Whereas we used to describe symptomatic behaviour as the individual's response to the threat of changing relationships, the development of our thinking has led us to the notion that problems in families result from the experience of 'bad fit' between the beliefs and behaviours of family members.
Each family member carries inside him or her self a hierarchically organized set of beliefs, premises or constructs. They derive from the different levels of feedback we get from our environment. The highest, most inclusive beliefs are those which come from interaction with cultural values: 'Protect one's family', 'Respect the rights of others'. Lower-level beliefs derive from feedback from the community, family, workplace, dyadic relationships, etc. The reader should refer to Cronen and Pearce ( 1985) and Cronen, Pearce and Tomm ( 1985) for a fuller discussion of this topic.
These beliefs combine to exert a contextual force to guide people towards specific actions or behaviours, and those actions or behaviour provide the feedback by which people support or reject the belief which guided that particular action. Thus belief and action are joined in a recursive relationship; and if they are