If therapy is to end properly it must begin properly

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Unformatted text preview: trategic interventions to alter the interactions, but they differ from the purely strategic models in that the goals of therapy are not only to alter the sequences of interactions, but also change the structure of the family (Piercy, et al., 1996). A prominent feature of the early Haley (1976) model is the strong recommendation that therapists actively plan the therapy from the beginning. The first session is critical. “If therapy is to end properly, it must begin properly” (Haley, p. 9). The therapist and family must define a solvable problem, and the therapist must discover the “social situation that makes the problem necessary” (p. 9). For example, a child’s problem or behavior actually reflects a marital problem. Haley strongly advises therapists to require all people living in the household or who are integrally involved with the problem be present at the first session. At the same time, therapists may be flexible regarding the place of therapy (school, home, office), the length of the first session, or the fee charged. Because of the importance of the first session, he developed a detailed four-stage process and outlined the goals of each stage: 1. Social Stage. The therapist welcomes family members who may be nervous or defensive about being in therapy and greets each family member, paying attention to appropriate cultural norms. Goals: help family members feel comfortable and relaxed; begin observations of interactions and make tentative hypotheses about family structure, e.g., who tries to enlist the therapist to his/her side? How do the parents discipline the children? Hypotheses should be tentative since the early observations may reflect a tendency for the family to act in the way they think the therapist expects. 2. Problem Stage. The therapist shifts to a therapy situation by introducing him/herself, outlining what he/she already knows about the family, and inquiring about the problem. He/she should explain that they have all been Chapter 4: Strategic & Systemic asked to come so that each may contribute his/her perspecti...
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