Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Pseudomutuality in Family Systems

  • Sara MoiniEmail author
  • Matthew Jarvinen
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_387

Name of Concept



Lyman Wynne and his colleagues (1958, 1963) have examined the contribution of family relatedness and communication in the development of schizophrenia. While they do not propose a single theory to account for the many facets of schizophrenia, they offer a psychodynamic interpretation of schizophrenia that considers the systemic organization of the family. Their work has included the comparison of families with members diagnosed with schizophrenia to other families unaffected by schizophrenia in order to delineate the communication patterns in these families, which are often blurred, ambiguous, and confused.

Theoretical Context for Concept

Pseudomutuality concerns the issue of authenticity in human relationships. Wynne and his colleagues sought to understand the particular patterns of inauthenticity that seemed to be present in many families affected by schizophrenia. During this investigation, they found that these families often deal with...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California School of Professional Psychology/AIU-LALos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Fuller Theological Seminary; School of PsychologyPasadenaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Heather Pederson
    • 1
  1. 1.Council for RelationshipsPhiladelphiaUSA