MFT terms: Contextual Family Therapy

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18 terms

entitlement

A term used to describe what one has coming to him.

ledger

A psychological accounting system that is maintained over generations and includes information about what has been given to whom and who still owes something to someone else.

legacy

Refers to the expectations that are handed down from previous generations.

family loyalty

The allegiance children feel toward parents based on parental fairness.

indebtedness

A term that describes what one owes and to whom.

invisible loyalty

A state in which a child unconsciously tries to pay a debt to his parents, even to his own detriment.

loyalty conflict

Occurs when there is competition for loyalty between an individual's parents and his peer or spouse.

split loyalty

Occurs when parents create a situation in which a child must offer loyalty to only one parent at the cost of loyalty to the other parent. Or when a parent and grandparents expect the child to join them in opposition of the other parent.

destructive entitlement

Destructive entitlement is based on the unwillingness to care about others and results from being mistreated, neglected or exploited by parents. Can also result from "overgiving" of things by a parent while emotionally neglecting the child. Having a "chip on their shoulder" or "acting like the world owes them a living" is a way people describe this in others.

multidirectional partiality

Clinical stance that therapists are accountable to everyone whose well being is potentially affected by their intervention. Requires keeping channels open among all family members.

exoneration

A process by which the therapist attempts to help the client see the positive intent and intergenerational loyalty issues behind the behavior of previous generations.

relational ethics

Built on a sense of equitably. Individuals have a right to expect their welfare will be considered and respected in a context of fairness for everyone.

ledger of indebtedness or entitlement

If in their family origin, new spouses each experienced a high degree of equitably, they bring this to their relationship, which allows them to build their new family on the basis of consideration of the welfare interests of each member of the family. Created by legacy and entitlement.

trustworthiness

Occurs when issues of entitlement and indebtedness are faced and dealt with effectively.

merit

Consideration of the welfare of others, and this debt can be repaid only to the person to whom the debt is owed.

revolving slate

The legacy, for good or ill, that patterns shall be repeated, against unavailing struggle, from one generation to the next.

relational determinates

Everything that goes into a relationship.

revolving entitlement

Generational perpetuation of destructive entitlement.

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