Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem

Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Three prominent American therapists detail their theories and strategies for promoting human change and dealing with related psychological problems I found this book to have some interesting concepts and perspectives It seemed like too much of it dwelled in the theoretical, however I ve typed up the excerpts I could most relate too, mostly because they closely parallel long term dynamics in my family in which we never recognized or were able to move beyond the first order change I think the book is correct and unique in its assertion that sometimes things can only be effectively changed via getting out of the expected reactions or solu I found this book to have some interesting concepts and perspectives It seemed like too much of it dwelled in the theoretical, however I ve typed up the excerpts I could most relate too, mostly because they closely parallel long term dynamics in my family in which we never recognized or were able to move beyond the first order change I think the book is correct and unique in its assertion that sometimes things can only be effectively changed via getting out of the expected reactions or solutions and into the realm of second order change However, I was skeptical at some of the examples actually working effectively in real life, and I felt thatconcrete real world examples should have been given For instance, the last scenario below, on page 121, very much describes a frequent dynamic in my family, regarding both me and my sister, for our entire lives growing up I m just not sold that the give a dime approach would have done anything except upset my mom, and potentially my sister and I,But I wish we could have tried it, or found an alternative that worked in our family Basically, like the concept and would like to see applications of it expanded and attempted and what results come of it p.54 55 Common to all aspects of the utopia syndrome is the fact that the premises on which the syndrome is based are considered to bereal than reality What we mean by this is that the individual, when trying to order his world in accordance with his premise and seeing his attempt fail, will typically not examine the premise for any absurd or unrealistic elements of its own, but will, as we have seen, blame outside factors e.g., society or his own ineptitude The idea that the fault might lie with the premises is unbearable, for the premises are the truth, are reality Thus, the Maoists argue, if afterthan half a century the Soviet brand of Marxism has not managed to create the ideal, classless society, it is because the pure doctrine has fallen into impure hands, and not because there might be something inherently wrong with Marxism That this mistake is far from trivial becomes clearer when we examine it in the potentially fatal context of existential despair In this form of existential despair the search for meaning in life is central and all pervasive, so much so that the seeker may question everything under the sun, except his quest itself, that is, the unquestioned assumption that there is a meaning and that he has to discover it in order to survive p.64 She the mother wants her child to comply with what she demands of him, not because she demands it, but spontaneously, of his own will For instance, instead of the simple demand, I want you to study , she demands, I want you to want to study This requires that the child not only do the right things, but do the right thing for the right reason which a makes it punishable to do the right thing for the wrong reason, and b requires that he perform a weird piece of mental acrobatics by making himself want what he does not want and, by implication, also want what is being done to himA similar situation, frequently encountered in martial conflicts, is created by the spouse who wishes certain behaviors from the other, but only if she he really wants to if I have to tell her him, it s no good p 84 We find that in deliberate intervention into human problems the most pragmatic approach is not the question why but what that is, what is being done here and now that serves to perpetuate the problem, and what can be done here and now to effect a change.In psychotherapy it is the myth of knowing this why as precondition for change which defeats its own purpose The search for causes by therapist, patient, or both can lead only toof the same searching if the insight gained thereby is not yet deep enough to bring about change through insight p.101 A somewhat similar form of reframing can be used with the frequent conflict generated by the nagging wife and the passive aggressively withdrawing husband Her behavior can be re labeled as one which, on the other hand, is fully understandable in view of his punitive silence, but which, on the other hand, has the disadvantage of making him look very good to any outsider It is the very inanity of this redefinition of her behavior which will motivate her to stop building him up in the eyes of others at her expense but the moment she does less of the same, he is likely to withdraw less, and nothing ultimately convinces like success p 121..a daughter may behave in a very disrespectful, aggressive way towards her mother, and the mother then reacts to it in a way that merely escalates their mutual hostility Quite understandably, she expects the father to assert his authority and to help her in correcting the daughter s behavior, but finds to her dismay that he is much too lenient when she complains about the daughter Rightly or wrongly she may then be left with the impression that father and daughter are in covert coalition against her, that is, that the father secretly enjoys and encourages the girl s behavior an unprovable accusation that he would be likely to reject angrily if she were to make it They go on to suggest that the father give his daughter 10 cents with no explanation when she acts out toward the mother, as a confusion technique with the daughter, and making the mother feel he s finally doing something Now that the game is overt, they can t keep playing it blindly A good prescription for something a person wants to conceal, such as stage fright or some other insecurity, is to advertise it outright p 124 25 Life has its difficulties aches and pains, disagreements and disputes, disappointments and discomforts So whether or not our lives are satisfying is often a matter of whether we manage life s difficulties constructively or whether we mismanage these difficulties and make them worse This is the starting point of the little book by psychologists Paul Watzlawick, John H Weakland, and Richard Fisch The book basically divides into three parts 1 Describing ways life s difficulties are sometim Life has its difficulties aches and pains, disagreements and disputes, disappointments and discomforts So whether or not our lives are satisfying is often a matter of whether we manage life s difficulties constructively or whether we mismanage these difficulties and make them worse This is the starting point of the little book by psychologists Paul Watzlawick, John H Weakland, and Richard Fisch The book basically divides into three parts 1 Describing ways life s difficulties are sometimes mismanaged, thus turning them into full blown problems chapters 3 6 2 Describing ways that people can give up the dysfunctional solutions they ve been practicing, and trade them for different, healthy management of life s difficulties chapters 7 9 3 Real life examples of steps 1 and 2 in action, taken from clinical practice chapter 10.The authors have done a masterful job their examples illustrate their methods, and their