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Wright, Watson & Bell.docx

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NUR1 221
Shari Gagne

BeliefsAbout Families and Illness (p.236) by Wright, Watson & Bell Everyone has beliefs about families and illness - Illness as a sign that they are sinful; disease as punishment - Illness as a natural and physical sign; individual can no longer go on neglecting his health - Illness as a challenge - Some families believe  illness will intensify if the person who is ill is upset  withhold information/overprotect - Repetitive encouragement (or nagging) about taking medications, improve diet etc. some believe it is a way to show concern. As health care professionals we believe: Beliefs about family 1. Family = group of individuals who are bound by strong emotional ties, a sense of belonging, and a passion for being involved in one another’s lives - Family = who they say they are - There is a connection between a person’ health & nature of their long-term relationships - As health care professionals we do not “know a family”, a family can only be known by its individual members. We do not concur with the concept that certain behaviors and beliefs of the individual are transformed through interaction and history with others to take on family meaning and become family constructs or paradigms - Reality is “observer-dependent”; there are as many families as there are family members o Each person has a distinct view of “the family” i.e. 5 “families” in a 5 people family - There can be no such things as a family belief, a family construct, family meaning, or family health, instead there are many individual descriptions of family beliefs, family meanings, or family health, each one equally valid. 2. Individuals are structurally determined - Each individual’s biopsychosocial-spiritual structure is unique and is a product of  genetic history (phylogeny) and history of interactions over time (ontogeny) - An individual’s present structure specifies what environmental influences will be a “perturbation” - We cannot say in advance which health care interventions will be useful in promoting change in an individual at a specific time. These interventions are seen as perturbation themselves. - It is not what the clinician says/does that effects change, it is the fit between the individual’s present structure and what the clinician says/does that effects change. - People are highly plastic – able to make changes through interactions and through structurally coupling with other systems 3. Problems do not reside within individuals but between people in language - Frequently problems are seen to reside within individuals - It is often believe that it is necessary to find the cause of a problem before a cure can be suggested o Generates an endless search for “why” o Invites blame and accusation of the individual and other family members - There is no such thing as a “dysfunctional” individual or family - Once the beliefs behind a behavior is understood, each person’s behavior makes sense - To label a family as “dysfunctional”  “objectivity-without-parentheses” meaning one believes that there is one correct view and “I have it.” We need to ask whose point of view is being privileged in the labeling of behavior as “dysfunctional” - Thinking of difficulties as problems that are drawn forth in language and occur between people o Removes the temptation to engage in linear thinking through causation or accusation - Rather asking “why” questions, we should ask “how” questions 4. All families have strengths, often unappreciated or unrealized - All families possess the strengths and abilities necessary to solve their own problems o Capacity for self-healing and foster their own recovery - May benefit from being reminded about forgotten strengths and abilities - Strength-oriented perspective can provide a strong foundation for family renewal - Clinician should l
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