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National MFT Exam


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2nd Order Cybernetics
a post-modern model, Thx and family are one unit, in which Thx is an equal and active contributor. The system does not create a problem; the problem creates a system.


Biological facts that influence behavior, e.g. depression, that is caused, in part, by faulty neurochemisty.
Autopoetic Systems
Maturana, systems that are self-organizing and self-maintaining, such as biological and human systems. (2nd order cybernetics)
Battle for Initiative
Whitaker (symbolic experiential therapy) follows the battle for structure, where the family takes back from the Thx its authority to make choices about what is discussed
Brief Family Therapy
Milton Erickson, problem focused and time limited therapy
Central Ego
from object relations theory, one of 3 parts of the ego. (see Rejecting Ego & Exciting Ego) The CE is conscious, adaptable, and free to deal with future experiences reasonably. 
Circularity (Circular Causality)
Milan, causality in families cannot be thought of as a simple, single cause and effect (linear causality), causes form a feedback loop that effect each other
Collaborative Couples Therapy
couples treatment where each partner sees own therapist (see concurrent, conjoint)
Communication Theory
MRI group, the study of the proc4ess of verbal and non-verbal info is exchanged w/in a relationship.
Concurrent Couples Therapy
one therapist works with both spouses at different times (see Collaborative and Conjoint)
Whitaker, experiential family therapy, w/ a high proportion of non-rational, creative, right-brain activity. 
set of shared beliefs, behaviors, values, customs, meanings, symbols, and the like, xfered from one generation to the next
behavioral technique, Thx teaches the CL to challenge his/her tendency to have catastrophic expectations.
Dirty Games
Milan systemic family therapy, the unacknowledged power struggle between parents and the symptomatic child
Structural Family Therapy, emotionally distant and uninvolved family members w/ overly rigid boundries
Dominant Cultural Discourses
Narrative Thx, norms that can become internalized and have a controlling effect on the story of oneself.
Emotional Cut-Off
from transgenerational models, emotional / physical distancing from family relationships or a denial of their importance to avoid the pain of unresolved emotional conflicts
Structural Family Therapy, a loss of autonomy due to diffuse boundaries, resulting in family members overly involved in each others lives
cybernetic principle, similar outcomes may result from many diff initial events.
from operant conditioning, when a previously learned and reinforced behavior is no longer reinforced it eventually disappears.
Family Group Therapy
Bell, Thx stimulates open discussions, leaving the family to solve its own problems.
Family Rules
Strategic Family Therapy, rules that govern family members behavior & promote specific reactions (see 1st and 2nd order change)
First Order Change  
From the MRI school, adaptations and changes in families which may change behavior, but do not affect the system's organization.
The ability of a system or subsystem to achieve its goals.
GAP Report
Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, stated most family Thx wanted improved comm as their primary goal.
a multigenerational schematic diagram of the family system used by Bowenian Thx to show relationships and behavioral patterns
Tendency of a system to strive for balance in order to achieve stability
In research, a proposed causal explanation that can be tested and supported or disproved.
I Position
Bowenian, statements the reflect the speakers own thoughts and feelings, instead of blaming others
Symbolic Experiential Therapy, Thx being inconsistent helps undermine the family's attempt to maintain rigid patters
Initial Interview
Haley, a structured interview w/ 4 stages: social, problem, interactional, goal setting. 
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
model created by Richard Schwartz, using systems concepts and techniques (Gestalt, structural, strategic, experiential)
hypothetical construct form object relations theory referring to the internalized images and memories from past relationships, particularly parents
Landscape of Action Questions
Narrative Therapy, questions to gather information a/b thetimes in CL's lives that they were able to resist the effects of the problem.
Linear Causality
Assumption of cause and effect in which one event is thought to cause the next (opposite of Circular Causality)
from contextual theory, the internalized set of expectations, injunctions, and obligations deriving from interactions with one's family of origin.
Mapping the System
Structural Family Therapy assessment tool (structural map) used to depict a family's organization and gain an understanding of its structure
Marital Skew  
Lidz, dysfunctional marriage where one partner is dominat and the other submissive, viewing this as "normal" leading to distortion by the family in order to maintain the marriage. 
a joining technique used by structural therapists who gain acceptance by mimicking the gestures, communication and behavior of family members.
a position in which "truth" consists of a tangible, knowable set of observable or deducible facts. Assumes there are universal principles that would guide therapist.