methods illuminate the examples The authors often offer suggestions seem appear counter intuitive for instance, while psychologists are often portrayed as seeking the root causes of patients psychological problems in earlier traumatic events, Watzlawick et al actually advise against asking such why questions in certain cases It often happens that webecome aware of the important facts , they write, quoting philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, only if we suppress the question Why page 84 This Don t Ask Why principle comes to the fore in several clinical cases described in Chapter 10 Here s one such case Strange as it may seem, the authors observe, quite a few people seem to enter therapy not for the purpose of resolving a problem and being themselves changed in the process, but instead behave as if they wanted to defeat the expert and presumably prove that their problem cannot be solved page 132 Patients Clients like this will often ask for advice, then immediately reject the advice, pointing to obstacles that prevent them from acting on the good advice Psychiatrist Eric Berne has famously called this the Why Don t You Yes, but Game In response, the authors advise against the time honored exercise in futility of asking why some people should play the game of Help me, but I won t let you Rather, the therapist needs to simply accept the fact that there are such people, and concentrate instead on what they are doingand what can be done about it page 138 I only have one small complaint about this book In the first two chapters, the authors introduce their Theoretical Perspective by drawing on some rather advanced subjects in mathematics Group Theory a domain of Abstract Algebra and Bertrand Russell s Theory of Logical Types a construct of Modern Set Theory Most readers eyes may glaze over at this early point in the book.Since I was a math major in college, though, I found that the authors really didn t need the actual mathematical examples So I might offer a bit of advice to readers who don t want to be distracted by the authors mercifully brief foray into advanced math 1 Whenever the authors talk about groups or group theory, just think of re arranging deck chairs on the Titanic or when a client trades one addiction for another In other words the pieces and faces might change, but not the basic game 2 Whenever the authors talk about the theory of types or meta levels, just think of the client s need to take a step back or take a broader perspective on their problem and the failed solutions they have attempted Aside from that minor quibble, I found this to be an insightful and thought provoking book about a deeply important Life topic This book discusses the questions of persistence and change the actions of humans, the book explain how created problems and conflicts in human life and how to prevent them in advance Shows how often the solutions that we provide to problems become problems themselves, and how to make real changes.Many persons and organizations begin with changes And changes do not succeed the book can assist in understanding what causes this Book describes how to change your way of thinking In a remarkabl This book discusses the questions of persistence and change the actions of humans, the book explain how created problems and conflicts in human life and how to prevent them in advance Shows how often the solutions that we provide to problems become problems themselves, and how to make real changes.Many persons and organizations begin with changes And changes do not succeed the book can assist in understanding what causes this Book describes how to change your way of thinking In a remarkably pervasive way, peppered with wonderful illustrating anecdotes, the authors present a theory of human thinking and acting that has wide applications It is also a beautifully simple theory which is not saying it is simplistic For anyone interested in how organizations, groups, couples, and individuals create, maintain, and hopefully solve problems this is really good book.The authors start with an esoteric theory of groups, classes, games without end, etc., and then move into application through several interesting clinical examples In short, the basic idea is that there are two approaches to change the simplistic, commonsense approach, which often blows up in our faces or a second order type of change where the assumptions around the problem are questioned The most serious difficulties we run into in life require second order change, yet we often chase our tails trying to solve them with commonsense solutions that go nowhere This book is a primer for approaching problems in new ways My brain hurts, but it s a good thing. It changed my perception of the world it might change yours. Focus on what not why This book had some very interesting and thought provoking ideas I found merit and agree with many of the key themes of the book However, the writing was cyclical and boastful in nature, i.e introducing concepts and information into the text that was merely there for the purpose of showing how much information the author knew, rather than explaining a key point of the book There were so many instances where this style of writing, on top of the already dense nature of the material, made it har This book had some very interesting and thought provoking ideas I found merit and agree with many of the key themes of the book However, the writing was cyclical and boastful in nature, i.e introducing concepts and information into the text that was merely there for the purpose of showing how much information the author knew, rather than explaining a key point of the book There were so many instances where this style of writing, on top of the already dense nature of the material, made it hard to stay focused while reading While entrenched in applications and theories of psychology primarily, this book is applicable to any situation or problem that any person experiences and wishes to change The straightforward title indicates what you re going to get a very honest exploration of change, how people go about it, how they fail along the way, and what must be done to reframe their problems and alter their thinking in order to achieve the desired change It takes a lot of real life examples though many are outdated While entrenched in applications and theories of psychology primarily, this book is applicable to any situation or problem that any person experiences and wishes to change The straightforward title indicates what you re going to get a very honest exploration of change, how people go about it, how they fail along the way, and what must be done to reframe their problems and alter their thinking in order to achieve the desired change It takes a lot of real life examples though many are outdated due to the fact this book was originally written in the 70s from history, along with case studies and anecdotes to illustrate the points about how human behavior typically hinders change, and the unique and often unusual methods that can be taken to achieve change in order to eliminate a particular problem or resolve a situation It has practical advice and made me consider the way I approach and handle problems in my everyday life in my work, my interpersonal relationships, and with my own self It s an inspiring read, albeit it dense in places it s really meant as a textbook Totally worth the read Great book and if you want to read about this subject its a sine qua non Be warned though, its the theoretical, scientific background, I will be searchingtitles on this subject, so I m open for suggestions I m trying to avoid the classical how to books though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *