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Autor: Speranța Popescu Carmela Fola Claudia Togănel Ramona Crăciun Luminița Cozlea
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This paper work is divided into three chapters, as the first chapter is a brief introduction to the theory and philosophy of the Palo Alto School. Then are presented in subheadings the devoted Gregory Bateson, with his new epistemology, Milton Erickson, with his great contribution, and also other founding personalities and guidelines that have resulted from this true revolution in modern psychology. The second chapter presents several case studies applying specific techniques and methods of the strategic-systemic schools, especially in training after IGB-MRI spirit of Liege, representative school for francophone Europe, and the last chapter draws some conclusions on the development prospects and and undeniable impact of this orientation.

Chapter 1.
Some theoretical consideRations

1.1. Daily paradox

“Come in mother’s arms!”, is the sweetest urging on earth. Only that when is followed by a gesture that contradicts it (mother’s standing up or a gesture of rejection or any other gesture that cancels the call) this appeal is terrible, the child is placed in a difficult situation in which he doesn’t know how to get out: if obeyed he will disturb the mother and if he whether doesn’t want to bother, he won’t listen to mother’s urging. However,  it comes out bad!

„Be spontaneous!, is the urging that we give to children at different events trained and repeated so many times at school.

„Be creative and original! You just have to follow exactly what I’ll show you, many parents tell their children.

„I hit you because I love you!” is the worst justification, explanation, with consequences so serious that ending up in the psychologist’s office would be the best case.

These are just some examples that we experience in everyday life, as practitioners, examples of paradoxical situations, of impossible choices. If they remain unique, occurring only once in the life of the subject, there would be nothing but a problem of time. What transforms a simple need in a suffering is repeating the reaction loop in relationship with the significant entourage. The choice of these exemple not only ones, unfortunately, only intend to make easier defining the paradoxical life situation, the dual constraints and the relational problem. To stop the vicious circle and turn it into a beneficial circle, the relational system requires maneuvers and distinctive techniques, a strategy to generate change. One of the modern approaches that has suggested this orientation is the Brief Systemic-StrategicTherapy, the model of Palo Alto School.

How to solve a situation so complicated? Simple!

Thus, the propos of this therapeutic orientation is quitting suffering caused by relationships, communications and interactions apparently hopeless by certain maneuvers, techniques and paradoxical strategies, by turning 180 degrees toward solutions attempt


1.2. Definition and assumptions. Bateson’s Epistemology

Palo Alto School is an ideological movement that is named after a satellite town of San Francisco, California. Driven by British-born anthropologist Gregory Bateson (1904-1980), local hospital psychiatrists studying social behavioral problems and communication in patients with schizophrenia and their families, have developed  in 1956 an important text: Minimal Requirement for a Theory of Schizophrenia, which postulates the „ double bond (double bind) that forms the paradoxical messages exchanged between schizophrenia patient and its environment. Bateson’s induced ideas had huge merit of introducing a veritable epistemological revolution in describing mental illness and adopingt a contextually viewpoint on the patient-environment system. From these works were developed family therapies.

G.Bateson, following researches on animal communication and metacomunication, simultaneous with a research on learning process sets three levels: zero order learning (A), which is receiving a message, the primary order learning (I) which is the change that occurs in zero order learning; second order of learning (II), learning to learn to get a signal (message). In 1972, brings together all the themes in his work  Steps to an Ecology of Mind. In 1979, in the paper Mind and Nature reviews the progress of studies in anthropology, ethology, cybernetics and psychiatry and raises a question „ the structure that connects all living creatures”, and insists on the context, without which words and actions make no sens .

Whole of  its work will form the cornerstone of many orienattions of strategic therapies, systemic, family, etc..

Bateson’s undeniable merit is the understanding that through his new anthropological approach are no longer explained the social facts through their history but by their current position in the group and especially by extending these explanations of the therapeutic field.

The paradigm that was born so called systemic goes far beyond family therapy field, offering theoretical references which was lacking before, namely that the individual is no longer considered as the only source of his suffering. Criminalizing the family social and political background, raises an scandalous era, and some followers who criticized further, the institutions they considered repressive, formed an anti-psychiatric wing, wich was famous at the time.

In human sciences only constant was the change. Searching for specific and effective methonds to determine the change, leaving patient’s suffering  are the goals of those who founded this therapeutic orientation.

Great therapist Jay Haley highlighted the difficulty of knowing the origin of that spectacular pathogenic structure that Bateson and his collaborators called it, “the dual constrain”t, which leads to„ schismogenesis„. It wasn’t important “that one does”, but “what they do together”. Any dual constraint (double bind) has the following features:

  1. The individual is involved in an intense relationship, it is vitally important for him to determine exactly the type of the message wich is communicated in order to answer it in an appropriate manner.
  2. He is captivet in a situation where the other person sends two types of message that one contradicts the other.
  3. He is unable to comment the messages that are addressed so that he could recognize what type is the other person so what  must answer, in other words, he can’t tell a metacomunicative sentence.

