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4. Goal Setting Stage. The therapist asks family members what changes each
would like from therapy. He/she helps articulate the problem in terms of
what “one can count, observe, measure, or in some way know one is
influencing” (Haley, p. 41). A directive (discussed below) is given to the
family as homework. The session ends by setting the next appointment. Goals: to delineate a solvable problem that can be addressed in therapy. If articulated in
such a way, the therapist and the family know when treatment is completed.
Haley provides an extensive checklist to evaluate the first session.
Directives. In his early work, Haley designed tasks, called directives, for three
1. to get family members to do things differently and have different experiences; Chapter 4: Strategic & Systemic
2. to involve the therapist in the treatment and “intensify the relationship with
the therapist” (p. 49);
3. to gather additional information about how the family responds to the task.
The family may be directed to do something they have not done (when your
wife and son are arguing, you should take control of the situation) or refrain
from doing things they have done in the past (do not interrupt your husband
when he is talking to your daughter).
Directives should be concise and may involve part or all of the family. The task
may begin during the session with instructions to continue at home. As in all
strategic therapies, the therapist tracks the sequences involved in the problem
and assigns directives that alter the sequence. But in addition for Haley, the goal
is to alter the family structure in order to correct malfunctioning hierarchies,
often by strengthening the parental unit. The family’s attempts at directives
should be reviewed in the next session. For example, if a mother is behaving in a
helpless way with her children, forcing the exasperated father to assume a
primary parenting role, the father may be directed to instruct the mother nightly
on parenting techniques. The mother will rebel against being instructed and thus
become a more effective, and e...
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This document was uploaded on 04/03/2014.
- Spring '09