Multi-Conductor Model
Network Therapy, multiple therapists who share the group leadership as a team.
Multi-Partiality (Plurality)
Hoffman (social constructivist) Thx strives to positively regard each person's point of view, even ones that are repugnant to he Thx or society in order to find the meaning behind the bahviors
Network Effect
Goal of network therapy. a euphoric connectedness to others, like religious revivals or rock concerts that bind the group together.
cannot combine individual elements of a system to recreate its essential character, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. 
Object Relations Theory
people are motivated by a need for human connection rather than sexual and aggressive drives
Operant Conditioning
where a naturally occurring response is reinforced,increasing the probability that it will be repeated.  (see classical conditioning)
Parent Management Training (PMT)
parents learn behavior management techniques to reduce the troublesome behaviors and increase more desired behaviors.
Person-to-Person Interactions
Bowenian therapy, individuals talk rationally to one another without blaming the other and handle conflict w/o triangulating a third.
MRI Strategic Therapy, a paradoxical intervention in which the Thx amplifies or exaggerates the family's explanation to the problem to a point where the fam will disagree.
practitioners consider reality to be subjective and attend to social and political norms w/in CLs culture. (narrative, constuctivists, solution-focused)
Problem-Determined System
in collaborative language family therapy, any system in which a problem is so prominent in that few decisions can be made without taking it into account. 
Projective Hypothesis
the information people reveal varies according to the circumstance. Thx should pay attention not only to information recieved, but also projections and distortions.
Wynne - chronic conflict to create a superficial alienation of family members, masking need for intimacy and affection.
when one arbitrarily identifies the beginning and end of a behavioral sequence (linear causality) which in MRI terms, should be seen as part of a circular pattern.
Therapeutic stance in which the therapist would be more likely to respond to others than to direct them.
Reflexive Questions
from 2nd order cybernetics, questions that inspire families not only to reflect on the meaning of their current perspectives, but also to consider new options.
Rejecting Object
Object Relations Theory, the RO gives rise to the antilibidinal ego.
Revolving Slate (of Injustice)
contextual theory, destructive entitlement where one generation damages the next.
Schizophrenic Mother
a now-discredited notion by Fromm-Reichmann regarding the origin of schizophrenia. A domineering rejecting mother causes the illness.
1) psychoanalytic perspective, parent permitting child to form significat bonds w/ others 2) FSTheory, reduction of enmeshment by clarifying boundries 3) married couple decision to live apart
Sexual Orientation
a description of the gender or genders of people to whom one is sexually attracted.
Solution-Focused Family Therapy
Berg and deShazer, focuses on finding solutions rather than understanding the problem.
Strategic Humanism    
Haley & Madanes - increasing family members ability to soothe and love rather than to gain control over each other
Subjugated Stories
narrative therapy, stories about the client that are abscured by the dominate story. Nar Thx help clients contruct new, more helpful stories. 
Symbolic-Experiential Family Therapy
Whitaker, Thx uses own experience to influence family members' internal meanings, chaning dysfunctional patterns. 
a bounded set of interrelated elements with coherent and patterned behavior. Open systems exchange info w/ environment, closed do not.
Temperature Reading
therapeutic technique, Satir, family members express hopes and wishes each day between sessions to discuss complaints and solutions.
Therapeutic Double Bind
paradoxical technique, CLs are instructed to continue to have the symptom, showing they have control over the symptom, they previously saw as involuntary. 
structural family therapy, Thx participates in the existing family dynamic, while privately noting the dysfunctional or unbalanced processes being enacted.
Bowenian, a dysfunctional process where conflict b/t 2 people (parents) try to resolve by involving 3rd person (child)
Unfinished Business
experiential therapy, Fritz Perls, unresolved feelings or disowned part of the self
Vulnerability Stress Model (Diathesis Stress Model)
while some people have a predisposition or inherited vulnerability to a mental illness, the actual manifestation of the illness is determined by life events. 
Bilateral Pseudo-Therapy
From symbolic-experiential therapy, the tendency in some families for family members to be therapist to one another. therapists demand that the therapy be turned over to them, asserting that the family has failed in its efforts at self-therapy).
Bilateral Transference
A therapeutic stance in symbolic-experiential therapy in which the therapist adopts the language, accent, rhythm, or posture of the family
Prochaska's Stages of Change .
Precontemplative, Contemplative (planning action in the next 6 months) Preparation (w/in 30 days or roughly near future), Action, Maintanence, Termination

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