able to adjust to new conditions. MFT: The ability of a system to survive and maintain its coherence under changeable internal and external conditions.; Flexability in the wake of change- where it normal, developmental, or at a time of crisis.
Analogue is manner and meaning expressed;Analogue is the process.
Digital is the word itself,Digital is the content
Define the system; identifies who is included in the system and who is not included in the system; implicit or explicit rules that define who is included in the systems; who can enter and who can leave; the point of contact between the system and other systems (subsystems, suprasystems,or the environment.
Open: Self contained systems with permeable boundaries
Closed: Resistant to Change with impermeable boundaries
inward and outward forces impacting the system
Centripital: family members are held tightly inside boundaries of
Family system (impermeable boundaries)
Centrifugal: Allowed to float outside the family boundary (permeable boundaries)
First order change
method changes slightly, but the category of method stays the same
Second order change
the category is allowed to change, provides a solution; the application of new perspectives or learning or principles as opposed to strict behavioral change.
The way in which any behavior is understood by seeing it as part of a cycle or interaction rather than as an isolated entity.
Uses 3 dimensions (cohesion, adaptability, communication), 16 relationship types sorted into 3 ranges: balanced, mid-range, extreme relationships. Says that families with middle rather than extreme locations on the dimensions will generally function more adequately across the family life cycle.
The amount of emotional or psychological influence (or proximity) individuals in a relationship have on each other. Too much closeness leads to enmeshment and inhibits differentiation of self. Distance leads to disengagement and lack of affect and affirmation.
A broad definition: an emotional bonding between members of the family. Continuum of closeness and distance- ranges from disengaged to enmeshed. These extremes are considered unhealthy.
Refers to confusing and fragmenting communication. Manner in which family members convey they are focusing their attention on the task at hand. Cognitive and thinking disorders on the individual level are viewed as the counterparts of communication on the interpersonal level.
The harmonizing of family roles; when two opposite roles function in relationship to the other in a way that produces harmony in the system.
Each individual brings a unique view, but which view is correct is not important, its which view is meaningful and helpful to the system. The therapist helps the family co-create a unified perspective that helps move a family toward change.
Dialogue between two or more people with opposing views whose goal is to find mutual ground between all perspectives. The divergent and convergent views both contribute to finding balance or equilibrium in the family.
Opposite of enmeshment; each member functions individually from each other in the family; each member has strong and impermeable boundaries separating each individual.
As a sequence of communication in which there was a contradiction between the contextual level and the verbal level. "I must do it, but I can't do it"
A system where boundaries between members are blurred; members are overinvolved in each other lives limiting individual autonomy.
The natural tendency of systems to dissipate.
Requires change (addition of energy to a system) to occur in order for the system to continue to exist.
the ability of a system to achieve the same goals through different routes.
The ability of a system to achieve different goals through the same route.
When all parts are functioning properly in a system and it is in a state of balance. Maintains a steady state throughout internal and external threats (homeostasis).
Family Life Cycle
The series of stages or events that mark a family's life; offering an organizing schema to view the family as a system proceeding through time. From coupling onward.
Dictionary definition of feedback: the return to the input of a part of the output of a machine, system, or process (as for producing changes in an electronic circuit that improve performance or in an automatic control device that provide self-corrective action)
MFT definition: cycles by which individuals influence one another's actions; the impact that a behavior has on the system and the response of the system to that behavior is viewed in positive and negative terms. These terms are not value judgments about the behavior but rather indicate whether a change has occurred in the system.
Negative Feedback Loops
helps the system maintain itself over the course of time; can lead to nearly stable behavior with small fluctuations
Positive Feedback Loops
it reinforces itself; change has occurred and been accepted by the system; when the status quo is not maintained
A theory that explains physical phenomena in terms of a field and the manner in which it interacts with matter or with other fields (Kurt Lewin)
Field theory holds that behavior must be derived from a totality of coexisting facts. These coexisting facts make up a "dynamic field", which means that the state of any part of the field depends on every other part of it. Behavior depends on the present field rather than on the past or the future.
branch of applied mathematics that studies strategic situations where players choose different actions in an attempt to maximize their returns
in the field of MFT, game theory would study decisions that are made in an environment where various players interact. Game theory studies choice of optimal behavior when costs and benefits of each are not fixed, but depend upon the choices of other individuals.
developed by Bowen and now used in many therapies. A schematic drawing of a family, similar to a family tree, with information about the family, including the nature of emotional relationships and dynamics.
