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Unformatted text preview: qual, parenting partner.
Haley’s earlier therapy was also characterized by the use of ordeals (Nichols &
Schwartz, 1998). Ordeals are directives that are aimed at making the symptom
harder to keep than give up. The ordeal requires the clients to do something they
do not want to do, but is something that would benefit them in some way. (A
husband might be instructed to give a present to a brother-in-law with whom he
does not get along each time the symptom occurs. If the husband finds giving the
gift unpleasant enough, the symptom will disappear and the relationship might
improve as well.) Like all directives, ordeals are aimed not only at symptom
relief but also family restructuring.
The most recent Haley – Madanes therapy model, strategic humanism, is “more
oriented toward increasing family members’ ability to soothe and love than to
gain control over one another” (Nichols & Schwartz, 1998, p. 374). Madanes has
separately elaborated her own theories and strategies.
Madanes, C. (1980). Protection, paradox and pretending. Family Therapy Process,
Vol. 19, 73 – 85.
While still considered a strategic therapist because of her approach to solving
problems within families, Madanes (1980) proposes a structural explanation for
psychopathology in children. In a well-functioning family, parents are
hierarchically superior to their children and can usually “pull themselves Chapter 4: Strategic & Systemic
together” to help their child, even if there is a marital conflict or if one parent is
struggling with an issue.
In dysfunctional families, the child has become hierarchically superior to one or
both parents, a powerful but detrimental position. He/she becomes a benevolent
protector of the parents’ by taking on symptoms, causing the parents to focus on
the child’s behavior rather than their own problems. The child and one parent
may form a coalition against the other parent or a grandparent — a structural
misalignment referred to as triangulation. The child’s problem behavior
provides a bond that holds the parents together. Conflict between the parents, or
even family issue...
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This document was uploaded on 04/03/2014.
- Spring '09