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Fds the symptom is not a sign but a means to an end


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This is a presentation of the Functional-Dialectic-System approach to therapy with individuals, couples and families

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Fds the symptom is not a sign but a means to an end

  1. 1. Functional Dialectic System (FDS) Approach to Therapy: The symptom id not a sign but a means to an end Prof. Moshe Almagor Tikotzki Department of Psychology University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel
  2. 2. References Almagor, M. (2011). Functional Dialectic System Approach to Therapy with Individuals, couples, and Families. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Almagor, M., & Ben-Porath, D. D. (2013). Functional dialectic system (FDS) treatment: Integrating family system theory with dialectic thinking. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 23, 397- 405. 2
  3. 3. FDS  FDS is a short-term, relationship-based, solution focused approach to therapy.  FDS is an approach founded on a system-dialectic view of the world.  FDS postulates that: A. A person lives and function within a social system. B. Behavior is goal directed and functional.  FDS helps the person regain control over disabling life situations and represents an optimistic view of behavior. 3
  4. 4. The social context - Fundamental axioms A person lives and functions in a social context. The social context provides the individual’s basic needs for safety, order, belongingness and identity. The individual is prepared to pay a price for the provision of these needs. 4
  5. 5. The System  A system consists of two basic elements:  Structure – Relatively static and stable.  Developmental process and goal (Dialectics and functionality) – Dynamic. 5
  6. 6. The Structure of the System Boundaries Hierarchy Roles Rules 6
  7. 7.  The System is more important then its members  Contract  Scapegoating  Triangles  Rituals  Intergenerational processes  Emotional distance regulating mechanisms 7 How the system protects and preserves itself?
  8. 8. Dynamics and development - Dialectics  In FDS, the process and development of the system is based on western dialectics (as opposed to the eastern, Zen Buddhism). 8
  9. 9. Dynamics and development: Dialectics  age&v=MfeSSw69cC4 The whole consists of opposites (Master-slave, health-pathlogy).  There is a tension between the opposites (thesis and antithesis). This conflict is inevitable, inherent and essential. It is not learned or acquired. It cannot and need not be resolved. 9
  10. 10. Dynamics and development: Dialectics The tension necessitates a resolution (a synthesis). The new position creates a new dialectic. The change is ideographical and temporary. Change is constant and no- change is impossible. 10
  11. 11. Evolution  Robert Wilson (2002) claims that our development is powered by the selfish-altruistic dialectics. There is a within-group conflict (in favor of egotism) and between-group conflict (in favor of altruism). The dynamic of this conflict explains the way we are. This conflict is ever present, unchanging).  Carl Marx and the materialistic dialectics argues that social classes and the conflict between them is ever present, leading inevitably to struggle and revolution. 11
  12. 12. Dynamics and development - Dialectics Structure and process are dialectically related. Common dialectics: Closeness-Distance Individuation – Union Routine – Excitement Control – Loss of control Childhood - Maturity 12
  13. 13. Dynamics and development - Dialectics  Dialectics is not only a philosophy, but also a method (Socrates):  Look for the opposite.  Look for the different.  Look for what is not there. 13
  14. 14. Behavior is Functional  Behavior is meaningful in light of the basic needs.  Behavior is functional in light of the basic needs.  Abnormal behavior is, thus, is both functional and meaningful..  It’s functional meaning is uncovered dialectically.  The problem is the solution!!  The problem represents the best coping strategy the client uses under the circumstances 14
  15. 15. Symptom  The symptom is a communication means:  It tells us about the status of the client  It sends a message internally and externally  It represents the solution, not the problem  It is the best coping alternative available to the client under the circumstances  It is a sign for an underlying problem; most of the time it involves other people  It can take the form of a psychiatric, psychological, medical, etc.  Its origin may be genetic, traumatic, learned, or acquired, but is likely to have an emotional overlay 15
  16. 16. Symptoms Anxiety is about fear of loss of control. The anxious person controls life through the symptom. Depression is about , weakness, helplessness, withdrawal and loss of interest . The depressed person may attracts help and the weakness represents power. 16
  17. 17. Therapeutic dialectics  Loss of control and Control  (Anxiety Disorders)  Weakness and Strength  (Mood Disorders, Family problems)  Anger and Caring  (Couple’s difficulties)  Closeness and Distance  (Intimacy, Emotional distance regulating mechanisms)) 17
  18. 18. Therapeutic dialectics Power struggles Dominance and submission - mutual enhancement winning and losing - belonging and differentiating 18
  19. 19. Structure and Development Structure and development are dialectic; Stability and Change. Growth and Development; Stability vs. Excitement. 19
  20. 20. Treatment FDS relates to both functional and dysfunctional aspects of behavior. Seeing both aspects of behavior reduces the stressful and pathological aspects of it. Joining is crucial for FDS to used effectively. FDS is a highly optimistic approach based on love and respect for the client and his/her suffering. 20
  21. 21. Stages in Therapy  Intake  Joining  Problem definition and re-definition  Contract  Elaboration and problem solving  Exploration of the newly defined problem.  Devising ways of dealing with the problem.  Working through the problem.  Termination  Follow-up 21
  22. 22. FDS: An exercise  The goal of the exercise is to train in dialectical- functional thinking.  Remember that a dialectic pole is subjective and is multi-meaning.  In this exercise you will be given pathological terms and concepts and your role is to look for their functional dialectic meaning.  Anxiety, Depression, Obsession, Jealousy, Fights (domestic), Extra-marital-affair 22
  23. 23. FDS: An exercise Anxiety ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ _____________ 23
  24. 24. FDS: An exercise-Function Obsession ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ _____________ 24
  25. 25. FDS: An exercise-Function Depression ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ _____________ 25
  26. 26. FDS: An exercise-Function Extra marital affair ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ _____________ 26
  27. 27. FDS: An exercise-Function Jealousy ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ _____________ 27
  28. 28. FDS: An exercise Fights (Domestic) ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ _____________ 28