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(p. 291) Key Terms 

(p. 291) Key Terms
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Subscriber: null; date: 23 October 2019

  • Adaptability—

    individuals, couples, and families exhibit flexibility to adjust to the demands of the environment

  • Ambiguity—

    the recognition that interdependence, complexity, and reciprocity create significant uncertainty (shades of gray) regarding causation, progression, and resolution of issues and problems.

  • Assessment—

    the application of individual, couple, and family psychological assessment methods to identify the assets and liabilities of individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of problem identification, treatment planning, and intervention, or to answer a focused question related to couple or family functioning.

  • Cartesian—

    the mechanistic system of philosophy of science espoused by Rene Descartes.

  • Case Conceptualization—

    development of the overarching framework for contextualizing assessment, diagnosis, problem description, case formulation, and treatment planning.

  • Case Formulation—

    The second phase of case conceptualization involving organizing case information, providing systemic explanations, and prioritizing treatment goals.

  • Change of format—

    to move from treating the index client in a one-on-one format to treating various subsystems of the family or the entire family. Conversely, when treating couples or a family, changing the format of psychotherapy from conjoint to individual sessions.

  • Common factors—

    change mechanisms that are found in common across effective therapies. These include client factors; therapist demographic traits, training, personality and well-being; and the nature of the therapeutic alliance.

  • Complexity—

    the dynamic, interactive relationship between system levels and components that extends beyond linear cause-effect conceptualization to incorporate multifaceted aspects of issues.

  • Consultation—

    an advisory or collaborative interaction with any system or subsystem based on psychological science and a systemic epistemology to assess needs, proffer recommendations, and engage in interventions using specialty skills and attitudes to achieve the objectives of the consultee.

  • Contextual factors—

    consideration of the environment that provides the interpretive frame for understanding, individual, couple, or family problems.

  • Couple and family psychology—

    a broad and general specialty orientation to the science and practice of professional psychology that is based on a systemic epistemology. The specialty extends beyond couple or family therapy to denote a broad orientation to human behavior that occurs in the context of relationships and larger macrosystemic dynamics.

  • (p. 292) Culture-centered—

    habitual orientation toward seeing all behavior as influenced by culture and perceived by the CFP specialist through socially constructed filters

  • Developmental supervision—

    a supervision modality that focuses training efforts on a predictable developmental sequence or trajectory that a supervisee possesses at a particular level of training.

  • Disputed privilege—

    when one party in a divorce resolution or child custody case wants to release confidential information that was obtained in the course of conjoint treatment and the other does not.

  • Equifinality—

    several paths towards the same result may be taken, even if the starting point is different.

  • Equipotentiality—

    starting points are the same, but different results may occur.

  • Equitable treatment—

    professional commitment to value each person engaged in multiperson psychotherapy, including gender equity, procedural fairness, and responsiveness to client feedback about perceived inequity.

  • Evidence-based practice—

    the clinical expertise to combine psychological research with clinical skills and attitudes in the provision of psychological services.

  • Evidence-based relationships—

    research on the clinician factors that contribute to the formation of an effective therapeutic alliance and improve treatment outcomes

  • Family forensic psychology—

    a special application of family psychology and forensic psychology that provides expert-level services to families involved with the legal system, their attorneys, and the courts.

  • General Systems Theory—

    a meta-theoretical approach to science characterized by open systems and nonlinear causality.

  • Individual factors—

    consideration of individual aspects of a person (e.g. biological, personality) as components to understanding a broader systemic problem

  • Interpersonal factors—

    consideration of relational dynamics and family constellation when thinking about an individual, couple, or family problem.

  • Open system—

    recognition that all living organisms are nested in hierarchical networks and receive regular feedback from the environment.

  • Outcome measurement—

    applying empirical methods to provide evidence that treatment is impacting the clients’ functioning.

  • Perpetuating factors—

    system-maintaining elements that keep an individual, couple, or family stuck and unable to change without some type of intervention

  • Perspective—

    alternate views of an issue or circumstance dependent on one’s position in the system. One may take the perspective of another through mental flexibility and accurate empathy; this is often necessary in providing treatment to couples, families, and larger groups.

  • Positive ethics—

    the pursuit of lifelong learning and development in ethical decision making and practice, and not just adherence to a list of “do’s” and “don’ts”.

  • Positivism—

    a philosophy and methodology of modern science, which argues that scientific knowledge is produced by quantitatively measuring observable phenomena.

  • Precipitating factors—

    identifiable stressors that help explain why an individual, couple, or family has witnessed a decline in functioning from previous baseline levels. Precipitating factors are often situational and challenge the client(s)’ existing resources.

  • Predisposing factors—

    events or individual characteristics that enhance the likelihood that an individual, couple, or family will develop problems given the right precipitating stressors.

  • (p. 293) Problem formulation—

    the first phase of case conceptualization and includes establishing therapeutic alliance, conducting the preliminary interview, formulating testable hypotheses, conducting the assessment, and diagnosing or describing the presenting problem.

  • Process-based supervision—

    a supervision modality that focuses on the various roles, tasks, processes, and functions of the supervisor in the supervision process.

  • Psychometrics—

    the statistical and theoretical foundation of psychological measurement.

  • Psychotherapy-based supervision—

    a supervision methodology whereby the supervisor educates the supervisee in a modality-specific psychotherapy.

  • Reciprocity—

    the simultaneous, mutual, interactive, non-sequential effects that occur between persons or circumstances in any event, situation, or interaction.

  • Secrets—

    information that was entrusted to the therapist by one individual and not disclosed in the multiperson session.

  • Self-organization—

    a core characteristic of living systems whereby random elements organize themselves into a patterned whole.

  • Social constructionism—

    considers the individual and couple/family situated in a unique life story and a particular place in history.

  • Supervision—

    a mentor-based teaching method given by a more experienced psychologist to a less experienced trainee for the purpose of increasing competence in the delivery of psychological services.

  • Systemic epistemology—

    recognition of the complex, reflexive interaction between individual, interpersonal, and macrosystemic or environmental factors over time in the understanding of human behavior. Adoption of a systemic epistemology is evidenced by habitual systemic thinking, willingness to challenge mental models, seeing the abstract system, comprehending complexity, recognizing reciprocity, considering connections, accepting ambiguity, understanding change, observing patterns and trends, considering unintended consequences, shifting perspectives, and factoring in time.

  • Teaching—

    the ability of CFP specialists to educate psychology students in knowledge, skills, and attitudes across the specialty competencies. Alternatively, the ability of CFP specialists to provide psychoeducation to the public that includes knowledge, skills, and attitudes important to relationship health, satisfaction, and commitment.

  • Therapeutic alliance—

    the working relationship between the clinician and the client that is a significant factor in positive treatment outcomes. In CFP, the alliance between the specialist and the clients is more complex and interactive than in individual psychotherapy because there may be individual differences in alliance between particular couple or family members and the clinician and the perception of another participant’s alliance may impact a client and alter his or her own alliance with the clinician.

  • Treatment formulation—

    The third phase of case conceptualization where the CFP provides feedback to the couple/family, sets consensual goals, identifies the best intervention and format for delivery, and plans for monitoring progress.

(p. 294)