Working at MRI, Paul Watylawick, John Weakland, Don Jackson and others operated an original synthesis between Bateson’s systemic intake (the dual constraint) and the works of Milton Erickson, already famous for its unusual and paradoxical therapies. interventions. Therefore the school will focus on the paradoxical aspect of mental pathologies to the extent that the whole problem is generally maintained by the attempts made ​​by the patient for a solution. The fundamental concept of MRI is that the symptom is included in a retroactive loop in wich the attempts to solve the issue wich generates the same attempts to solve. In case of anorexia, when parents blame the girl she is not eating, through this reproaches makes worse the problem that they claim to resolve and in consequence criticisms become parts of the problem.

The first goal of the therapist is to break this cycle of positive retroactivity (positive feedback) and the Palo Alto group has developed an arsenal of interventions often surprising or paradoxical, like the  refraiming or symptom prescription. M. Erickson emphasized localization in present: hic et nunc, to cause change by reconfiguring a psychological space and the communicationsl one, without us worrying about the past, disorder causes or searching the „ guilty,.

Second-order cybernetics shows that it is impossible to separate the observer from observed system.


1.3. Notable figures, contributions and followers

Emergence in the ‘50s, early ‘60s of communication theory and interactional approach, largely due to those we call the Palo Alto group, today belong to the field of myths and legends. Beyond, the notoriety, influence and arguably impact lies an immense labor of research, publications, videos and audio archive belonging to Don Jackson, along with case studies of the time, a publication that recorded weekly meetings and discussions of  Gregory Bateson’s team: Don Jackson, Jay Haley, John Weakland, and William Fry.

I want to emphasize that these figures for the huge opening of  border areas as anthropology, medicine, biology, psychiatry, psychology, social work, sociology, cybernetics, communication theory, meeting researchers, teachers, practitioners, theorists, the debate became famous already, can be a model of cooperation, development and clarification of ideas valuable in areas seemingly distant, then crystallized into a new theory to give rise to an original approach in therapeutic practice: Palo Alto School, which will enrich many areas and guidelines across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

The development of cybernetics and the theory of communication seem so distant from each other. Research of schizophrenia and families that have this suffering, Zen meditation and shamanic rituals, comparative studies of animal behavior and human cells, semantics and semiology, different theories of information, epistemology, ecology, learning, are just some of the concerns that systematic led to the theoretical school, so leading to an ecological approach to human existence in harmony with the environment, the interactional epistemology through a systemic and strategic approach, so a new therapeutic paradigm: Brief Systemic-Strategic Therapy Approch, model of Palo Alto school.

The path they have traveled through the founders of the school passes through several important stages. I’ll name a few:

  1. Interactional approach is the underlying thesis that the behavior of so-called„ deviant, or, pathological, will make sense once we consider how an individual enroll in interaction with others. In other words, whatever would be the unusual behavior of a behavior compared with another more conventional behavior, it becomes understandable as soon as it is viewed as a product of relations and of the context in which it participates. For this reason the research methods and conventional therapies are inadequate for understanding relational dynamics.
  2. Cyber vision / constructivist of order 1 and 2, defined by Heinz von Foerster in 1964 as: the understanding way named cybernetics of order 1 is “the study of observed systems”, and 2nd order cybernetics is “the study of observatories systems”. Therapeutic process, like all processes brings together all the interpersonal roots . Neither patient nor therapist live in isolation. These ideas have marked Bateson’s team in several areas:
  • The behavior of therapeutic sessions
  • Approach in research and data
  • Approach in communication and language
  • The manner of behave with others and
  • The way to interact with each other within the team
  1. Communication is another common theme wich returns often, the idea that the language used to create and define the world and all relations in which we participate. The development of  a language for describing an interactional dynamics and using  humor to focus on the complexity of the situation and defuse the dual constraints, as well as the logical messages levels / types, led the team to postulate to the following structure:I (1) YOU (2) TELL (3) IN THIS CASE (4)


The difficulty to use these 4 elements, leads a schizophrenic to give an enigmatic answer for getting out of confusion and double constraints.


1.4. Milton Erickson’s Paradigm

M. Erickson, is a separate chapter in the foundation of the school. Many authors agree that its influence is somewhat equal to that of Freud in psychotherapy. Ericksonian approach has the following features: (by Lankton and Lankton, 1983)

A. The indirect caracter, involving the use of suggestions and of indirect connections of metaphors and revitalize the client resources.

