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June 2019

Systemic therapy and the arts: A meditation on pattern

Journal/Book: Journal of Strategic and Systemic Therapies. 1984; 3: 12-16.

Abstract: Proposes a model based on musical themes and variations that is both linear and systemic for the living dilemmas brought by individual patients and families. A case example of a son acting out to undo his princely role in the family is used to illustrate the reframing of symptomatic behavior as musical and clinical conflict resolution. A case example of a mother-son relationship, –-–-–- becoming a focus of struggle in the family after the son recovered from a 5-yr bout with bone cancer is used to illustrate the small and large patterns of family expectations. It is suggested that in the process of finding models for dilemmas, the therapist must move from doing things to change people, toward creating situations in which a changing context must carry with it a change in behavior. It is further suggested that recognition and use of patterns bring systemic therapies into juxtaposition with science and the arts. (9 ref)

Note: model of psychotherapy based on musical themes & variations; individuals & families

Keyword(s): Family therapy; music ; psychotherapy ; models ; adolescence ; adulthood


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