Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Hypothesizing Metaframeworks in Integrative Systemic Therapy

  • Bahareh SahebiEmail author
  • Christine Aiello
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_1089

Name of Concept

Hypothesizing Metaframework in Integrative Systemic Therapy


The concept of a metaframework underpins the hypothesizing metaframeworks that constitute the conceptual core of Integrative System Therapy (Pinsof et al. 2017). This concept originally appeared in Metaframeworks: Transcending the Models of Family Therapy (Breunlin et al. 1997). It was later incorporated into a precursor to IST known as Integrative Problem Centered Metaframeworks (Breunlin et al. 2011; Pinsof et al. 2011; Russell et al. 2015). Within the integrative systemic therapy (IST) approach, therapists use the hypothesizing metaframeworks (HMFs) to organize essential domains of human functioning (Pinsof et al. 2017). Each metaframework contains relevant knowledge about what constitutes adaptive and maladaptive human functioning within that domain to inform hypotheses. The seven HMFs – biology, mind, organization, culture, development, gender, and spirituality – represent the influence of...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Breunlin, D. C. (1988). Oscillation theory and family development. In C. J. Falicov (Ed.), Family transitions: Continuity and change over the life cycle (pp. 133–158). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  2. Breunlin, D. C., Pinsof, W., & Russell, W. P. (2011). Integrative problem-centered metaframeworks therapy I: Core concepts and hypothesizing. Family Process, 50(3), 293–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Breunlin, D. C., Schwartz, R. C., & Kune-Karrer, M. (1997). Metaframeworks: Transcending the models of family therapy (Revised & updated ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  4. Capra, F. (1984). The turning point: Science, society, and the rising culture. New York: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  5. Cole, E. R. (2009). Intersectionality and research in psychology. American Psychologist, 64(3), 170–180.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0014564.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Engel, G. L. (1977). The need for a new medical model: A challenge for biomedicine. Science, 196(4286), 129–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kernberg, O. F. (1976). Object relations theory and clinical psychoanalysis. New York: Jason Aronson.Google Scholar
  8. Pinsof, W., Breunlin, D. C., Russell, W. P., & Lebow, J. L. (2011). Integrative problem-centered metaframeworks therapy II: Planning, conversing, and reading feedback. Family Process, 50(3), 314–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Pinsof, W. M., Breunlin, D. C., Russell, W. P., Lebow, J. L., Rampage, C., & Chambers, A. L. (2017). Integrative systemic therapy: Metaframeworks for problem solving with individuals, couples and families. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  10. Russell, W. P., Pinsof, W., Breunlin, D. C., & Lebow, J. (2015). Integrative problem centered metaframeworks (IPCM) therapy. In T. L. Sexton & J. Lebow (Eds.), Handbook of family therapy (pp. 530–544). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Schwartz, R. (2013). Evolution of the internal family systems model. Oak Park: Center for Self Leadership.Google Scholar
  12. von Bertanlaffy, L. (1968). General systems theory. New York: Braziller.Google Scholar
  13. Wiener, N. (1952). The human use of human beings: Cybernetics and society (2nd ed.). New York: Avon.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  2. 2.Illinois School of Professional PsychologySchaumburgUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Heather Pederson
    • 1
  • Diana Semmelhack
    • 2
  1. 1.Council for RelationshipsPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Midwestern UniversityDowners GroveUSA