Contracting of Goals in Couple and Family Therapy
Theoretical Context for Concept
The goals the client establishes are connected to a therapist’s conceptualization of the problem and interventions – derived from the therapist’s theory of change (Sprenkle et al. 2009). For instance, if a couple comes to therapy saying that they want to increase their “communication about difficult topics,” a Bowenian therapist may conceptualize the problem as resulting from low differentiation of self (e.g., fusion, pseudodifferentiation, or cut-off) in one or both of the partners. The therapist may then proceed to explore the family history of fusion using a genogram to accomplish the Bowenian goal of increasing differentiation of self of the partners and, thereby, increasing open “communication...
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