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Unit of Focus/
• Murray Bowen
Extends family systems beyond
nuclear family – multigenerational.
Current and extended family
Differentiation of self and fusion, emotional triangle,
nuclear family emotional system, emotional cutoff, sibling
position, family projection process, multigenerational
transmission process, genogram, family ego mass, society
Insight gained through
processes leading to
understanding of family
Behavioral disorders are
the result of a multigenerational transmission
process in which
levels of differentiation
are transmitted from one
generation to the next.
Beginning: Evaluation, trans-generational
exploration, identification of individualized
Early/Middle: Teach differentiation,
individuation. genogram, therapy triangle,
relationship experiments, coaching and “I”
End: Reporting back. Closure.
Reduce the level
of anxiety and
within the context of
• Virginia Satir
• Carl Whitaker
Primary concept is self-esteem –
an innate drive either fostered
or not fostered as a result of the
communication and early experiences
a child receives from his/her parents.
Long term/short term.
Self-esteem, self, primary triad, mind, soul, body triad,
maturation, seed model, threat and reward model,
placating, blaming, computing, distracting. leveling, rescue
games, coalition games, lethal games, growth games,
sculpting, family reconstruction, labeling assets.
Active facilitator of
autonomy and ability
to play. Coaches
Family possesses all
resources needed for growth.
Looks for suppressed
feelings and emotions that
block growth & fulfillment.
important for growth.
are conceptualized as
resulting from failure to
fulfill one’s potential for
Beginning: Assessment: family history/key
relationship issues. Develop relationship and
Early/Middle: Treatment focuses on growth:
sculpting, family reconstruction, teaching and modeling
effective communication, use of metaphors, use of
drama, role play, therapist use of self, art therapy,
“I value you” statements, labeling.
End: Provide closure.
Raise self-esteem, improve
family roles and
how they promote
• Salvador Minuchin
Directive, change-oriented therapy,
concerned with symptoms in terms of
family system dynamics – assumption
that if you change the organization or
structure of the family, then the family’s
symptoms will be alleviated.
Nuclear family only.
Family structure, subsystems, boundaries/degree of
permeability, diffuse boundaries and enmeshment, rigid
boundaries and disengagement, alignments, triangle,
power, coalition, joining, mimesis, tracking, enactment,
Active director of
of change in
Behavioral change is based
on action – action precedes
or family dysfunction are
viewed as the result of an
inflexible family structure
that prohibits the family
Beginning: Acceptance of therapist by family.
Evaluate/assessment. accommodating, mimicking,
joining, mapping, challenging the symptom.
Early/Middle: Enactment, reframing, unbalancing,
redirection. Challenge the family structure.
End: Review progress made. Reinforce structure
and reorganization and provide tools for the future.
Setting up referrals or groups.
long-term goal is
Three main models: MRI, Haley
and Madanes, the Milan Model.
Relationships are characterized by
a struggle for power to see who will
define or redefine relationship.
Participants in the problem.
Circular questioning, neutrality, hypothesizing,
complementary, double bind concept, first order change,
metacommunication, paradoxical communications/
prescription, positive connotation, prescribing the system,
relabeling, second order change, symmetrical.
role. Power based.
Focus of therapy is
on alleviating current
symptoms through altering
a family’s transactions
counterproductive as it
Focus on how
used to increase one’s
control in a relationship.
Symptom is interpersonal
rather than intrapsychic.
Struggles for control
become pathological when
control issues produce
Beginning: Identify the problem. Plan a strategy
for change. Four Stages: Social stage, problem stage,
interaction stage, goal setting.
Early/Middle: Direct interventions/straight
directives to change dysfunctional behavior.
Circular questioning, neutrality, hypothesizing.
Address power struggles within family. Relabel
End: Terminate. Presenting problem solved.
through action-oriented directives
• Michael White
• David Epson
Focus on the stories of people’s lives
and is based on the idea that problems
are manufactured in social, cultural and
political contexts. Externalize problem.
Deconstruct story. Create new story.
families and groups.
No time line. Depends
on clients and process of
Life stories, externalizing, who is in charge, reading between
the lines, reauthoring the whole story, reinforcing the new
story, de-constructing dominant cultural discourses.
Strong interest in
Change and insight occur
when a person’s story helps
him to regain his life from a
problem in the end. Process
of uncovering key values,
strengths and skills that lead to
an alternate direction in life.
There is no one objective
“truth” and there are
of any event. People are
not their problems and
can develop alternative
empowering stories once
they are separated from
Beginning: Assessment. Externalizing – Client
tells their problem-saturated story. Therapist asks
questions/encourages clients to ask questions.
Early/Middle: Externalizing – the person is not
the problem. Mapping the influence – problem’s
effects rather than causes. Determine how problem
disrupts/dominates family? Discuss examples of
unique outcomes when clients could overcome
problem. Reauthoring the story. Reinforcing the
new story. Deconstruction.
End: Document and support new story. Make referrals.
Association for Advanced Training
in the Behavioral Sciences
Association for Advanced Training
in the Behavioral Sciences
THEORIES OF PSYCHOTHERAPY
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