Psychotherapy as a Problem of Designing Control in Self-Organizing and Game-Playing Systems

  • Peter Van Der Doef
Part of the Annals of Systems Research book series (ASRE, volume 7)

Summary

In this article a body of arguments is presented that centre around two themes:
  1. 1.

    Model thinking in psychology differs functionally from theory-oriented thinking.

     
  2. 2.

    System thinking is needed for obtaining insight into the nature of some problems of control in psychotherapy.

     

It is argued that psychotherapy can be thought of as a way of knowing how to design systems for therapeutic actions which are appropriate to system developments that are taking place in relation to the client’s system; and that the nature of self-organizing systems often requires a system analysis on different levels before attempts can be made to control such systems.

It is further argued that therapeutic processes, like games, can be seen as paradoxical in nature and that control in a therapeutic situation will consist of framing the interaction in such a way that the situation is experienced like a play or game, the rules of which are subject to change.

The implications of these arguments for simulation of therapeutic processes are briefly discussed in the light of two examples of this method.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Angyal, A., Neurosis and treatment: a holistic theory, New York, 1973.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barendregt, J. T., Onderzoek van fobieën, in: Klinische psychologie in Nederland, volume 1, Deventer, 1973.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bateson, G., A theory of play and fantasy, in: Steps to an ecology of mind, New York, 1973.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Beer, S., Decision and control, New York, 1966.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bellman, R. and Smith, C. P., Simulation in human systems: decision-making in psychotherapy, New York, 1973.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bellman, R. and Smith, C. P., Simulation and the initial psychiatric interview. Technical Report USCEE-RB-76–2, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1976.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bertalanffy, L. von, General system theory, New York, 1968.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Churchman, C.W., The systems approach, New York, 1968.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Churchman, C. W., The past’s future: estimating trends by system theory, pp. 434–443 in: Trends in general systems theory (Klir, G. J., ed.), New York, 1972.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Colby, K. M., Artificial paranoia, Elmsford, N. Y., 1975.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gagné, R. M., Psychological principles in system development, New York, 1963.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Haley, J., Approaches to family therapy, pp. 227–236 in: Changing families: a family therapy reader (Haley, J., ed.), New York, 1971.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    London, P., The end of ideology in behavior modification, American Psychologist, (1972), 913–920.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Siegler, M. and Osmond, H., Models of madness, British Journal of Psychiatry, 112 (1966), 1193–1203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Simon, H., The sciences of the artificial, Cambridge, Mass., 1969.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ven, P. van de, Verandering: een paradoxaal avontuur, Tijdschrift voor Agologie, (1974), 220–241.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Zeeuw, G. de, ‘Model-denken in de psychologie’, thesis, University of Amsterdam, 1974.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zeeuw, G. de, Psychologie en methodologie: een professionele of een interdisciplinaire verhouding?, Nederlands Tijdschrift voor de Psychologie, 31 (1976).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© H. E. Stenfert Kroese B.V./Leiden - The Netherlands 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Van Der Doef

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations