Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 339–363 | Cite as

Coexisting and conflicting self-referential conceptual systems: A model for describing malfunctioning in the contemporary family-implications for therapy

  • Charis Katakis


In the proposed model, intra- and interpersonal conflicts are formalized as information-processing problems created by inconsistent self-referential conceptual systems. Three self-referential conceptual systems corresponding to the three forms of family lifetraditional-rural, industrial-nuclear, information-transactional-coexist and intermingle, creating difficulties in the coordination of interactions.

Each of these ecotheories is viewed as a constellation of hierarchically-ordered, dynamic, cognitive-emotional structures which express the particular family system's perceptions of itself in relation to its environment and life in general. The model correlates in an integrative manner phenomena at the level of societal change with evolving patterns of intrapersonal and familial dynamics and provides a framework for guiding preventive and therapeutic interventions. The evolving ecotheory model presented in this work follows the metatheoretical paradigms of cognitive science, self-reference and self-organization. The attempted synthesis has been achieved in the context of the unifying concepts and principles of General Systems Theory.


Health Psychology Therapeutic Intervention System Theory General System Social Issue 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charis Katakis
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for the Study of Human RelationsChalandriGreece

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