe his or her view of the relationship between other dyads of the system. For example, a wife would be asked how she sees the relationship between her husband and their son. Resistance is lessened if one part of the system comments on another. In this way, circular questions unearth a wealth of information about the triadic Chapter 4: Strategic & Systemic relationships in the family and effectively break the rule(s) in dysfunctional families about secrets. The Milan team offers other suggestions for gathering information: • Gather information in terms of specific interactive behaviors – not feelings or ideas – in specific circumstances, e.g., who does what, when, how many times? • Ask questions about differences in behavior, e.g., who does it the most? the least? • Get information regarding ranking of behaviors of interactions, e.g., who goes to church more often? next frequently? least often? • Ask hypothetical questions and listen to h...
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This document was uploaded on 04/03/2014.

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