Interactional View Theory by Paul Waltzawick Essay

Interactional View Theory by Paul Waltzawick Essay

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The Interactional view is based on systems theory and was developed by Paul Waltzawick. Waltzawick was a part of the Palo Alto group because he was one of twenty scholars and therapists who was inspired by, and worked with anthropologist Gregory Bateson. The Palo Alto group does not focus on why a person acts a certain way, instead the focus is on how that behavior affects everyone in the group (Griffin, 2012, p.182). “Family system is an autonomous, mutually dependent network of feedback loops guided by members’ rules; the behavior of each person affects and is affected by the behavior of another” (Griffin, 2012, p.182). The Interactional view theory postulates that relationships within a family system are interrelated. The theory infers that relationships do not come together or fall apart because of one individual. A popular song, “Stick to the Status Quo”, reflects the theme of the theory. In essence, everyone needs to continue playing the role they are use to; if they do, then things will not change and everything will continue as is. Sticking to the status quo can also be referred to as homeostasis. A keen analysis of the Interactional Theory places my mother and I at the heart of the theory.
As I examine this theory I realized that my mother and I have established a “status quo” for as long as I can remember. She was the strict parent, very dictatorial in a number of ways, and as long as I did as I was told, all was well. As the years progressed I realized that miscommunication is bound to take place. “Miscommunication occurs because people are not "speaking the same language” (Communication Pragmatics). This often becomes evident in my family when my mother tells me to clean my room. In my mind, she means that I should c...

... middle of paper ...

... rules and creates its own reality"(Axioms of communication). The four axioms that Watzlawick focuses on are one cannot not communicate, content plus relationship equals communication, the nature of a relationship depends on how both parties punctuate the communication sequence, and all communication is either symmetrical or complementary.

Works Cited

Axioms of Communication. (n.d.). Axioms of Communication. Retrieved April 22, 2014, from
Communication Pragmatics/Interactional View - Interpersonal Communication Context. (n.d.). Communication Pragmatics/Interactional View - Interpersonal Communication Context. Retrieved April 22, 2014, from
Griffin, E. (2012). The Interactional View of Paul Watzlawick. A First Look At Communication Theory (Eighth ed., pp. 181-190). New York: McGraw-Hill.

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