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Unformatted text preview: nia Satir, Paul Weakland, Paul Watzlawick, Arthur
Bodin, and Janet Beavin (Nichols & Schwartz, 1998). They were interested in
family communication patterns and feedback loop mechanisms (see below). The
MRI group published many articles in the 1960s and 1970s and started one of the
first formal training programs in family therapy (Nichols & Schwartz, 1998). In
1967 Haley left MRI for the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic.
Brief Therapy Center. In 1967 the Brief Therapy Center opened at MRI. As with all
strategic therapies, the goal of treatment is to change the presenting complaint
rather than to interpret the interactions to the family or to explore the past. The
therapist first assesses the cycle of problematic interactions, then breaks the cycle
by using either straightforward or paradoxical directives (Piercy, et al., 1996). In
this model the therapist designs or selects a task or directive in order to solve the
problem. Thus, the therapist assumes full responsibility for the success or failure
Theory of Normal Development and Dysfunction
MRI therapists do not speculate about normative patterns of development or use
specific criteria to measure the health of a family. The model is more focused on
techniques for change than on theoretical constructs (Piercy, et al., 1996). They
are not concerned with changing the organization of a family (e.g., its hierarchy
or power structure). Rather, they focus on the faulty cycles of interaction that are
usually set into motion by misguided attempts to solve problems. Instead of
solving the problem, the family’s attempts can maintain or worsen it. Problems Chapter 4: Strategic & Systemic
are not viewed as having linear causes; rather, a problem behavior is just one
point in a repetitive pattern. Causality is circular.
MRI therapists are guided by the principles derived from cybernetics.
Cybernetics is the study of how information-processing systems are selfcorrecting, controlled by feedback loops. Feedback loops are the mech...
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- Spring '09