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Double Bind Theory

Strategic family therapy was introduced in the 1950s by two influential sources, one of which is Gregory Bateson, who studied family communication patterns using the science of cybernetics. In 1956, Bateson and his colleagues (including Don D. Jackson, Jay Haley, and John H. Weakland) studied the family communication patterns of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia in an attempt to unearth the source of their symptoms. They were of the belief that psychotic behavior in a family member may be best understood within the context of pathological family communication. In their report, “Toward a Theory of Schizophrenia,” they went further to hypothesize that the psychotic symptoms in a family member might be a direct result of a specific and complex pattern of communicating—a pattern they termed the ...

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