Different Approaches In Family Therapy Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 10 Subject: Psychology Type: Essay Paper: #34892658 Related Topics: Epistemological, Family Dynamics, Therapy, Jung
Excerpt from Essay :

Cybernetics in Family Therapy

Family therapy as it is known today has a long and convoluted history. From the days of Freud and Jung, there was a general believe that the individual was solely responsible for whatever has gone wrong in the psyche. Hence, all therapeutic interventions have focused on the individual relationship between therapist and individual. This has been the basis for psychiatric intervention for decades and still forms the basis for many therapies today. In addition to the basic Freudian and Jungian analyses, therapies today include newer philosophies such as seeing the therapy recipient as a "client" rather than a "patient" and regarding the person as a kind of equal with whom to build a therapeutic relationship in order to achieve optimal results. The dynamic of psychotherapy interventions have evolved since the 1920s to include not only an acknowledgement of individual inner conflicts, but also the influence of society and ecology on the individual psyche. In addition, the rise of systems theory during the 1940s and 1950s has had a significant impact on the therapeutic relationships.

The rise of theories relating to systems, cybernetics, communication theory, and the role of the personal ecology brought a new dimension to psychoanalysis, which initially recognized only the individual and his or her personal inner conflicts and psychoses (Cook, 2006). This kind of thinking was challenged by the rise of systems theory,...


Hence, a paradigm that reigned supreme for some thirty years was challenged during the 1940s and 1950s by a new acknowledgement of how the human mind functions in relation to the systems of which it forms part. Hence, the social context was regarded as an important part of psychological functioning.

In this, the anthropologist Gregory Bateson is considered the most important figure to influence family therapy in terms of systems theory (Dallos & Draper, 2010). Bateson developed a theory according to which the mind could be explained at the hand of externally influencing factors such as family and society.

For the first time, systems theory has created the impression that an individual's psychological disorders and difficulties do not occur in isolation. Instead, the individual's family and wider relationships more often than not have an impact (Fromme, 2011) www.sagepub.com/upm-data/35408_Chapter1.pdf. For this reason, family therapy has become one of the norms in treating severe psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and depression. In this way, families have been acknowledged not only as impacting mental illness, but also impacting the healing process (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2013).

Initially, the assumption was, much like in individual therapy, that the therapist stood external to the family system being treated. The therapist was the "expert," while those in therapy were regarded as being subordinate to the expertise and the treatment. This was…

Sources Used in Documents:


Atkinson, B.J. (2015). Further Thoughts on Second-Order Family Therapy. Retrieved from: thecouplesclinic.com/pdf/Further.thoughts.pdf

Chapter 1. (n.d.) The History of Family Therapy. Retrieved from: http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/35408_Chapter1.pdf

Cook, S.J. (2006). An Epistemological Journey

Dallos, R. And Draper, R. (2010). An Introduction to Family Therapy: Systemic Theory and Practice. London: McGraw-Hill.
Wright, M.D. (2002, Apr. 18). Cybernetics and the Tao of Family Therapy. Retrieved from: http://www.ccgasia.net/docs/cybernetics.pdf

Cite this Document:

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