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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 malmagor@psy.haifa.ac.il1
  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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0034364 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  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailp 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

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