Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Sequences in Couple and Family Therapy

  • David TaussigEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_915

Name of Concept

Sequences in couple and family therapy


Cycle of interaction; Patterns


When the pioneers of family therapy introduced systems theory to create a paradigm shift from viewing human problems as originating within an individual to originating in the context of a family system, they sought to explain just how problems are embedded within a family context. Virtually all of these pioneers posited that problems are embedded in recurrent patterns of interaction. The term “sequence” was adopted to name a series of behaviors that recur in roughly the same manner and order over and over (Breunlin and Schwartz 1986). Using Google Scholar to search the phrase “sequences in couple and family therapy” reveals hundreds of articles naming sequences as central to the description of family forms, models of therapy, and the treatment of specific problems and populations. The concept of sequences continues to be a constant in the field of couple and family therapy and a...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Douglas C. Breunlin
    • 1
  1. 1.The Family InstituteNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA