Families become stuck in repetitive patterns of

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Unformatted text preview: for example advising the mother to allow her son greater freedom to determine his own diet. The push may not work, and perhaps the therapist needs to help the family focus on what is at the Chapter 4: Strategic & Systemic root of the symptomatic cycle, for example, explaining that since this child is now an adolescent, he has less need for guidance regarding food. Further, it may be that the parent needs to allow the adolescent to take on more responsibility in this and other areas, and the parent needs to loosen control. This realization can disrupt the cycle, resulting in second-order change, new rules, and a new organization of the family. Families become stuck in repetitive patterns of behavior, however, and the therapist may need to actively interrupt the cycle in order for the family to make a change. He/she must first identify the cycle. Some cycles are obvious, but others are not easily recognized, such as with psychosomatic illnesses or communication disorders associated with psychosis. In those situations, the therapist can gather information on how the condition or problem is managed, which often reveals the cycle. In most cases, these problems and recursive sequences are a reflection of a dysfunctional triangle which brings the child into what is actually a mirror-image disagreement between the parents. The solution to the problem in such cases often involves helping the parents get together so they can make the child behave. The three cases Hoffman discusses are briefly outlined below. Minuchin – Structural Approach to Anorexia Minuchin first arranged to meet with the parents and anorectic daughter over lunch, then excused himself to observe them. The parents consistently took opposite positions. One reasoned with their daughter, while the other demanded she eat. When the reasoning parent started to become more demanding, the demanding parent became gentler and began to reason. The configuration that was revealed was one of a disciplinary father, a permissive mother...
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This document was uploaded on 04/03/2014.

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