Paradigm and Pathogenesis

A Family-Centered Approach to Problems of Etiology and Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders
  • David Reiss
  • David Klein
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)


During the last 15 years, David Reiss and his associates have explored ways in which the family develops and maintains its own, distinctive convictions about reality. They have focused their work on differences among families in their conceptions of the safety or danger in the world, the families’ belief about whether the world treats the family as a group or as isolated individuals, and the novelty or familiarity that the families experience in their environment. These explorations have been guided by an evolving theory of family process; currently, the most familiar concept in this theory is the notion of the family’s paradigm, which refers to the underlying assumptions about reality that, in any family, are presumed to be shared by all members. The research has used a variety of objective and quantitative methods for studying the family. The best known of these methods are laboratory, problem-solving procedures, although questionnaires, field observations, and structured interviews have also been used. This approach has aimed at understanding the family process in clinical families as well as in those who have never sought help for psychological distress or problems in relationships among members. In the course of this work, a number of important clinical phenomena have been analyzed: family correlates of psychopathology, the processes by which families engage in treatment programs, families’ support networks, and families’ response to stress.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Reiss
    • 1
  • David Klein
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Center for Family ResearchGeorge Washington University Medical CenterUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

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