Presentation on theme: "Communications and Experiential Family Therapy"— Presentation transcript:
1Communications and Experiential Family Therapy Virginia SatirCarl Whitaker
2Concepts to watch for:The Primacy of the experience – “Existence precedes essence,” “thoughts and feelings are attempts to understand our world, but the experience of life comes first.” Those who are only intellectualizing are not fully alive.Affect – Families who are not in touch with their experience and emotionally dead.
3Concepts to watch for:The Person of the Therapist – Experiential family therapists (all counselors) participate actively and personally in the session. They do not attempt to hide behind a therapeutic mask, but risk being vulnerable and open. Self-disclosure, and congruency and transparency are vital.Spontaneity and Creativity – non rational and creative experiences are important to provide for the family (client).
4Concepts to watch for:Freedom, Holism, and Existential Anxiety – Freedom – choice not fate, awareness of death, finality of life.I-Thou relationship – among family members and with the world, and starting with the therapist/client.Present-centeredness – Immediate experience and person-to-person encounters.
5Communications School Early MRI emphasized communicationsAll behavior is communicationCommunication has both a Report and a CommandCommunication has both analogue and digital partsMeta communication is communication about communication.
6The double bind Two or more persons in an important relationship. Repeated experience.A primary negative injunction, such as “Don’t do X or I will punish you.A second injunction at a more abstract level conflicting with the first, also enforced by punishment or perceived threat.A tertiary negative injunction prohibiting escape and demanding a response Without this restriction the “victim” won’t feel bound;The complete set of ingredients is no longer necessary after the victim is conditioned.
7ExistentialismExistentialism, a philosophy that examines the immediacy of the problems of life i.e., the condition of humans, the state of being free, and of having to use freedom in order to answer the ever-changing and unexpected challenges of the day. Existentialists have the starting point for every philosophical investigation as human existence -- the human personality itself, my “me,” your "you" -- whose drama of life, brought under critical analysis, should point the way to the absolute value of reality.Phenomenology – we all create and experience our own reality separate from what is real – out there.Search for meaning – we strive to understand what is all about.
8Satir- Outline Humanistic perspective View of human nature Source of motivation Development of pathology Nature of change Therapeutic relationship
9Satir- Humanistic Perspective TechniquesCarl Rogers Fritz Perls Existentialists
10Satir- Humanistic Perspective Goal of humanistic therapy is to increase awareness of options and potential Make choices Increase autonomy and self-actualization
11Satir- Philosophical tenets Relationship is encounter between two people at any momentStrength of relationship based on strength of self-concept
12Satir- View of human nature Geared to survival, growth, getting close to others.Humans are limited in ways of “knowing” self
13Satir- Source of motivation CommunicationSelf-worth
14Satir- Development of pathology Inability to form relationships.Ineffective communication
15Satir- Development of pathology Ineffective communication-Convey self incongruentlyVariable to adapt to present contextDoes not elicit feedbackDenial of impulsesSuppression of feelingsFamilies are locked into self-protection and avoidanceEmotional deadness
16Satir- Development of pathology Families are cold; tend to stay together out of habit or duty.Families lack warmth to themselves and othersCouples live together in quiet desperation.Adults don’t seem to enjoy their children.Ineffective communication types Placater Blamer Computer Distractor
17Satir- Nature of change Goal of treatment-Increased self-worthClear, direct, honest communicationFlexible and appropriate rolesOpen and hopeful links to society
18Satir- Therapeutic relationship Seen as resource person.Serve as experienced observer.Model good communication.Teach clients effective communication.Aware of possibilities for interactions in therapy
19Satir- Stages of therapy Opening phone call.Discover who is in family.Ages of members.Importance of members.Parenting roles
20Satir- Stages of therapy Initial session- Clarify family expectations Explain nature of family therapy Explore symptoms Reflect puzzlement of good intentions Family study
21Satir- Stages of therapy Family Life Chronology- (First 2 sessions) Courtship history Early married life Marital expectations Plan and arrival of each child
22Satir- Therapeutic relationship- Emphasize equality in relationshipEncourage client’s to elicit feedback from therapistMake “I value you” statements (well, we know you have good seed)
23Satir- TechniquesImprove self-worth- Identify client strengths Ask questions on client’s area of expertise Note achievements in family history Accentuate good intentions Questions on bringing happiness to others
24Satir- TechniquesImprove communication- Do not allow members to block communication Do not allow members to speak for each other Encourage client’s to ask for clarification Interpret family messages
25Satir- Stages of therapy Termination- Complete transactions, clear messages Improved perceptions of self, others perceptions Disagree Make choices
28Carl Whitaker’s View of human nature Healthy families: Process of perpetual becoming.Three generations that maintain autonomy.Flexible roles.Flexible power distribution
29Whitaker- View of human nature Healthy families: Use constructive input.Develop “as if” structure.Allowed to be crazy.Develop functional realities
30Whitaker- View of human nature Healthy families: Aware of stress of members.Express positive and negative feelings.Respect intimacy and separation.Encourage outside relationships
31Whitaker- Source of motivation Grow despite adversities.Parents grown from difficulties with their children.Deal with symptoms as growth
32Whitaker- Development of pathology Discomfort with growth.Inflexibility.Resistant to change.
33Whitaker- Nature of change Goal of therapy is to encourage change and growth
34Whitaker- Therapeutic relationship Use of co-therapists.Share opinions of family.Use of children as co-therapists.Model healthy adult functioning
35Whitaker-Stages of therapy Initial phone call-Insist on all members
36Whitaker- Stages of therapy Battle for structure.Therapists initially control structure of session, time, cost, location.Insist on all members present
37Whitaker- Stages of treatment Initial session.Address father first.Assess for subgroups
38Whitaker- Stages of therapy Battle for initiative Insist that family members make change Exchange control of sessions
39Whitaker- Stages of therapy Battle for bilaterality Family can leave treatment at any time Flight into health
40Whitaker- Techniques Redefinition of symptoms as growth. Use fantasy alternatives.Assign members to change roles.Augment despair of members.Engage in affective confrontation.Treat children like children.Separate interpersonal stress from fantasy stress.Highlight family revolution.Extended family reunion.Use of consultation
41Whitaker- Stages of treatment Termination Express feelings to family