Culturally Competent Family Therapy: A General Model

By Shlomo Ariel | Go to book overview

8
Culturally Determined Family Dysfunction

In this chapter, it will be explained how culture-bound disturbances ("bugs") in a family's functioning can be described explicitly and rigorously in the framework of the information-processing model presented in chapter 7. By formulating such explicit and rigorous descriptions of dysfunctions in the family, the therapist pinpoints and clearly marks the targets of culturally competent family therapeutic interventions. Principles for "debugging," that is, removing culture-bound bugs and restoring the system's capacity for good functional adaptation, are formulated and illustrated.


THE CONCEPT OF SIMPLICITY

A general, overriding, universal principle hypothesized to underlie human information-processing systems is simplicity. That is to say, the set of programs "prefers" to process information in the simplest possible manner, with a minimum of redundancies, inconsistencies and complications.

The principle of simplicity is not an arbitrary dogma. Various versions of it underlie, under different names, numerous scientific theories dealing with human or natural systems. A tiny sample includes homeostasis in biology (see Gottfried, 1993; Purves, 1995), and in general systems theory (see Bertalanffy , 1973), Festinger's cognitive consistency ( 1962), Piaget's equilibrium ( 1971), Chomsky's simplicity ( 1965) and Freud's preservation and catexis of mental energy ( 1949).


METAPROGRAMS MAINTAINING AND RESTORING SIMPLICITY

In the context of information processing, the principle of simplicity can be explicated through a set of metaprograms. These are higher-level programs

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Culturally Competent Family Therapy: A General Model
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Part I - Culture and Family Therapy: an Overview 1
  • 1 - The Necessity to Incorporate Culture into the Theory and Practice of Family Therapy 3
  • Summary 17
  • 2 - The General Model of Culturally Competent Family Therapy: a Brief Outline 19
  • Summary 30
  • Part II - Family-Cultural Concepts Relevant to Diagnosis and Treatment 33
  • 3 - The Family's Conceptualization of Its Environment 35
  • Summary 43
  • 4 - The Family's Cultural Identity 45
  • Summary 65
  • 5 - The Family's Functioning and Lifestyle 67
  • Summary 74
  • 6 - The Family's Coping with Problems and Difficulties 77
  • Summary 82
  • Part III - The Information-Processing Framework 83
  • 7 - The Family as an Information-Processing System 85
  • Summary 100
  • 8 - Culturally Determined Family Dysfunction 103
  • Summary 116
  • Part IV - Culturally Competent Family Diagnosis 119
  • 9 - Data-Collection Instruments and Procedures 121
  • Summary 130
  • 10 - Analysis of Diagnostic Data 131
  • Summary 150
  • Part V - Therapy 153
  • 11 - The Therapeutic Alliance in Culturally Competent Family Therapy 155
  • Summary 163
  • 12 - Planning the Therapy: Strategies, Tactics and Techniques 165
  • Summary 193
  • 13 - The Therapeutic Process 195
  • Summary 212
  • Epilogue 213
  • Appendix - A Classified List of References 215
  • References 229
  • Index 249
  • About the Author 255
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