It has been replaced by curiosity and is the basic

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Unformatted text preview: nce of behaviors, but not its origin (as it would with linear causality). Circular Questioning is the therapy interview technique. Most interactions between the therapist and the family consist of questions and responses. The questions posed to the family are based on the therapist’s hypothesis and require responses that are relational descriptions of family interactions. This helps members see the perspectives of other members. For example, a father may be Chapter 4: Strategic & Systemic asked to tell how his wife sees her relationship with her son or a child might be asked what might happen to his brother (who is symptomatic) if their mother and grandmother didn’t fight so much. Circular questions also explore aspects of family interactions such as the degree and time of the problem, e.g., Did that occur before or after? How much? How often? Neutrality (Curiosity) and Irreverence. Neutrality was the term originally used to describe the attitude of the therapist toward the hypotheses generated in treatment. It has been replaced by “curiosity” and is the basic therapeutic stance. The therapist conveys an attitude of curious exploration when asking questions or responding to the family members’ answers. Recently, Cecchin suggests that therapists also convey “irreverence,” that is, he/she should not be inclined toward any one or another set of rules or beliefs that might govern the family interactions and should encourage a similarly irreverent attitude in family members (Nichols & Schwartz, 1998). One way the therapist could encourage irreverence and/or a more flexible view of the family beliefs, is through the odd day/even day ritual. The therapist would give a directive that on odd days one set of opinions would be true, but on even days, false. The directive for the seventh day is to act spontaneously. The therapist is also neutral with respect to his/her relationship to each family member, being careful not to form coalitions or take one side against another. He/she avoids a moral or judgmental position toward a fam...
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