Introducing Systems Theory, Marriage And Family Therapists

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Introducing Systems Theory
Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT) in training are tasked with helping a family work through conflict and arrive and more intimate and interdependent relationships, which can seem daunting or maybe even terrifying. However, the interaction patterns that show up in families can find some context and clarity for a therapist who knows systems theory. Systems theory suggests that individuals cannot be understood in isolation from their family context because families create relational processes and generate a “sequence of interactions” and behaviors in order to maintain dynamic stability of the self-regulating family system (Nichols, 2013, pp. 58-59). How does this general systems theory help an MFT guide a family in therapy? In this paper I will take three systems theory principles and apply them to a movie in order to demonstrate how it provides a language and context for MFTs, thus making it an essential tool in family therapy.
I will begin with a brief synopsis of Demme’s movie, Rachel Getting Married (2008), and its primary family characters. Next I will discuss three key principles of systems theory and use the movie characters interactions as examples for each corresponding principle. In the conclusion I will share my learning experience in doing this assignment.
The Movie Synopsis
Rachel Getting Married (Demme, 2008) is about Kym, the estranged daughter, return home to her upscale Connecticut family for her sister Rachel’s wedding after
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