chapter  2
22 Pages

General Systems Theory, Cybernetics, and Family Therapy

WithLorna L. Hecker, Grace Ann Mims, Shelly R. Boughner

Family systems theory allows family therapists to examine the context in which individuals live. It is this context that shapes meaning in the lives of individuals, couples, and families. Whereas individual psychology has traditionally focused on the mind as the source of mental illness, family therapy focuses on the family

system as the source of problematic behaviors. As Alice quickly found in encountering the Cheshire Cat and others in Wonderland, mental illness can be defi ned by one’s surroundings, or context.