The team would confer without including the therapist

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Unformatted text preview: e therapist regards each person in the system as equal and each person’s viewpoint, valid. The therapist does not take a moral position with regard to any part of the family process. The therapist can observe a variety of collusions and coalitions without being inducted into any of them. Neutrality maintains the therapist in a hierarchically superior position (meta-level) without being authoritarian, such as Haley or Minuchin. In the 1970s the Milan group addressed a difficulty they often encountered when the family was referred by another therapist. When these families failed to improve, the team surmised that the original treatment had reached an impasse because the therapist had been inducted into the system. Further, the family’s loyalty to the therapist hindered progress in the new treatment context. As a result, the Milan team began “honoring” the therapist by including the therapist in the treatment and positively connoting the homeostasis. They might, for example, thank the therapist for helping the family by failing to produce change, Chapter 4: Strategic & Systemic leading to shock and surprise in the therapist and family. The team would confer without including the therapist as if he/she were a member of the family. If the team cautioned the family not to change, the referring therapist was free to disagree. The family maintained its loyalty to the therapist, siding with him/her to prove the consulting team wrong by changing. This process, known as metaconsultations, solidified the use of the observing team, and the Milan therapist in the room with the family was not exempt from being included in the positive connotation if the therapist and family were stuck. More recently, the model has been characterized as a second-order cybernetic systems approach. First order cybernetics “pictured a family system in trouble as a homeostatic machine….with symptoms playing an important part of maintaining the homeostasis” (p. 14). The therapist and family were separate entities. Second-order cybernetics conceives of the therapist...
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