Kinetic Family Therapy

Session One

            Session one is focused on understanding what specific deficit the client would like to overcome and how the client will know when it has been overcome.  This session contains the following principles. 

1) Underlying psychological assumptions to why the deficit is occurring do not need to be explored.  It is most helpful when the manifestations of the deficit are identified in specific behavioral terms.  The actions that can be identified by a camera are described (O’Hanlon & Wilk, 1987). 

2)  Specific essential variables will always be present when the deficit is manifested (Ashby, 1960; O’Hanlon & Wilk, 1987).  Non-essential variables may be intermittently present at times when the deficit is manifested, but the non-essential variables are not constant.  The essential variables make up a circular sequence that makes up a specific context in which the deficit is frequently manifested. 

3) The client needs to understand, in specific terms, what it will look like when he has achieved his goal.  The client should describe how he would like to act within the context of essential variables.  It is also helpful to ask the client how others will know he is achieving his goal and obtain a specific 3rd person view of what goal achievement will specifically look like.

4) The goal description should be described as a single action that the person will take that will signify that his goal has been met. This will assist the topic of subsequent sessions to stay on the target of completing the goal. 

Session Two

            Session two is concerned with identifying a specific task that the client can do which will assist the client in achieving character growth.  This session contains the following principles.

1) The task must contain parameters or rules that restrict unwanted behaviors from occurring. 

2)  The task must be composed of essential variables that make up the standard circular sequence and makes up the specific context in which the deficit is frequently manifested.

3)  Although all of the essential variables should be present, a variation of the sequence in which they are frequently present should be developed within the formation of the task.

4) The development of the task should be a collaborative process between the therapist and the client. 

Session Three through Six

            The next sessions concentrate on assisting the client in identifying personal growth that he is achieving, how he is achieving the growth, and how he plans to continue to achieve the growth.  The assumption is that the problem behavior is not always occurring 100% of the time and that sometime within the last session, an exception to the behavior occurred (de Shazer, 1991).  The following principles can assist in achieving personal growth.

1)  The first questions the therapist asks are always about the progress of the client toward meeting the specific goal.

2) Do not ask about large changes that have occurred, let the client volunteer these stories.  Instead, ask about small, incremental goal approximations that may have occurred.

2) The progress is always amplified by asking the client to describe it in specific detail.

3) Systemic changes to the client’s life, however small, due to goal approximation are asked about.  This includes comments that others have made or positive changes in interactions with others.

4). If the client brings up a problem that is keeping him from the goal, the client should be encouraged to explore strengths and resources that he can utilize in overcoming the problem.  Scriptures and prayer are excellent resources to use.  The therapist teaches the client how to learn.

5)  The sessions do not need to last a full hour.  Once the client expresses confidence that he is ready to go out and practice accomplishing the task again, it is time to end the session.

Session Seven

            This session will be spent listing the client’s accomplishments. The following principles are helpful in doing this.

1) The client’s progress toward the target behavior at the beginning of therapy should be compared to the accomplishments at the end of therapy.

2) The client should be encouraged to identify all of the different tools that he has learned to use in overcoming the problem.

3) The client should be encouraged to explore the growth he has obtained. 

4) The systemic impact of the client’s growth in all areas of his life should be discussed.  Changes in spiritual growth should be examined.  Comments family members have made about changes the client has made should also be identified.