Unformatted text preview: father and smokes, he supports his mother.
Thus, the son is caught in the mirror-image struggle. Fulweiler’s strategy was to
use blocking maneuvers to disrupt the sequence. He used a technique in which
he entered and exited the therapy session without warning. At first entrance he
first helped the mother clarify her position, the second to highlight a marital
disagreement, the third to bolster the father’s authority, and the subsequent
entrances to stop the father in his role of victim. According to Haley, this family
illustrates standard roles: over-involved parent, peripheral parent, with the child
as secret agent defying the over-involved parent for the peripheral parent.
Fisch: Parsimonious Technique Fisch argues that a very small change in a system can have a wide-reaching
effect. He presents a case in which parents were having trouble dealing with
their children, one of whom they characterized as willful and obstinate and the
other as well behaved. They also characterized their marriage as loving and
close. The mother got into daily battles with the daughter and the father would
intervene to subdue the daughter. Fisch told the parents they were having
trouble controlling their daughter because they were too predictable and
instructed the father to give his daughter a penny during the next motherdaughter battle. The surprising intervention was aimed at interrupting the
dysfunctional sequence. A covert mirror-image disagreement that had been
hidden before the intervention emerged when the mother expressed little hope
for her impossible daughter, while the father held higher expectations. In this
type of intervention the therapist creates confusion aimed at breaking the cycle
and uncovering mirror-image disagreements that have been hidden.
In sum, Hoffman illustrates several ways to encourage first-order change, where
possible, by giving the family a little push, offering advice, or suggesting
alternative behaviors. Where second-order change is necessary, therapists might
escalate positive feedback loops, increase stress, create therapeutic confusion and
interrupt, and alter ri...
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- Spring '09
- Family therapy, therapist, Jay Haley, Nichols & Schwartz