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The Handbook of Knowledge-Based Coaching: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE by Diane Brennan, Leni Wildflower

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chapter THIRTEEN

Systems Theory and Family Systems Therapy

Leni Wildflower and Diane Brennan

Family therapists have learned that they don’t have to make families change. Indeed, therapists are finding that when they don’t even try to make families change but instead create a climate in which problems can be explored in less defensive or polarized ways, families are able to change themselves.

—Nichols and Schwartz, 1995, p. 474

If we complain that our workplace is “like a dysfunctional family,” we assume some shared understanding, at a nonspecialist level, of what constitutes a healthy or unhealthy family system. Whether the connection we have in mind is principally metaphorical (family as an image or analogy for other human systems) or instrumental ...

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