The restructuring of family schemas: a cognitive-behavior perspective.
ABSTRACT Cognitive-behavior therapists define schemas as cognitive structures that organize thought and perception. Schemas are also viewed as having an integral influence on emotion and behavior In this article, I examine the role of schema in family conflict and the specific interventions used in restructuring them during the course of family therapy. Further discussion highlights the concepts of attributions, assumptions, and family standards, and the role they play in schemas, as well as the overall family dynamics. Finally, a series of steps are suggested for facilitating the process of schema analysis and thought restructuring during the process of family therapy.
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ABSTRACT: C onstructions of family normality, health, and dysfunction, which are embedded in our cultural and professional belief systems, underlie all clinical theory and practice. These assumptions exert a powerful and largely unexamined influence in every family assessment and intervention. The field of mental health has long neglected the study and promotion of health. In the concentration on mental illness, family normality became equated with the absence of symptoms, a situation rarely, if ever, seen in the clinical setting. Assumptions about healthy families were largely speculative and utopian, extrapolated from experience with disturbed clinical cases. Scant attention was given to the stressful challenges and strengths of ordinary families in the community or their larger social context. Clinical practice and research in the mid-20th century, grounded in medi-cal and psychoanalytic paradigms, focused on the understanding and treat-ment of psychopathology. The family was viewed darkly in terms of damag-ing influences in the etiology of individual disturbances. Indeed, throughout much of the clinical literature, families were portrayed as noxious and destructive influences. Focused narrowly on a dyadic view of early childhood attachments, "parenting" was equated with "mothering," with the terms usedNormal Family Processes: Growing Diversity and Complexity, 4th edited by Froma Walsh, 01/2012: chapter Clinical views of family normality, health, and dysfunction: From a deficit to a strengths perspective: pages 27-54; Guilford Press.
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ABSTRACT: Integrative approaches seem to be paramount in the current climate of family therapy and other psychotherapies. However, integration between and among theories and practices can only occur within a specific epistemology. This article makes a distinction between three different epistemologies: individualizing, systems, and poststructural. It then makes the argument that one can integrate theories within epistemologies and one can adopt practices and some theoretical concepts across theories and across epistemologies, but that it is impossible to integrate theories across epistemologies. It further states that although social constructionism has influenced much of contemporary psychological thinking, because of the divergence between a structural and a poststructural approach, constructionism looks different depending upon one's epistemological stance. Examples of integration within epistemologies and of what looks like integration across epistemologies (but is not) further illustrate these important distinctions. The conclusions reached here are crucial to our philosophical considerations, our pedagogical assumptions, and implications for both research and a reflexive clinical practice.Family Process 09/2010; 49(3):349-68. DOI:10.1111/j.1545-5300.2010.01327.x · 1.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Proponents of the common factors movement in marriage and family therapy (MFT) suggest that, rather than specific models of therapy, elements common across models of therapy and common to the process of therapy itself are responsible for therapeutic change. This article-the second of two companion articles-reports on a study designed to further investigate common factors in couple therapy. We used grounded theory techniques to analyze data from interviews with MFT model developers Dr. Susan M. Johnson, Dr. Frank M. Dattilio, Dr. Richard C. Schwartz, former students of Dr. Johnson and Dr. Schwartz, and each of their clients who had been successful in couple therapy. This article reports model-independent variables, that is, general aspects of therapy that are not directly related to the therapist's model. Model-independent categories include client variables, therapist variables, the therapeutic alliance, therapeutic process, and expectancy and motivational factors, each with several subcategories. We also present a conceptual framework that outlines how model-dependent and model-independent common factors may interact to produce change. We discuss our findings and proposed framework in relation to the current common factors literature in psychology and MFT. We also discuss clinical, training, and research implications.Journal of Marital and Family Therapy 08/2007; 33(3):344-63. DOI:10.1111/j.1752-0606.2007.00031.x · 1.01 Impact Factor