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Strategic Family Therapy: Milton Ericson and Gregory Bateson

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Strategic Therapy was inspired by Gregory Bateson and Milton Erickson In the 1950s, Gregory Bateson’s research on communication at Palo Alto was the accidental discovery of strategic therapy. Bateson’s work on double-blind communication influenced many therapists to begin to think of communication from a different view (Madanes, 1981) According to Bateson, families become trapped in dysfunctional patterns when they cling to solutions that don’t work (Haley, & Richeport-Haley, 2003). Madanes states that, “The approach suggests that the interchange of messages between people defines relationships, and these relationships are stabilized by homeostatic processes in the form of actions of family members within the family” (Madanes, 1981). The theory that emerged out of this different view of therapy focused on changing the family system by arranging that family members behave, or communicate, differently with one another (Madanes, 1981). Madanes suggests that is emerging theory did not focus on the past but instead focused on the present because the focus was placed on how to people communicated at the present time (Madanes, 1981). In the 1960s, directives were used by family therapist in the interview to change communication pathways, such as requiring people to talk together who had habitually not done so (Madanes, 1981). According to Madanes, directives were also given for outside the interview, particularly as a result of the influence of Milton’s Erickson’s directive therapy on the communication therapists (Madanes, 1981). Bateson and Erickson’s ideas came to be the foundation of strategic family therapy. In strategic family therapy, therapist set clear goals, which always include solving the presenting problem. Madanes b... ... middle of paper ... ...e team analyzes the family's reaction and plan for the next session (Niolon, Ph. D., 1999). Works Cited Haley, J. (2011). Jay Haley: the strategic therapist. Retrieved from http://www.jay-haley-on-therapy.com/html/strategic_therapy.html Strategic family therapy. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.allpsychologycareers.com/topics/strategic-family-therapy.html Niolon, Ph. D., Richard. (1999, December). Strategic family theory and therapy. Retrieved from http://www.psychpage.com/learning/library/counseling/strategic.html Madanes, Cloe. (1981).Strategic family therapy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc. Haley, Jay, & Richeport-Haley, Madeleine. (2003). The art of strategic therapy. New York: Brunner-Routledge. Nichols, M.P. (2011). Strategic family therapy. In A.Dodge (5th Ed.), The Essentials of family therapy (pp. 97-121). Boston, MA: Pearson. (Nichols, 2011)
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