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The myth of power : Clinical implications of cybernetics and self-organizing systems.

Author: Neil F Ravella; Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities.
Dissertation: Ph. D. Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities 1988
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : eBook   Computer File : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Power has historically been considered to be a primary factor in human relationships. More recently, Gregory Bateson suggested that "power" was a myth and that the "idea" of power corrupted those who believed in it. This project explores the ways in which power has historically been understood and how recent developments in cybernetic theory and the theory of self-organizing systems alter our conception of power. In
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Details

Genre/Form: Academic theses
Material Type: Document, Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Neil F Ravella; Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities.
OCLC Number: 781743676
Description: 1 online resource (167 pages)

Abstract:

Power has historically been considered to be a primary factor in human relationships. More recently, Gregory Bateson suggested that "power" was a myth and that the "idea" of power corrupted those who believed in it. This project explores the ways in which power has historically been understood and how recent developments in cybernetic theory and the theory of self-organizing systems alter our conception of power. In addition, the implications of an alternative understanding of power for the practice of psychotherapy are discussed.

Among the issues discussed is the view of psychotherapy as a means of social control. the historical basis of this concept of therapy is explored. In addition, the epistemological assumptions implicit in current conceptions of the role of the therapist in producing change in therapy are examined. These assumptions include the role of "objectivity" in guiding the actions of the clinician and presumption of objectivity on the part of the social scientist. the role of cause-and-effect thinking in our understanding of the therapeutic process is also examined.

An alternative epistemology, rooted in cybernetics and radical constructivist thinking is presented. This "non-linear" view of the operation of human systems is discussed. An alternative description of psychotherapy in which the therapist is seen as a "non-instrumental" agent of change is proposed.

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