The Functional Dialectic System Approach to Therapy for Individuals, Couples, and Families

The Functional Dialectic System Approach to Therapy for Individuals, Couples, and Families

Moshe Almagor

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780816669554

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press

Abstract

The functional dialectic system approach to therapy has been widely embraced and is now used internationally, with individuals and couples as well as with families. It differs substantially from the common psychotherapeutic models that have prevailed in the West for more than a century. According to the system model, an individual who is in treatment is not considered to be the primary focus of interest but is seen instead as part of a social context, the network of relationships that play significant roles in his or her life. This book offers a view of the contemporary system approach—from theory to practice—and shows how it can be applied to a variety of psychological problems and in a variety of therapeutic modes. The system approach to therapy concentrates on the present situation of a client, aware that people are always in transition yet seeking order, safety, belonging, and identity. Their behavior is thus goal oriented and functional. The principles of dialectics assert that everything includes its opposite, that there is an ongoing conflict between the poles, and that this inevitable conflict creates pressure that leads to a continuous alteration. These principles show how the system approach is optimistic in its orientation and is designed to help clients change their lives by broadening their understanding of themselves, their situations, and their options.