Mother became feebler and father more forceful and

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Unformatted text preview: and a daughter caught in the ongoing mirror-image disagreement. Each person covertly gives cues for behaviors to one another. The family members could not stop the spiraling cycle on their own, and the cycle kept them from launching their daughter into the adolescent departure stage. Minuchin’s goal was to provoke a runaway positive feedback loop, which throws the family out of equilibrium and increases stress. He removed one member of the triangle at a time. Each parent had to try to deal with the daughter on his/her own. This eliminated the constraints that each placed on the other and forced the behaviors in the sequence to pass their usual limits. Mother became feebler and father more forceful and violent. Minuchin then reframed the problem as being one in which their daughter was stronger than they. Thus, he moved the parents from a detouring-benevolent triangle in which the daughter was conceived of as “sick” to a detouring-attacking triangle in which she is perceived as “bad.” The parents were then able to talk to Minuchin about the more threatening problems in their relationship, freeing the daughter from the cycle. The girl quickly resumed normal eating habits. The family had undergone second-order change. Chapter 4: Strategic & Systemic Haley, Hoffman, Fulweiler: Interpretive Approach Hoffman reports on a family in which the parents are locked in a battle with their son over his smoking. Fulweiler was the therapist and Haley was the supervisor. Again the family members formed a triangle: domineering father, rebellious son, and an ineffectual mother who tended to side with her son. The father would attempt to force his son to quit smoking: the son would rebel and the mother’s lack of support for the father caused him to back down from his position. Similar to Minuchin’s family, the sequence kept attention off of the marital problems and places the son in the middle. If he quits smoking, he supports his father against his mother; if he rebels against his...
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