Unformatted text preview: reframing (see below) – helping
the father reinterpret the child’s behavior as reflecting his unhappiness rather
than being disrespectful.
Treatment follows a six-step procedure (outlined by Nichols & Schwartz, p. 367368): Chapter 4: Strategic & Systemic
1. Introduction to the treatment set-up. The therapist obtains basic information
from the family; explains that sessions are recorded; obtains appropriate
permission for recording; and discusses the length of treatment and the
reasons for the involvement of multiple professionals.
2. Inquiry into and definition of the problem. The therapist asks the family
about the problem that brought them to treatment. The problem must be one
that the family can clearly define if treatment is to be successful. Vague
complaints, such as “we just don’t get along,” do not lend themselves to
3. Estimation of the behaviors maintaining the problem. Certain behaviors or
interactions among family members are assumed to be maintaining the
problem. The therapist’s observations of the family interactions and inquiry
into the problem should continue until he/she has a clear picture of the
4. a. Setting the goals for treatment. Once the problem has been articulated
clearly, the therapist and family can negotiate goals for change. Goals should
be measurable and observable. To help quantify the goals the therapist might
ask questions such as, “What will be the first sign that things are getting
b. Exploring previous attempts to solve the problem. It is helpful to know
what solutions the family has already tried for several reasons. The behaviors
associated with attempts at solving the problem may be maintaining the
problem. Knowing the attempts the family has made helps the therapist
avoid strategies that repeat the family’s efforts and points to other strategies.
There are three general types of solutions the family may have tried, and each
suggests a specific intervention strategy.
The family might have:
a. denied a real problem (ignore evidence of drug abuse in a teenager)...
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- Spring '09