The therapeutic use of self in constructionist/systemic therapy.

  • T Real
  • Published 1990 in Family process


The introduction of a constructivist orientation to family therapy has promoted a reconceptualization of the therapeutic use of self. The multiply-engaged therapist is seen as positioned within rather than as acting upon a system. Such a therapist facilitates change through participation in, and active engagement with, each system member's perceptions and experience. Multiple engagement synthesizes the "instrumental" and "noninstrumental" perspectives through use of the idea of systemic influence, or systemic positioning. Multiple engagement stresses the relational perspective over the extremes of either pure interventionism or pure facilitation. Five specific therapeutic stances are introduced and are clinically illustrated; taken together, these stances articulate one model for a constructivist family therapy.

Cite this paper

@article{Real1990TheTU, title={The therapeutic use of self in constructionist/systemic therapy.}, author={T Real}, journal={Family process}, year={1990}, volume={29 3}, pages={255-72} }