B. Dissociation of conscious and unconscious, through communication with the patient on more levels, double bonds and implicit metaphors.

C. Use client’s behavior: paradoxical prescriptions, induction by natural means, symptoms prescribing, directing behavior and strategic use Erickson used the principles of communicational theory, relational approach of the client within the family interaction. He believes that people operate according to„ maps”, interiors called intern grids, including relationships and internalized objects. He considers mental illness a dissolution of communication between people. Like Haley, Erickson believes that generated symptoms and relations can be approached more  efficient through communicational, interactional and transactional perspective than in it’s historical perspective, as does psychoanalysis. Psychotherapist brilliant ideas have inspired authors like Bateson, Haley, Watzlawick, Satir, Berne, Perls and others. Erickson’s therapeutic strategy is intended to change of interior„ maps” (grid) according to the patient perceives the world.

D. Paradoxical injunction aims to restructure the internal reference system of the client, both behavioral and reflexive or emotional-affective, so first changing the grid makes changes using specific techniques. This injunction has a significant effect on the patient by stopping the ” logical” thinking flow and the triggering of an internal search process.

Bateson defines paradox as A contradictory conclusions resulting from a judgment based on correct assumptions, quote from Lankton and Lankton 1983. The marriage of the two, M. Erickson was doing very suggestive wish to illustrate a beautiful paradox: “Do not give up your sins. You’ll need them in order to understand the partner„

Variations of paradoxical injunctions are also the symptom prescription, encouraging the symptom by changing the whole system, giving him a positive way, removing subject’s uncomfortable feeling for the moment, such as when tics, logonevrosis entering into empathy with the client, in nonverbal resonance, is  emphasizes the positive interpretation, the„ benefits” of undesirable act, using humor, anecdotes to prepare the subject’s resources in the seeking change. Paradoxical injunction can be used from the beginning, during and at the end of therapy. Selvin Palazzoli, Boscolo, Cecchini and Prata (1970) did not only approve a patient’s designated behavior (symptomatic limb) especially as a scapegoat.

Metaphor – another systemic-strategic thenique – use this figure of speech, which can become an allegory or a therapeutic story that involves a comparison of that is not visible.

Communication occurs on many levels, so focus on multilevel communication is a very powerful technique.

Ideas of great originality of the founding group, whose influence has grown in many “hard”,scientific fields, are as current today and is found in the research and interventions on ecology and epistemology. Thus, they can be found in the behavioral sciences, family therapy, brief therapies, communication theory, in the so-called narrative visions and “post-modern” of the human behavior, and the manner of making and induce change. This group of  team formed by Bateson, D.Jackson, J.Haley, J.Weakland and W.Fry, in collaboration with M.Erickson we owe the creation of the first approaches to pure interactional essence of D.Jackson in 1961, distinct from approaches focused on individual, then creating the first independent institute of family therapy (Mental Research Institute – MRI), then create a strategic family therapy by Jay Haley, creating the first brief therapy model in the world by R.Fisch, J.Weakland and P.Watzlawick: the MRI from Palo Alto.

Creation of the Gregory Bateson Institute (IGB) in Liege, led by J.J.Wittezaele is one of the legacies of the Palo Alto School for Francophone Europe. The institute team, together with Giorgio Nardone is currently working on a concept of„ and interactional dynamic diagnosis”, to allow better targeting the problem in need of to treat and relationships in need of change. It is a very useful step to provide a first interface between individual and interactional approaches around the symptoms and problems experienced by patients through “unusual” manifestations – delusions, hallucinations, compulsive rituals and other DSM repertoire. Are well known perverse potential effects of a diagnosis “static” and especially what we call, the “self-fulfilling prophecy”, who end up close to the person under a dehumanizing label. It would be so exciting to open (run) the interactional manner symptom starting with „ the relevant system”, by removing the mechanismof “ adjustmen”t, used by the patient himself or by the entourage involved in the problem. Interactional diagnosis involves precise choice of intervention: driving the patient to face rather than avoid, end the inefficient sources of help, eg phobias. As claimed G.Nardone, a film rather than a picture, interactional diagnosis relational show the relational constellation that supports (unintentionally of course) the problem, involving precise directions of intervention, constructive, aimed at seeking solutions. This diagnosis can be used both inclinic, but equally in relational problems that may occur in other systems such as businesses, schools, social issues, probation, treatment of violence, harassment, etc..

Unlocking a type of problem does not change the structure of the global system in which the subject is, but much but greatly facilitates the person imprisoned. Here is the interactional and strategic approach bet. Its motto could be: ‘Think globally and act locally. Some problems can be fixed or adjusted by working only with the symptom bearer, while others may need to appeal to more people, or even change the system operation.

