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Friedman, bowden & jones (2003) article summary

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NUR1 221
Shari Gagne

Family communication Pattern and Processes by Friedman, Bowden and Jones Functional Communication Processes  Define as the cornerstone of a successful, healthy family.  Clear, direct transmission and reception of both the content and instruction level of any messages.  Matching meaning and attaining consistency and congruence between the intended and the received message.  Process of constant definition and redefinition that will achieve a matching of the content and instructional level of messages. The Functional Sender a) Firmly and Clearly Stating Case Use of communication that is congruent on both the content and instruction. Ex: Person who is angry, the literal message is consistent with the tone of voice, body position, and gestures. b) Intensity and Explicitness Intensity refers to the ability of the sender of effectively communicate internal perceptions of feelings, desires, and needs at the same intensity as he or she is experiencing these perceptions internally. To be explicit, the functional sender informs the receiver of how serious the message is by stating how the receiver should respond to the message. c) Clarifying and Qualifying Messages Use of clarifying and qualifying statements that enable the sender to be specific and to check out his or her perception of reality against that of the other person. Ex: “I want..”, “I feel…” d) Invites Feedback Asking for feedback enable the sender to verify whether the message was received accurately, as well as enabling the sender to gain information needed to clarify his intent. e) Receptive to Feedback The sender exhibit a willingness to listen, react nondefensively, and attempt to understand. Demonstrating his receptivity and interest in feedback. The Functional Receiver a) Listening The most important quality of a functional receiver. Focusing one’s full attention on what is being communicated and blocking out extraneous distractions.Attend to the complete message. Passive listeners respond with blank expression and indifference While active listeners respond with gesture that communicate actively listening. b) Giving Feedback Receiver tells the sender how he interpreted the message. It encourages the sender to elaborate more fully. Might also be done through association (Make relationship between previous personal experiences). Paraphrasing and checking perceptions are other forms of feedback. c) Providing Validation The receiver conveys understanding of the sender thoughts and feelings. Does not imply agreement but demonstrates an acceptance of the merit and worth of the message. Dysfunctional Communication Processes The Dysfunctional Sender a) MakesAssumptions Takes for granted what the receiver is feeling or thinking about an event or person without validation. May elicit anger in the receiver, who is being given the message that his opinion and feelings do not matter much.Another way can be as acting as a spokesperson for another by telling someone else what the person is thinking. b) Expresses Feelings Unclearly The sender’s expression of feeling must go underground or be uttered in such a covert manner that the feeling are not recognizable.Also, intensity of feeling may also be different from the reality. c) Making Judgmental Responses These always carry moral overtones where it is clear to the receiver that the sender is evaluating the worth of the other person’s message as being right or wrong, good or bad, normal or abnormal. Ex: Put-down statements or questions, “you should..” statements. d) Inability to Define own Needs Due to fear of rejection is incapable of defining the behaviors he expects from the receiver to fulfill his needs. The sender might feel unconsciously unworthy,with no right to express needs.Also include the expectation that the others should anticipate his needs. Ex: Covert Request, Complaints (You never visits as oppose to Please come over Wednesday night for dinner) e) Incongruent Communication Two or more simultaneous and contradictory message are sent. The receiver is left with the enigma on how to respond. Ex: “I’m not angry” spoken loud, gruff tone of voice The Dysfunctional Receiver a) Failing to Listen Does not attend or hear the message. Might be due to distraction or simply hearing impairment. Causes distortion and misinterpretation of the message. b) Using Disqualification Employ evasion to disqualify the message by avoiding the crucial issue. It is an indirect response that allows the receiver to disagree with a message with a message without really disagreeing.Also, the receiver might respond to a peripheral aspect of a message and ignores the central intention or content. c) Insulting The receiver seems to react defensively to the message by assuming an oppositional posture and an attacking position. May also attack with a different issue before any progress is made on a threatening issue introduced by the sender. Often use by conflicted couples. d) Failing to Explore Sender’s Message Uses responses that negate exploration, such as making assumptions, giving premature advice, or cutting off communication. Physical action can also cut off communication like leaving the room, engage in busywork, or turn away from the sender. e) Failing to Validate Messages The receiver either respond neutrally or distorts and misinterprets the message. (Assuming) Dysfunctional Senders and Receivers Parallel talk: Each individual in the interaction constantly restates his own issues without really listening to the others point of view. Inability to focus on one issue: Each individual rambles from one issue to another instead of resolving any one problem discussed. Functional Communication Patterns in the Family The first trait of a healthy family is clear communication and the ability to listen to each other. Communicating Clearly and Congruently (Satir et al.,1991) There is consistency between the content and the instruction levels of the communication. The receiver is able more clearly to comprehend the sender’s message making communication in the family much healthier. The communication pattern in a functional family demonstrates acceptance of differentness, as well as minimum of judgments and unrealistic criticism of each other. It is a extremely dynamic, reciprocal process. This nature of functional communication makes it complex and unpredictable. Even in the healthiest family communication is still tenuous and problematic much of the time. Emotional Communication Healthy families display a full spectrum of feelings, while more dysfunctional families were emotionally constricted and rigid in their expression of feelings. Emotional expression has a positive impact on children’s social competency (Boyum & Parke, 1995). Family member need to be able to communicate their enjoyment of each other. When their responses to each other are fresh and spontaneous, rather than controlled, repetitious, and predictable, this enjoyment can be realized. OpenArea of Communication and Self-Disclosure These families would be able to discuss most areas of life and, both personal and social issues and concern and would not be afraid of conflict. Satir (1972), Family members who are candid and honest with each other are people who feel self-confident enough to risk meaningful interaction, and tend to value self-disclosure. Research on marital relationship demonstrated that total honesty and self-disclosure may not work for many couples. However, the more the functional the family, the fewer areas of closed communication exist. Culture is an important consideration. Power Hierarchy and Family Rules Functional interaction in the hierarchy occurs when power is distributed according to the developmental needs of the family members or when power is assigned according to the abilities and resources of family members and is consonant with the family’s cultural prescriptions of family power relationship. Family Conf
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