Archive for ‘Uncategorized’


16 Commentsby   |  11.15.09  |  Uncategorized

Nichols (1987) defines resistance as, “anything clients do to subvert or slow the process of therapy. In family therapy, resistance is the rule, not the exception” (p. 251). More »

Macrosystem: You can’t escape it.

12 Commentsby   |  11.14.09  |  Uncategorized

The macrosystem is comprised of the larger societal institutions, such as government, economy, media, and so forth, which lay the social and historical context for development (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). It is a pretty easy idea to grasp because this system is so large it is easy to spot its influence on our lives. I like that the definition of macrosystem includes the historical context, because it is so important to remember. The macrosystem of our ancestors has an affect on us today. Racism and stereotypes that can be traced back to pre-civil war are still affecting the development of minority youth today, and not just with affirmative action laws. Some events which occur in the macrosystem may affect certain individuals more concretely than others. For example, the current health care bill being passed around Congress has the potential to affect a family currently without health care that takes care of a terminally ill family member. If that legislation passes it could improve the quality of life for that family exponentially. Whereas people with health insurance who are in good health may only feel the impact of that legislation gradually. More »

It’s a Beautiful day in the Exosystem

10 Commentsby   |  11.09.09  |  Uncategorized

The exosystem represents the social structures that form the immediate context in which families and individuals function. These structures include systems such as neighborhoods and the interconnections among its elements, such as school, peer group, church, and work place (Bronfenbrenner, 1977), as well as informal social networks and formal support groups. More »


5 Commentsby   |  11.09.09  |  Uncategorized

Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model contains five environmental systems which includes microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macorsystem, and chronosystem. The below image shows Bronfenbrenner’s five systems, and their relationship importance, with the microsystems being the smallest and most immediate to the macrosystem which is the largest and most distal. More »


2 Commentsby   |  11.09.09  |  Uncategorized

According to Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model there are five environmental systems in which a person lives and develops. They are the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem and choronosystem. The microsystem is the setting in which an individual lives and develops, or immediate environment (Bryant, 2001). Examples of a microsystem would be the family, school, or peer group. Microsystems do interact with each other and influence each other, and this point of interaction is called the mesosystem. More »

First Order Change

8 Commentsby   |  11.02.09  |  Uncategorized

First Order Change More »

Second-Order Change

8 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 »


11 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

39 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 »