Unformatted text preview: anisms or
cycles of interactions through which information is returned to the system and
exerts an influence on it. There are both negative and positive feedback loops.
Negative Feedback Loops are ways that families correct a deviation in family
functioning so as to return it to a previous state of homeostasis.
Positive Feedback Loops (Deviation Amplification) arise as a family attempts to
add new information into the system. This can occur as a part of the growth
process or increasing levels of complexity. Positive feedback loops are assumed
to be responsible for the development of problems in families as they attempt
solutions that worsen or maintain the problem. For example, if a child
misbehaves, i.e., deviates from the norm (the family problem) because he is
jealous of a new sibling and the father responds with harsh or punishing
behavior (an attempted solution), it confirms the child’s belief that he is loved
less, and his behavior worsens (the deviation is amplified). MRI interventions
would be aimed at changing the pattern of interaction so that the father could
help the child calm his behavior and show him that he is not loved less.
Assessment and Treatment
Assessment consists of determining the feedback loops and that govern the
faulty behavior patterns by observing repetitive patterns of family interactions.
Treatment is usually limited to 10 sessions, which sets up a “powerful
expectation for change” (Nichols & Schwartz, 1998, p. 368). The changes that
occur through treatment are classified as first-order change or second-order
First-Order Change. Family patterns of interaction or sequences are altered at the
behavioral level only.
Second-Order Change. The family rules or underlying beliefs or premises that
govern family members’ behavior or promote specific reactions are altered. In
the above example, two of the father’s beliefs (that children should never show
disrespect and that the child’s behavior is disrespectful) may need to be changed.
Family rules may be changed by the technique of...
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- Spring '09
- Family therapy, therapist, Jay Haley, Nichols & Schwartz