Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Epistemology in Family Systems Theory

  • Bethany SimmonsEmail author
  • Jana Sutton
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_264

Name of Concept

Epistemology in Family Therapy.

Introduction

Epistemology, or the study of how we know what we know (the process of knowing), was first introduced into family therapy ideas and literature by anthropologist Gregory Bateson. Epistemology involves “...certain propositions about the nature of knowing and the nature of the universe in which we live and how we know about it” (Bateson 1972, p. 478). This concept is closely related to and cannot be separated from ontology, the study of what we know (the content of knowing), and often the term epistemology is used to discuss both aspects of knowing (Bateson 1972). Often, the term epistemology is used to indicate a lens, ideology, worldview, perspective, or framework that informs how someone thinks, the perceptions they have, and the meanings they make that influence how they interact in the world and with others. In turn, recursively, the premises and beliefs they hold about the world inform and reinforce or alter their...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Bateson, G. (1972). Steps to an ecology of mind. New York: Ballantine.Google Scholar
  2. Bateson, G. (1979). Mind and nature. New York: Dutton.Google Scholar
  3. Becvar, D. S., & Becvar, R. J. (1999). Systems theory and family therapy: A primer (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: University Press of America.Google Scholar
  4. Becvar, D. S., & Becvar, R. J. (2013). Family therapy: A systemic integration (8th ed.). New York: Pearson.Google Scholar
  5. Framo, J. (1965). Rationale and techniques of intensive family therapy. In I. Boszormenyi-Nagy & J. Framo (Eds.), Intensive family therapy: Theoretical and practical aspects (pp. 143–212). New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  6. Goolishian, H., & Anderson, H. (1987). Language systems and therapy: An evolving idea. Psychotherapy, 24(35), 529–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hammond, D. (2003). The science of synthesis: Exploring the social implications of general systems theory. Boulder: University Press of Colorado.Google Scholar
  8. Hoffman, L. (1985). Beyond power and control: Toward a “second-order” family systems therapy. Family Systems Medicine, 3(4), 381–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Keeney, B. (1979). Ecosystemic epistemology: An alternative paradigm for diagnosis. Family Process, 18(2), 117–129.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Keeney, B. (1982). Not pragmatics, not aesthetics. Family Process, 21(4), 429–434.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Keeney, B. (1983). Aesthetics of change. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  12. Keeney, B., & Sprenkle, D. (1982). Ecosystemic epistemology: Critical implications for the aesthetics and pragmatics of family therapy. Family Process, 21, 1–19.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Kerr, M., & Bowen, M. (1988). Family evaluation: An approach based on Bowen theory. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  14. Minuchin, S. (1974). Families and family therapy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Minuchin, S., & Nichols, M. P. (1993). Family healing: Strategies for hope and understanding. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  16. Ray, W. A., & Borer, M. (2007). Tracking talk in therapy-12 useful maps. Journal of Brief, Strategic Therapies, 1(1), 69–84.Google Scholar
  17. Selvini Palazzoli, M., Boscolo, L., Cecchin, G., & Prata, G. (1978). Paradox and counterparadox: A new model in the therapy of the family in schizophrenic transaction. New York: Jason Aronson.Google Scholar
  18. Simmons, B. S. (2010). Family therapy legacies and the patterns that connect: Transcending the modern/postmodern dichotomy in family therapy. Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I. (3446927).Google Scholar
  19. Watzlawick, P., Beavin Bavelas, J. H., & Jackson, D. D. (1967). Pragmatics of human communication: A study of interactional patterns, pathologies, and paradoxes. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  20. Watzlawick, P. (Ed.). (1984). The invented reality: How do we know what we believe we know? (contributions to constructivism). New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  21. Whitaker, C. (1989). Midnight musings of a family therapist. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California Lutheran UniversityThousand OaksUSA
  2. 2.University of Louisiana at MonroeMonroeUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • David Kearns
    • 1
  • Bahareh Sahebi
    • 2
  1. 1.Iowa CityUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA