Interacting Stories: Narratives, Family Beliefs and Therapy by Rudi Dallos

By Rudi Dallos

A severe mirrored image at the rules that experience formed systemic and kinfolk remedy during the last years.

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Additional info for Interacting Stories: Narratives, Family Beliefs and Therapy

Sample text

Watzlawick et al. (1967) pointed out that, in the presence of others, all and any actions could be taken as communication. This dictum has been widely repeated, but it raises the question of intention, misunderstanding, and unconscious communication. g. " A paranoid and aggressive expectation can fabricate that a provocative message was being sent. To attribute some communication on the part of the "victim" in this situation is tantamount to ascribing some blame to him or her, which is not too dissimilar from ascribing blame to any victim, essentially just for being there.

We can even call this a narrative or story about how these people interact over a period of time. However, during this period the system will look different at any given point: for example, the son does not always have a cigarette in his hand; at times they are not discussing his smoking but doing something totally different and uncomected to it, like going to work or making love; and so forth: No behaviour, interaction, or system . . is ever constantly the same. Families, for example, are perpetual climates of change +ach individual varies his behaviour in a whirlwind of interactional permutations .

Second-order cybernetics therefore moved systems theory towards a view of families as composed not simply as systems of people's actions and emotions, but as systems of meanings. Arguably, second-order cybernetics was not predominantly a new and better version of systems theory, but it more accurately reflected some of the original core ideas. As Bateson suggested, a system was not simply a collection of behaviours, but a system of interconnected meanings: "No part of such a n internally interactive system can have unilateral control over the remainder or over any other part.

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