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Unformatted text preview: ve. The
therapist often decides whom to ask first based on his/her observations.
The therapist’s choices are goal directed (e.g. beginning with the least
involved parent in order to increase his/her involvement). Typically,
he/she avoids starting with the person who has been identified as having or
being the problem. The therapist asks a general question regarding the
reasons the family has come or what changes each would like to see. As
each member speaks, interruptions are observed for what they might reveal
about the family, but the focus is quickly returned to the speaker.
Goals: The therapist continues to observe and make mental hypotheses about hierarchical
structure and triangles, but does not “interpret” family interactions to them. He/she
notices disagreements in the explanation of the problem, which will provide the basis for
the interactive discussion to follow. The therapist takes charge of the session, for example,
bringing in under-involved members, preventing an overly talkative member from
dominating, sitting near a child reluctant to speak, or moving a child closer to the parent
to whom he is the least close. These interventions are strategic since the family is
prevented from repeating their previous patterns of interactions.
3. Interactional Stage. The therapist asks the members to discuss with one
another the various perspectives and disagreements regarding the problem.
In this stage Haley (1985) cautions, “It cannot be overemphasized how
important it is to have the family members interact with each other, rather
than the therapist” (p. 37). The therapist may intervene to bring more
members into the discussion or to bring action into the discussion, i.e.,
family can be asked to enact the problem in the session. Demonstrating the
problem allows the therapist to observe the relevant interactions in ways
that the family cannot express in words. Goals: test hypotheses; observe sequences and the structure governing behaviors such as
malfunctioning hierarchies, coalitions, quality of parental function...
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- Spring '09