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Experiential/Symbolic Family Therapy-Carl Whitaker Essay

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Basic premise Whitaker
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1. Experience not education changes families. 2. Therapy is a growth process. both therapist and client benefit.
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Dysfunctional Families Whitaker
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1. tend to operate in such a way that impusles are denied and feelings are surpressed. 2. are self-portective and avoid risk taking. 3. Rigid and mechanical, not spontaneous and free 4. Share belief that confrontation and open conflict will destroy family. 5. Disfunction may arise as result of the battle between spouse over whose FOO will provvide the model for their family procreation.
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Goal of therapy Whitaker
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balance and facilitate both individual autonomy and sense of togetherness through creativity or craziness within family.
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Important
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Family therapy does not address symptoms directly
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Three Phases of Therapy
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1. engagement 2. involvement 3. disentanglement
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Paradox
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Where therapist excallates the pressure, so that it produces a psychotic like episode and client is compelled to change.
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Seven Techniques
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1. redefine symptoms as efforts for growth 2. modeling fantasy alternatives to real-life stress 3. Separate interpersonal and intrapersonal stress 4. Adding practical bits of intervention 5. Augment the despair of a family member 6. Affective confrontation 7. Treating chldren like children, not like peers
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Who attends
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Entire family, including three generations