German definition- "essence of shape of an entity's complete form"
Describes mind positioning: the brain has many operations and tendencies including holistic, parallel, analog, and self-organizing.
the ability of the brain to create and recognize whole form, using our senses, not just simple lines.
Principle of Totality
the conscious experience should consider the global experience- the nature of the mind demands that every part should be included as part of the system of relationships.
Principle of Psychophysical Isomorphism
there is a relationship between the conscious experience and the mind's activity.
any system of persons or things ranked one above another. MFT:having an organization of a higher-order system
idea that all the properties in a system (physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, etc.) cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone. Instead, the system as a whole determines in an important way how the parts behave;a system must be understood as a whole and cannot be comprehended by examining its individual parts in isolation from each other. Gestalt Concept of wholeness.
A dynamic state of balance or equilibrium amongst a system. The tendency of a system to maintain internal stability and to resist change.
Family definition: (intro to MFT) this is the desire for a family to maintain stability. When families resits change and try to keep the patterns they have always functioned in.
an equivalence of form;like how many of the family therapies/theories in a way borrow from each other.
Ledger of Merits
It is a framework by which the family therapist discovers each person's subjective justification for his or her current behavior;It is a calculus concerned with the balance between the accumulating merits (values) and debts of the two sides of any relationship. Just how much entitlement or indebtedness each party has at a given time depends on the fairness of give-and-take that exists between them
Lineality / Lineal Causality / Linearity
is the idea that one event is the "cause" and another is the "effect" (or A causes B). This is the opposite of circular causality.
No class can be a member of itself.
A class of classes cannot be one of the classes which are its members. Ex. A class of chairs is not a chair.
The name being named is not the thing named.The idea is that the hierarchy of logical types is deciphered by the analogous understanding of an object.
The extent that we were reliably cared for when we were too helpless and vulnerable to care for ourselves, to that extent we develop a bond of loyalty that will connect us the rest of our lives.
characterized by an inability to achieve reciprocity or complementary of purpose. Each person tries to coerce the other to meet his/her expectations.
occurs when there is one strong partner and one weak partner and the strong partner allows the weak partner to dominate.
communication about communication.For example, "let's not talk about this right now" or "just kidding" or "we're getting off topic." Communicating about process is helpful to get people out of their cycles.
is a type of conceptual metaphor presented as a story or other parallel to an entire aspect of a situation, related by a psychotherapist to a patient. The purpose of this is to highlight to a person, in an effective way, some aspects and lessons that otherwise they might not be able to perceive as clearly in their current situation, or to suggest new outlooks on it.
the origin and development of morphological (the study of the form of things) characteristics;tendency of a system to evolve and to change its structure; allows for growth, creativity, innovation and change to maintain stability; ability of a system to change its form
the process in complex system-environment exchanges that tends to serve or maintain a system's given form, organization, or state. system's tendency toward stability or a steady state; tendency of a system to retain its organization or to maintain the status quo; system must engage in regulation and control as well as manage its position in the supra-system to maintain stability in the system; ability of a system to hold its shape
Nonlinearity / Step Function
when the output is not directly proportional to the input, this gives rise to chaos. Unpredictable. On a graph a nonlinear relationship is anything but a straight line. "The whole is not necessarily equal to the sum of its parts"; What is put into a relationship is not necessarily the same as what one gets out of it. The amount of therapy done does not necessarily mean the desired outcome will be achieved.
Paradigm / Model / Map
A model or concept scheme through which people make sense of their reality or world.
used in structural family therapy and strategic family therapy. It is a type of intervention or technique where the therapist's goal is to eliminate the resistance of a client. Therapist, essentially instructs client to continue the symptomatic behavior instead of stopping it.