Kent Akers's Archive

Second-Order Change

7 Commentsby   |  11.01.09  |  Uncategorized

Second-order change is one of the main concepts to be grasped in the field of Family Therapy. Because the family is viewed as a system, it is important to understand the role second order change can take in therapy sessions. Second-order change is change that reforms the structure of a system (Brill & Worth, 1997). In other words, this type of change takes place when a system’s structure is altered and produces different results than it had been before. The key to this is that the entirety of the system is altered, not just a single part. In a family, this could take the form the restructuring of a parental system in a step-family or a family with multiple and conflicting parental figures. Structural therapy makes use of this technique and focuses on second order change quite a bit. More »

Kent Akers's Comment Archive

  1. Kent Akers on First Order Change
    1:35 pm, 12.09.09

    I was thinking about question three. I feel like Nichols’ comments on the therapist jumping in too soon does show a therpist who is more concerned about first order change. It could be, though, that a therpist does this in order to stear a family toward second order change. If there isn’t some initial teaching or reordering in the families behavior, they would just function on the same level that maintained the presenting problem. As long as the therapist equips the family with the skill they need to reach second order change, focusing on first order change in the initial stages of therapy shouldn’t be a problem.

  2. I tend to agree with Scott about question number one. I feel like people, in and out of relationships, are motivated by money or religion. People use those things for power over others, but also as an explanation for acting and thinking in the way they do. It is interesting to me that both money and religion can function together for good to be done. On the flip side, they can be used sepratley or together for destruction as well. All the more reason to be consious of the thing that inlfuence us and to take evey thought captive before we act on them.

  3. I definitely think you covered many of the exosystems a person could potentially be a part of. One that was in my life, along with the church, school, and the work atmospheres for my parents, was y different sports teams. Each one had a different dynamic with different personalities making up the whole of the group. It intereesting to think backk on those teams now in this light.

  4. Kent Akers on Enmeshment
    4:04 pm, 10.05.09

    I want to reply to Ashley’s comment. I really like what she said about how it is not the amount of enmeshment, but who we are enmeshed to. I believe that churches today are starting to focus more on individuality. Our typical stereotype of church probably has the body looking pretty enmeshed. I know in my church back home, same belief was a must for membership. Same belief was not necessarily a must to be accepted as a visitor, but it was definitely frowned on, especially if the person made the belief known. Today, though, I believe a generation has come into the church that is emphasizing differentiation without even knowing it. This takes the form of knowing that a common goal is more important than a common belief.