Exam 3 Study Guide
Be familiar with family coalitions
-p.284.Coalitions are alliances between specific family members against a third member. Stable coalition – a fixed and inflexible union that becomes a dominant part of the family’s everyday functioning. Detouring coalition – is one in which the pair hold a third family member responsible for their difficulties or conflicts with one another, thus decreasing the stress on themselves or their relationship.
Understand the emphasis of structural therapists
p.293 Focuses on the active, organized wholeness of the family unit and the ways in which the family organizes itself through its transactional patterns. The family’s subsystems, boundaries, alignments, and coalitions are studied. It is geared to present day transactions and gives higher priority to action than to insight or understanding. All behavior, including symptoms in the identified patient, is viewed within the context of family structure. Interventions are active, carefully calculated, even manipulative efforts to alter rigid, outmoded, or unworkable structures. To achieve such changes, families are helped to renegotiate outmoded rules and to seek greater boundary clarity.
Know characteristics and interventions of psychosomatic families p.276. Minuchin, Bernice Rosman, Lester Baker. Families of children who manifest severe psychosomatic symptoms are characterized by certain transactional problems that encourage somatization. Enmeshment is common, subsystems function poorly, and boundaries between family members are too diffuse to allow for individual autonomy. A psychosomatic family was found to be overprotective, inhibiting the child from developing a sense of independence, competence or interest in activities outside the safety of the family. Symptoms have a regulating effect on the family system. Help family develop clearer boundaries, learn to negotiate for desired changes, and deal more directly with hidden, underlying conflicts.
Know boundaries and characteristics of disengaged and enmeshed families p.282. Enmeshments (diffuse boundaries). Disengagement (rigid boundaries). Most families are not one or the other, but contain enmeshed or disengaged subsystems. Enmeshed - Subsystem boundaries in enmeshed families are poor differentiated, weak, and easily crossed. Members of enmeshed families place too high a value on family cohesiveness, to the extent that they yield autonomy and have little inclination to explore and master problems outside the safety of the family. Disengaged – members of the family may function separately and autonomously but with little sense of family loyalty. Communication in such families is strained and guarded, and the family’s protective functions are limited.
Know information on monitoring family dysfunctional sets
p.294. Dysfunctional sets are the family reactions, developed in response to stress, repeated without modification whenever there is a family conflict. All family members become involved, and various coalitions develop; but the family organization remains the same, and the dysfunctional sets will be repeated in the next trying situation.
Have an understanding of family mapping and mimesis
p.289 Family mapping – organizing schema for understanding complex family interactive patterns. Has two purposes: it graphically describes how the family is organized, and it helps the therapist detect the family subunit requiring restructuring. P.286 Mimesis- the process of joining the family by imitating the manner, style, affective range, or content of its communication in order to solidify the therapeutic alliance with them.
Understand the focus of strategic therapies
p.302. They look at what is occurring rather than why it is occurring. They are concerned with the ongoing process between and among people within a system and the ways in which they interact, define, and redefine their relationships, and not to drawing inferences about each...
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