Case Study : Strategic Family Therapy

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PSYU 556 Unit Three Mini Paper: Strategic Family Therapy Jay Haley was a pioneer in family therapy. Inspired by his work with the communication patterns of schizophrenic patients and their family environments, he was a disciple of no less than three of the most prominent figures in family therapy evolution: Gregory Bateson, Milton Erickson, and Salvador Minuchin. Haley, in his time, was wildly popular and innovative. Amazingly, he was not formally clinically credentialed (Nichols, 2013). Haley, alongside the equally influential Cloe Madanes, incorporated elements from Erickson’s strategic therapy, Minuchin’s structural therapy, Bateson’s cybernetic theory, the MRI model of brief therapy, and Jackson’s communication theory into a brand of…show more content…
Hayley took this responsibility seriously and solemnly. He stated that in some cases, the client would not change until they had confidence in the therapist’s commitment level and determination (Wylie, 2007). Change also involved constant evaluation of effectiveness, and course correction as needed. In keeping with the cybernetic element of family systems, this theory stated that attempted solutions are symptoms, and part of a recurrent feedback loop. Symptoms act as a homeostatic means of regulating family transactions. The way to disrupt and dispel a recursive feedback loop is to introduce a negative feedback loop, which would change the direction of the loop and could be introduced at any point along the loop. This is one of the main ideas of the theory; when a behavior changes logically, based on the rules of the system, this is known as a first-order change. Because family rules govern which solutions are applicable, a change in the family rules is required, or, as it is known, a second-order change (which will alter the entire system) (Standish, 2013). Therefore, to increase positive behaviors and decrease problematic behaviors, the therapist can make substitutes in current failing feedback loops. Strategic Family Therapists focus on changing the unproductive sequence of behaviors, therefore, the issue requires the involvement of others, and does not depend on the actions of a sole individual.
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