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When working with families, clinicians use a framework to conceptualize, assess, and intervene in order to help the family to function in a way that supports people as individuals and the group as a family. The circumplex model of marital and family systems was developed to help create a seamless flow between research, theory, and practice. It is based on three concepts that have repeatedly emerged as important in family theory models and approaches: cohesion (togetherness), flexibility, and communication. The model was created to help clinicians diagnose family patterns and classify family patterns along a continuum of unbalanced–disconnected, balanced, and unbalanced–overly connected. This entry reviews the development of the circumplex model, the structure and components of the model, and how it has been used in ...

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