1. Enmeshment. Family members are over involved with one another with little autonomy, independence, and privacy.
2. Overprotectiveness. Family members exhibit a high degree of concern for each other with considerable nurturant and protective responses.
4. Lack of conflict resolution. There is a low threshold for overt conflict in these families. Direct confrontations are avoided or diffused: consequently, there is a chronic state of submerged conflict with associated stress and tension.
5. Use of patient’s symptoms as conflict detouring mechanism. The patient is involved in parental and family conflict.
The family systems approach to therapy is pragmatic and context-related in the attempt to bring about change in a family. The therapeutic focus is symptom- and problem-oriented and there is a narrower, clearer definition of the problem. Systems theorists believe that the identifies patient’s symptoms may serve a system-maintained function. Family interactional patterns, communication styles, and organizational structures provide the therapist with clinical information about family functioning The aim of family therapy is to help the family members to ‘individuate” and become more autonomous. This is achieved by spreading the focus of the group from the “identified” or “problem” patient to the family group. The therapists work to break up or change existing patterns of communication and relations, thereby expanding communication patterns and increasing the opportunity for new role development.
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