Explore BrainMass

Explore BrainMass

    family systems approaches and other counseling theories

    This content was COPIED from BrainMass.com - View the original, and get the already-completed solution here!

    Compare and contrast family systems approaches and other counseling theories that are directed more specifically toward individual client therapy.

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com April 3, 2020, 9:08 pm ad1c9bdddf

    Solution Preview

    1. I want to compare family systems approaches (Satir, Structural family,Strategic systems, Bowen's family systems) In general, to more individual directed approaches (CBT, REBT, Reality Therapy). The Primary focus is on the Family approaches and how they compare in general to theories directed at individual therapy. I will increase my bid. Thank you for your help.

    I used point form for some parts to lessen the time it takes to respond to this lengthy assignment. It should you plenty of information to complete your final copy.

    Let's look at these therapy types.


    Family systems perspective

    Generally, the family systems perspective has the following characteristics: individuals are best understood through assessing the interactions within an entire family, symptoms are viewed as an expression of a dysfunction within a family and problematic behaviors that:

    1. Serve a purpose for the family
    2. Are a function of the family's inability to operate productively
    3. Are symptomatic patterns handed down across generations
    4. A family ~ is an interactional unit and a change in one member effects all members (Messina, n.d)

    Differences between family systems and individual therapy

    There are some main differences difference between family systems and individual therapy. In individual therapy, there is an individual Therapist, obtain accurate diagnosis DSM IV, begin Therapy right now, focus on the causes, purposes, processes, concern with individual experience and perspective, and intervene to help individual learn to cope, In contrast, the family systems view has a systemic Therapist who explore system for family process and rules, invite in parents and siblings; focus on family relationships. It is concerned with transgenerational meanings and rules; and they intervene to change context within family system (Messina, n.d).

    Beliefs of Family Therapists

    ? Individual's affiliations & interactions have more power in person's life than a single therapist could ever hope to have
    ? Working with family or community therapists sees how individual acts and serves needs of these systems
    ? Seeing individual in active in a systems assists in developing types of interventions needed (Messina, n.d)

    Systemic Perspective

    ? Individual may carry a symptom for the entire family
    ? Individual's functioning is a manifestation of way family functions
    ? Individual can have symptom existing independent of family structure
    ? Symptoms always have ramifications for family members
    ? Change the systems and individuals will change
    ? Change dysfunctional patterns of relating & create functional ways of interacting & relating
    ? The application of rational thinking to emotionally saturated systems. A well-articulated theory is considered to be essential. (Messina, n.d)

    There are many different family systems therapies, which all hold the above basic perspective, but differ in their goals, role of therapist and techniques of therapy.

    1. Murray Bowen - Multigenerational Family Therapy

    There are eight key concepts include: differentiation of the self, triangulation, nuclear family emotional system, family projection process, emotional cutoff, multigenerational transmission process, Sibling position and Societal regression (Messina, n.d).

    Differentiation of the self involves several key characteristics paid attention to in therapy:
    ? A psychological separation of intellect & emotion & independence of self from others
    ? Differentiated =Being able to be guided by thoughts or emotions - separateness
    ? Undifferentiated=difficulty separating self from others-fuse with dominant family emotional patterns-physical but not emotional leaving
    ? Unproductive family dynamics of previous generation transmitted by marriage of undifferentiated individuals
    ? Need for self-identify while still belonging to one's family. (Messina, n.d)

    Triangulation is another key technique used in therapy:

    ? A third party is recruited to reduce anxiety and stabilize a couple's relationship
    ? Underlying conflict not addressed & worsens
    ? Once the 3rd person is resolved the balance achieved is off again
    ? Change in one part of family system affects the whole system
    ? Therapist must be highly differentiated so as not to get caught up in triangulation with couple. (Messina, n.d)

    Multigenerational Family Therapy Goals

    ? With the proper knowledge the individual can change
    ? Change occurs only with other family members
    ? To change the individuals within the context of the system
    ? To end generation-to-generation transmission of problems by resolving emotional attachments
    ? To lessen anxiety and relieve symptoms
    ? To increase the individual member's level of differentiation. (Messina, n.d)

    Therapists function in a Multigenerational Family Therapy in this way:

    ? Genogram work: look at family over three generations
    ? Look for critical turning points in family emotional process
    ? Characteristics of family members
    ? Evolutional picture of family: tools for assessment
    ? Asking Questions: What role did you play with that person in the family? Looking for fusion within the family. (Messina, n.d)

    2. Virginia Satir -

    Her therapy is referred to a Conjoint Family Therapy that has several key concepts:

    ? Enhancement and validation of self-esteem-Human Validation Process Model
    Family rules include the following:
    ? Congruence and openness in communications
    ? Sculpting
    ? Nurturing triads
    ? Family mapping and chronologies. (Messina, n.d)

    Therapy Goals include the following:

    ? Open communications where individuals are allowed to honestly report their perceptions
    ? Enhancement of self-esteem
    ? Family decisions are based on individual needs
    ? Encouragement of growth
    ? Differences are acknowledged and seen as opportunities for growth
    ? Transform extreme rules into useful and functional rules
    ? Families have many spoken and unspoken rules. (Messina, n.d)

    Satir's therapy has specific views on family life including the following:

    ? Children enter pre-existing systems which have rules
    ? Rules about living & interaction
    ? Rules governing Communications-who says what under what conditions
    ? Rules spoken and unspoken: shoulds and should nots
    ? Rules become absolutes & often are impossible: Never be angry with your father. Always keep a smile on your face
    ? As child accept rules for survival which are not useful as adult. (Messina, n.d)

    According to Satir, there are functional and ...

    Solution Summary

    Satir, Structural family, Strategic systems, and Bowen's family systems are assessed.