Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Double Bind Theory of Family System

  • Samuel MajorEmail author
  • Adam R. Fisher
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_259

Name of Theory

Double Bind Theory of Family Systems

Synonyms

Double bind hypothesis; Double bind theory of paradoxical communication; The double bind theory of schizophrenia

Introduction

During the advent of the field of marriage and family therapy in the 1950s, Gregory Bateson assembled the Palo Alto Group – a team of scientists and psychiatrists to further study the nature of communication as it related to self-regulating systems via mechanisms of information, control, and feedback (Gibney 2006). This group from Palo Alto, California, was particularly interested in communication patterns in families where a member had developed schizophrenia, hoping to reject the strictly biological model of schizophrenia that was popular during that time (Nichols and Schwartz 2001). As a result, the group produced the landmark report Toward a Theory of Schizophrenia (Bateson et al. 1956), which offered the hypothesis that schizophrenia was not biologically caused, rather it was “caused and/or...

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References

  1. Bateson, G., Jackson, D., Haley, J., & Weakland, J. (1956). Toward a theory of schizophrenia. Behavioural Science, 1, 251–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Gibney, P. (2006). The double bind theory: Still crazy-making after all these years. Psychotherapy in Australia, 12(3), 48–55.Google Scholar
  3. Lebow, J. (2014). Couple and family therapy: An integrative map of the territory. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Nichols, M. P., & Davis, S. D. (2012). Family therapy: Concepts and methods (11th ed.). Hoboken: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  5. Nichols, M. P., & Schwartz, R. C. (2001). The essentials of family therapy. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  6. Piercy, F. P., Sprenkle, D. H., & Wetchler, J. L. (1996). Family therapy sourcebook (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  7. Wetchler, J. L., & Hecker, L. L. (2015). An introduction to marriage and family therapy (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  2. 2.Brigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • David Kearns
    • 1
  • Bahareh Sahebi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.The Family InstituteNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA