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strategic family therapy

Strategic 2 most powerful insights:

families often perpetuate own problems thru their own actions; Directives can bring about sudden change

Strategic therapy grew out what theory of who's what project?

Communication theory, Bateson's, schizophrenia project

Strategic 3 models:

MRI (Jackson) brief, Haley and Madane's Strategic, Milan systemic

Erikson's hypnotherapy helped create what?

Paradoxical techniques

Three things Milan group was known for

helping eating disorders, positive connotations, the dirty games people play

Two Axioms of Strategic?

People are always communicating; all messages have REPORT and COMMAND functions

Command messages are patterned as?


3 parts to MRI approach

1. ID + feedback loops that maintain probs 2. Determine rules that support these interactions 3. Find way to change rules to interrupt prob maintaining behavior


the price of symptom outweighs that of giving it up

Interpersonal Payoff of behavior

child picking fight gets mom out of depression (example)

Power Games

protective function symptom serves in family

Normal Family Development 3 views

MRI-avoided positions of how family should be Milan- neutrality Haley- clear boundaries and hierarchies

According to Communications theory, the essential function of symptoms is?

To maintain homeostatic equilibrium of family systems

3 explanations for how problems develop (haley & Milan embraced all three)

1. cybernetics; + feedback loops (MRI) 2. Structural: incongruous hierarchies 3. Functional: symptoms serve functions for the system

MRI views families as ________ not _________.

Stuck, not sick

How did MRI define normal?

They didn't. If it worked for the family, it's fine.

Goals of MRI assessment/therapy?

1. ID PP 2. ID attempted solutions 3. understand unique language of client

Haley's 3 steps assessment?

1. define PP 2. cross-generational coalitions 3. interpersonal payoff of problem behavior

Haley's ultimate goal?

To restructure family hierarchy and boundaries.

Haley always wanted to know

what was the payoff for the F for having the symptom

Milan wanted to?

1. outwit resistance (tell them to keep doing what they're doing) 2. focused on behavior not beliefs 3. therapist responsible for change

Strategic humanism

more about soothing and loving than power

Unique technique to Milan group?


6 step MRI model:

1. intro to treatment setup 2. define PP 3. what's the behavior that's maintaining PP 4. set goals for treatment 5. making behavioral interventions 6. termination

Circular questions

designed to decenter clients by seeing themselves in relation to others/ context from other perspectives

4 stages in Haley/Madanes:

1. social 2. problem 3. interaction 4. goal-setting

What stage in Haley/Madanes asks each person their perspective and looked for clues re: triangles and hierarchy?

Problem stage

What stage do Haley/Madanes look for coalitions/hierarchy, and F discusses POV amongst themselves?

Interactional stage

Milan Model 5 parts

presession (initial hypo) , session (modify or verify hypo) , intersession (team therapists meet) , intervention (team therapists go back to F and present interventions) , postsession discussion (team remeets and plans/discusses)

What's the most distinctive innovation to come from Milan model?

Positive connotation


used to engage families in a series of actions that ran counter to or exaggerated rigid family rules and myths

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