Archive for October, 2009


6 Commentsby   |  10.23.09  |  Uncategorized

Process is what we’ve been working on for the past few weeks, but this concept is a slippery one. When we work on our dyads, or when we write up our observation reports, we are looking for evidence of process. Gilbert (1992) describes watching for process as a “complex but fascinating” endeavor (p.33). Indeed, looking for the process in what a client is saying can be challenging, yet if we want to be the most effective therapists we can be, we must take this challenge. More »


7 Commentsby   |  10.23.09  |  Uncategorized

Yalom (1985) states, “The content consists of the explicit words spoken, the substantive issues, the arguments advanced” (p. 137). In therapy, the content consists of the facts of the session. It is a description of what happened or what is said. Nichols and Schwartz (2007) give the example of a mother who tells her daughter that she shouldn’t play with Barbie dolls because she shouldn’t aspire to an image of bubble-headed beauty. The content of the mother’s message to her daughter is: I want you to respect yourself as a person, not as an ornament. This is only the facts of the situation. Content is not concerned with emotions of interpretations of interactions. Consider this example (Meier & Davis, 2008): More »

Emotional Cutoff

30 Commentsby   |  10.05.09  |  Uncategorized

            Consider the following individuals with respect to their families of origin. Person A is a highly differentiated person while Person B is largely undifferentiated. Which is more likely to demonstrate emotional cutoff from their family? A brief etymological analysis would seem to indicate the differentiated person is more likely. Both of the words “different” and “cutoff” indicate separation. Right? Wrong! In actuality, the undifferentiated individual is more likely to experience emotional cutoff from one’s family of origin. An explanation of this follows. More »

Multigenerational Transmission Process

4 Commentsby   |  10.03.09  |  Uncategorized

Multigenerational Transmission Process, coined by Murray Bowen, is a hypothesis that states that relationship patterns in previous generations can serve as a model for functioning in future generations (McGoldrick, Gerson, & Petry, 2008). This would mean that a good deal of how we learn to interact with one another, especially in our nuclear families we learn from our families of origin. This is also how we see cycles of dysfunction repeating itself within families. This makes sense as we grow up around our families and see their interactions and therefore develop our own understanding of normal behavior. More »