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Flashcards in Strategic Deck (26)
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Jay Haley

Known for his work in strategic and problem solving therapy, often utilizing the technique of paradox. Washington Group.


Chloe Madanes

Strategic Family therapist at the Washington Group. Married to Jay Haley.


Strategic Family Therapy

Uses a set of novel strategies to circumvent resistance rather than directly deal with it to solve family problems. Focuses more on change rather than insight.


Bateson Communication Theory

The study of relationships in terms of exchange of messages (verbal and nonverbal). Was the basis for Strategic Family therapy and Washington Group, MRI (Palo Alto, CA) and Milan Group.


Mental Research Institute (Palo Alto); MRI Brief Therapy

The "mecca" of Strategic Family Therapy. Jay Haley, Gregory Bateson, Richard Fisch, Don Jackson, Paul Watzlawick, John Weakland, and Jules Riskin. Based on Cybernetics.


Milan Group

Nardoni, Mauri Selvini, Palazzo, Luigi Boscolo, and Guiliana Prata. Focused on power games ("dirty games" and "psychotic games") w/infamilies and how symptoms protected families. Distinguished for their positive connotation. Maintained neutrality and did not focus on "normal".


General Systems Theory

A biological model of living systems as whole entities that maintain themselves through continuous input and output from the environment; developed by Ludwig Von Bertalanffy.



The science of feedback; how information, especially positive and negative feedback loops, can help self-regulate a system.



Elements of a system automatically adjust to coordinate their functioning; people may have to work at it.



The innate tendency to seek out closeness to caretakers in the face of stress.


First order VS. Second order change

Second order is deeper change.


Positive feedback loop

Feedback loop that causes a system to change further in the same direction.



A tendency to maintain a balanced or constant internal state in a family system.


Negative Feedback Loop

A feedback loop in which a system responds to a change by returning to its original state, or by decreasing the rate at which change is occurring.



Strategy to address symptoms. "The price of keeping up the symptoms outweigh the symptom" -Jay Haley


Haley's stages of initial interview

Social stage (greeting and connecting with the family), Problems stage (Ask each family member their conception of the problem), Interactional stage (seeing how the family interacts with one another), Goal-setting stage (setting specific and clear goals that tell us how we know that the problem is getting better), Task oriented stage (GIving the family directive)


Circular questioning

A technique for interviewing and hypothesis validation designed by the Milan systemic group, based on Bateson's idea that people learn by perceiving differences. In this technique, each family member comments on the behavior and interactions of two other members. It is hoped that beliefs will become less rigid when members are exposed to different perspectives.


Steps of the MRI approach

1. Introduction of treatment setup.
2. Inquiry and definition of the problem.
3. Estimation of the behavior maintaining the problem.
4. Setting goals for treatment.
5. Selecting and making behavioral interventions.
6. Termination.


Hierarchical Structure (Haley)

Inadequate parental hierarchies behind most problems in families; Haley believed there was a "normalcy" that families should aim for with clear boundaries and parents firmly in charge.


Black Box metaphor

The idea that because the mind is so complex, it is better to study people's input and output (behavior, communication) than to speculate about what goes on in their minds (and emotions).



A strategic technique for overcoming resistance by suggesting that a family not change.


Function of symptom

Children using symptoms in an attempt to change parents (Haley and Madanes).


Pretend techniques (Madanes)

Have family to pretend to have the symptom together.
Eg: Telling lies.



Engaging families in a series of actions than ran counter to or exaggerated rigid family rules and myths.


Invariant Prescription

Created by the Milan systemic group, this unchanging prescription, given to all families with symptomatic children, requests that parents spend time together away from children. Intended to break the pattern of destructive "games" and create clearer generational boundaries.


Quid pro quo

"this for that" Something given in exchange or return for something else.