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Systemic therapy


Could someone please recommend resources introducing Systemic therapy ? Is Taos Institute associated with Systemic therapy work ?


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  • Harry Goolishian and Harlene Anderson have been forerunners in systemic thinking and therapy since the 1970's, beginning with their clinical work and writing on Multiple Family Impact Therapy at the Galveston Medical School.  Harlene Anderson has written prolifically since the 70's about the evolution of this original work in ways that have influenced and been influenced by theory and practice within the entire field of family therapy and beyond, including ideas from postmodern philosophy, communication theory, social constructionist theory, and much more, exemplifying a systemic and ecological frame.  I suggest starting with Harlene Anderson's website and reading her works on therapy.  

  • Thanks very much Marsha.

  • The paper "Researching Systemic Therapy History: In Search of a Definition" has some history and this definition :

    Systemic therapy is based on the assumption that people’s challenges and difficulties can best be solved within the relational system and context in which they arose. Clients’ own experience and history are considered to be the best starting point for finding new ways of dealing with their problems. The basic therapeutic goal is therefore to mobilize the strengths of their relationships so as to make disturbing symptoms unnecessary or less problematic for them. The understanding of meaning as created in language also makes it a therapeutic goal to identify each client’s thoughts and beliefs, and link them to their emotions and feelings, in order to co-create new meaning and the possibility of new alternative relationships. Throughout the therapeutic process, the therapists maintain an attitude of respect and uncertainty, knowing that clients’ expertise and knowledge of their lives must be mobilized, and that the therapists’ knowledge is always provisional.

    • Sounds like a nice, up-to-date review. If you have a copy of the article, I would love to read it, Mark.
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