Blake Berryhill's Archive


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 »

Blake Berryhill's Comment Archive

  1. Blake Berryhill on Second-Order Change
    5:24 pm, 11.08.09

    What role could second order change play in our own lives?
    When I think of second-order change, I think of Dr. Milholland’s “boxes.” If second-order change is changing the rules about rules, then it can play out in our lives in significant ways. The best example is in relationships. The current rules in relationships allow us to act and react in certain ways. Some of these behaviors are dysfunctional or conflictual. Second-order change allows us to change these interactional patterns into more functional and healthy behaviors.

  2. Blake Berryhill on Emotional Cutoff
    12:45 pm, 10.26.09

    Thanks for clarifying.

  3. Blake Berryhill on Emotional Cutoff
    8:49 am, 10.23.09

    Good post. I would like to comment on the last line: “They propose that one seek emotional objectivity about one’s family of origin and to see oneself as part of the system (Kerr & Bowen, 1988).” The question I have is this: Is there such a thing as emotional objectivity? If one is part of a human system, then there is an inherent emotional attachment to that system. There may be varying degrees of emotional attachment (hate on one end, love on the other). Emotional objectivity seems to land on the side of indifference. Even in this case, indifference is the emotion not to feel emotions. What I am trying to say is that I do not agree that with the definition that people can be emotionally objective.

  4. Is simply helping people become aware of the patterns of behavior in their lives enough to help them break the cycle? What else do we as therapists try and do to help people break these generational ways of behaving?
    As a therapist, it is important to help clients become aware of patterns of behavior. If one can see and realize the pattern of generational behavior in their own family, the will be able to better understand their own personal pattern of behavior. This information can be a useful tool in the process of therapy and change it the client.

    While this is an effective tool for therapy, it needs to be supplemented by other theories and interventions. The goal is to help the clients understand their need for change and break the cycle of generational patterns. I feel the hardest part is to help the client resolve their fears of breaking this cycle. This cycle is all the client knows, and has known all of their life.

  5. Blake Berryhill on Enmeshment
    12:58 pm, 10.05.09

    I somewhat disagree with your statement. God does reward people who blindly obey Him. Elijah and Mount Carmel, Job, and Noah are examples where standing on one’s own is equivelent with blinding having faith with God. Hebrews 11 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” God does reward those who chose their faith in Him.

    Jesus says clearly, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me (Matt. 16:24).

    Or consider this passage, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26-27).

    Jesus calls us to an enmeshed relationship because we are to choose to follow God in all circumstances. Jesus taught his disciples to follow Him, even it meant death. Having faith in God is following Him, despite of our circumstances. Again, I go back to the irony and paradox of God’s call. The more enmeshed we are with God though the avenue of faith, the more freedom we have to experience our own God given individuality .

  6. Blake Berryhill on Enmeshment
    11:55 am, 10.03.09

    After serving a church for seven years, I feel it is important to understand the object of a church’s enmeshment. God is a relational being, and He created us to be relational beings. As we saw in the Garden of Eden, God created us to be enmeshed with Him. When sin entered the world, the enmeshment boundary broke, causing mankind to exist in a chaotic universe.

    It is easy to see that some churches have missed the mark. Instead of being enmeshed with God, people become “enmeshed” with each other. As a result, churches become rigid, only accepting people who follow a certain set of unspoken rules. That is why “country club churches” is such a popular term today.

    I feel churches should get back to the main issue. If we are going to reach this generation for Christ, then our lives and churches need to become enmeshed with the character and story God. The paradox is: the more we are enmeshed with Jesus, the more flexible we become in being the hands and feet of Jesus.

  7. Blake Berryhill on Triangulation
    7:40 pm, 09.28.09

    2. I think a couple could create a triangle with inanimate objects. In my own FOO I have seen a family member “triangle” with her addiciton of alcohol.She uses this triangle as her way of coping with her anxiety and stress.

    3. I do not think that triangle are always detrmiental to the system. There are obvious cases, like the sick child, when forming a triangle is necessary. The trianlge can become dysfunctional if the triangle continues after there is not a need.

  8. Blake Berryhill on Content
    10:32 am, 10.29.09

    Thanks for a great reminder. What are some questions to help clients focus on themselves and get to the “process?”

  9. Blake Berryhill on Content
    10:31 am, 10.29.09

    I agree that focusing on content is a lot easier, especially when you are tired. As a therapist, there are going to be times when we are tired and emotionally spent. In these times it will be hard to engage with clients. When seeing clients all day, how does a therapist “recharge” to be present with every single client?