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Unformatted text preview: Rituals are interventions that enhance a positive connotation or require
the family to either exaggerate or violate family rules. For example, to exaggerate
a positive connotation a family might be asked to thank the symptomatic family
member for having the problem. The family that maintains loyalty to an
extended family to its own detriment might be asked to violate the family rule by
holding secret meetings.
Over time, the team increasingly turned away from paradoxical interventions
and focused instead on the processes that occurred during the therapy session
itself. They developed interventions based on the concepts of hypothesizing,
circularity, and neutrality (Piercy, et al., 1986). In 1979 the Milan team split.
Selvini Palazzoli and Prata formed one group and Boscolo and Cecchin another.
Selvini Palazzoli and Prata focused on interrupting the destructive family games
in which disturbed families have become involved (Nichols & Schwartz, 1998).
Based on this notion, they developed the invariant prescription (see below) for
treating severe pathology. By contrast, Boscolo and Cecchin stayed with the
concepts of hypothesizing, circularity, and neutrality (Piercy, et al., 1986) and
became interested in changing family belief systems - epistemologies - which Chapter 4: Strategic & Systemic
eventually led the way into the solution-focused and narrative therapies (see
Chapter 7: Postmodern). Selvini Palazzoli and Prata
This team hypothesized that power games in the family lead to the development of
symptoms in order to protect the family. Their theory of how psychotic games
develop in families has six stages (Piercy, et al., 1996):
1. There is a marital stalemate between the partners.
2. The child becomes an ally with the parent he/she perceives to be the “loser”
in the stalemate.
3. The child develops a symptom in an attempt to both challenge the winner
and demonstrate to the loser how to contend with the winner.
4. The loser does not understand the purpose of t...
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This document was uploaded on 04/03/2014.
- Spring '09