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Systems Theory


Systems theory is viewing an individual or group as its own ecosystem with many moving parts that affect each other. Principles of systems theory have been applied to the field of psychology to explore and explain behavioral patterns.

  • each person in the system influences and is affected by every other member of the system

  • if one member of the unit is in pain, all members experience some reverberations

  • because all share in the effect of major decisions made, it may be important to include them in the problem-solving and decision-making processes

Thus, each person's construction of his or her shared reality is deemed to be important, and it is vital that each individual have an opportunity to tell his or her story on his or her terms. They can then consider how they want to weave the next chapters in the tapestry of their life histories, and which threads are to be separate and which are to be intertwined.

Compassionate Inquiry

Compassionate Inquiry is a psychotherapeutic approach developed by Dr. Gabor Maté that reveals what lies beneath the appearance we present to the world.

Using Compassionate Inquiry, both the individual and therapist unveil the level of consciousness, mental climate, hidden assumptions, implicit memories and body states that form the real message that words both express and conceal.

Through Compassionate Inquiry, the client can recognize the unconscious dynamics that run their lives and how to liberate themselves from them.

Strength-Based Approach

The strength-based approach has its foundation in social work. The Strength-Based approach is a “work practice theory” which focuses on an individuals’ self-determination and strength. This type of approach builds the clients on their strengths, specifically seeing them as resourceful and resilient when they are in adverse conditions

An interesting aspect of the strengths-based approach is that it is about getting people to affect change in them.

Change happens using positivity and affecting each person and how they handle their own:

  • Attitudes about their dignity

  • Capacities

  • Rights

  • Quirks

  • And similarities

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