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Flashcards in MRI Brief Strategic Deck (15):

Theorists of MRI Brief Strategic:



Major Concepts of MRI Brief Strategic:

1. Communication theory: people are always communicating

2. Find the most motivated person in the system

3. Cybernetics

4. Life cycle transitions are most vulnerable

5. Problematic behavior is a function of interaction with other people; therefore the primary determinant of a person's behavior is other people's behavior

6. Role of larger, social context

7. The client's complaint is the problem, not a symptom of something else

8. Therapist determines goals

9. Understanding the worldview of the family

10. Unit of therapy can be one person


Theory of Dysfunction in MRI Brief Strategic:

1. Attempted solutions become the problem.

2. Individual/family involved in a vicious cycle of mishandled attempts to solve the problem, engaging in "more of the same" (pos. feedback loop).

3. Do not consider payoffs or the advantages of symptomatic behavior contribute significantly to problems or hinder change.


Theory of Change in MRI Brief Strategic:

1. Change the complementary, interdependent nature of the symptoms.

2. Change the interactional sequences by identifying the "vicious cycle" along with the behaviors and perceptions that support it to encourage more flexible problem-solving strategies (aim for second-order change


Stages of Therapy in MRI Brief Strategic:

1. Introduction to the treatment setup (10 sessions)

2. Inquiry and clear definition of the problem

3. Estimation of the behavior maintaining the problem by determining how the family is attempting to solve the problem.

4. Setting measurable goals for treatment and exploring previous attempts to solve the problem (denial-act, solve-stop acting, or wrong action-different action).

5. Selecting and making behavioral interventions (reframing, paradox)

6. Termination - therapy is only the starting point



Stance of Therapist in MRI Brief Strategic:

1. Active and directive
2. Clients are viewed as customers (one-down stance implies equality and helps anxiety and resistance)
3. Attends to process more than content
4. Team approach (one-way mirror), evaluate


Methods/Techniques of MRI Brief Strategic:

1. Find most motivated person in the system
2. Symptom-focused
3. Tasks (in and out of session)
4. Therapeutic paradox
5. Encourage fam members to interact
6. Observe sequence of behaviors
7. Define maladaptive, interactional sequence
8. Symptom/problem resolution
9. Reframing


Diagnosis/Assessment in MRI Brief Strategic:

1. Non-historic
2. Define a resolvable complaint. Symptom-focused.
3. Determining sequences of symptom maintaining behaviors (pos. vs. neg. feedback)
4. Instances of circular causality (the problematic behavior is just one point in a repetitive pattern)
5. Understand unique language for describing the problem = finding how to intervene.


General goal of MRI:

Change the presenting complaint rather than interpreting the interactions of the family or exploring the past.


What are negative feedback loops?

MRI Strategic

Ways the families correct a deviation in family functioning so as to return it to a previous state of homeostasis.


What are positive feedback loops?

MRI Strategic

Deviation amplification

Attempts to add new information to the system as part of a growth process or increasing levels of complexity.

Assumed to be responsible for the development of problems as families attempt solutions that worsen or maintain the problem (ex. vulnerable life transitions).


What is first-order change?

MRI Strategic

Patterns of interaction or sequences are altered at the behavioral level only.


What is second-order change?

MRI Strategic

Family rules or underlying belief premises that govern family members' behavior/reactions are altered.


What is reframing?

Strategic intervention

Use of language to give new meaning to a situation, which may lead to first or second-order change and increase likelihood of compliance to therapist directives.

Ex. Father locks you out at night because he feels it's his only way to show love.


What are paradoxical interventions?


Asking the family to do something that seems in opposition to the goals of treatment.

1. Symptom prescription - can be compliance or defiance based, asking family to do more of a symptom. Creates a therapeutic double bind where there is progress no matter how the family responds.

2. Restraining techniques - Warn family of the dangers of change, restrain family from trying to change, and ask them to change slowly. Encourages family to align with wishes to change.

3. Positioning - Amplify or exaggerate the family's explanation of the problem to a point that the family will disagree.