Posts filed under ‘Interactional View’
“The belief that one’s own view of reality is the only reality that is the most dangerous of all.” — Paul Watzalwick
Family system – a self-regulating interdependent network of feedback loops guided by member rules; the behavior of each person affects and is affected by the behavior of another
View – leans toward interpretive/scientific
Tradition – cybernetic tradition
Paul Watzalwick b. 1921
Austrian-American psychologist and philosopher
Inspired by antrhopologist Gregory Bateson
Scientific contributions include:
- Works on radical constructivism
- “Double Blind” Theory of Schizophrenia
- Works on Communication Theory – 4 Axioms of Interpersonal Communication
The family as a system
Relationships are complex functions that link multiple variables (characteristics, events, etc.) to each other
Each person inside the family plays a role in how other family members react
The system focuses more on the “how” the behavior affects members instead of “why” the person behaves in such a way.
Fresno State Professor of Counseling Dan Smith says the family system idea deemphasizes the blaming of all the family’s problems on one person and with proper identification of problems, a change for the better can actually occur.
Axioms of Interpersonal Communication
One cannot NOT communicate
Symptom strategy: ascribing our silence to something beyond our control that renders communication justifyably impossible
- “I wouldn’t mind talking to you, but something stronger than I, for which I cannot be blamed, prevents me.”
The interactional View in a family strives for “family homeostatis”
- The tacis collusion of family members to maintain the status quo.
Communication = content + relationship
Content – the report part of a message; what is said verbally
Relationship – the command part of the message; how it’s said nonverbally
Relational aspect of interaction is considered metacommunication or communication about communication.
The nature of relationship depends on how both parties punctuate the communication sequence.
- Interpreting an ongoing sequence of events by labeling one event as the course and the following event as the response
All communication is either symmetrical or complementary
- Symmetrical interchange: interaction based on eqal power
- Complementary interchange: interaction based on accepted difference of power
- One-up (attempted domination), one-down (attempted submission), one-across (believing of powers)
Reframing – the process of instituting change by stepping outside of a situation and reinterpreting what it means
Sudden “aha!” moment when looking at things in a new light
Axioms stand as base for interpersonal communication
More people are taking the axioms and applying them to their lives
Vagueness of the family systems
First Axiom: we cannot NOT communicate