Evolution and recent developments in strategic paradigm makes its way to a constructivist approach, inspired by ciberbetic 2nd order of von Foerster’s and the work on perception, written by Maturana and Varela.

This trend is evident in the case of Watzlawick: a therapy is rather a mutual construction of reality than a searchof the “truth”, outside the therapy, given once and for all. At the end of therapy does not mean that the therapist, “was right”, but that type of construction that he developed with the family was operative and useful. Therapist doesn’t look for the” truth”, but enhancing the possibilities that the family is available.

Steve de Shazer insists over the discursive nature of the problem and directs since the beginning of the therapy to find solutions.

Luigi Boscolo has concerned about the therapeutic role of language comparing the therapeutic system with the “metalinguistic laboratory”

In parallel with the flowering of new approaches, TSSS Palo Alto model is in the process of institutionalization. A long time a pioneering field in wich psychologists met, psychiatrists, educators, trainers, social workers, today it has entered in universities.

Chapter 2. Sutdy cases

In the following I will illustrate some techniques used in the Brief Strategic and Systemic Therapy, following the Palo Alto School model, using case studies in the spirit of confidentiality and respect for the patient.


Case 1.

A 17 years old young woman comes in the cabinet after a recent kidney  surgery with the complaint of  an anxiety of  high fever and concern about an insufficient amount of urine to remove the sand from the kidney. The concern is manifested as an overly checked quantity of urine and the body temperature too. She was informed by doctors it would be better that the urine during the day (diuresis) to be about 1 to 1.5 l, and the temperature rise would be a sign of an infection. The fact that the patient was pursuing only the amount of urine not counting the amount of liquid consumed or eliminated through sweat, because of temperature (inherently slightly higher after surgery), she rans into a vicious circle. The more she feared the more she forgot to ingest liquids so she had a lower diuresis. As less urine was produced, an growing concern about her condition resulted a state of agitation manifested by sweating and a slight increase in temperature.

Her belief that the temperature increases only as a sign of an infection made herself to exaggerate any growth of the thermometer gradation scale marks and to pay strict unhealthy connotations everything t.

The first intervention consisted in the reframing technique which have explained these correlations and especially the fact that a high temperature is on the one hand a strong signal that the body is in danger (surgical intervention is perceived by the body as a danger), on the other hand and body effort to heal itself occurs all the same symptoms. In other words a high temperature indicates that the body strives to heal. Regarding the amount of urine, was shown the link between the amount of liquid ingested and then removed, not only in the urine.

Another technique could be “illusion of choice”: You can choose between worrying about, manage and increase your temperature and get back to the Urology Clinic or let things flow normally without forcing you to urinate more than ingested and then in non stress situations your sweat can often remain reasonable and the amount of urine will be that referred by physicians. Whatever your choise is, it depends on you, knowing that however you will reach a new medical examination, excessive worry does not help “.

The patient reported that ceasing to worry excessively, the temperature gradually decreased and the amount of urine increased significantly.


Case 2.

To the cabinet comes a grandmother with her 11 years old grandson, with the complaint that the boy, (who is afraid of darkness, of remaining alone and sleeping alone), is a trouble lately because of  the grandmother’s recently surgery and she had to sleep with the grandson and she fears that the boy will hit her while sleeping. History shows that children’s parents were separated when he was 1 year following the death of maternal grandfather when he was 3 years and for 1 year and a half, the mother worked abroad. During the hospitalization of the grandmother, the mother was forced to return the country to sleep with his son, who has never slept alone. During holidays, the child is taken to the paternal grandparents in another city, but where he is not afraid of dark and he sleeps alone. The grandmother request was finding a solution to convince his nephew to sleep alone.

The technique used is to exploitation of exception: it is emphasized that he can sleep alone as brave as a big boy he is, and this is proved at his paternal grandparents while spending all holidays. In fact when we asleep we are staying  alone all of us, but this is a good thing and needed to rest better and to immerse us in that wonderful world of dreams that walk alone, where we are loved, brave and strong. Loneliness in sleep is beneficial to develop, to grow and become more courageous.

Another exception: It was reminded that before he was born he was there in the womb alone and one very brave.

Choosing the positive side: it was avoided topics such as fear of abandonment, separation, death, going away, darkness and loneliness. It was recommended to the family to do the same, avoiding the loss and separation reminder that this pre-teen has suffered in his short life without denying them. Finally was explained that the greatest courage of a boy in the process of becoming a man is to recognize that he is afarid and to face fear. Fear is good, it helps to guard against danger. Only fools are not afraid before.

Therapeutic metaphor technique: to use “ghost metaphor”, so useful for fears, concerns and phobias. Quote: “If we are afraid of a ghost (apparition, ghost, monster, boo-boo, bad man, bad wolf) and run from it, how we run more, it will pursue it more. If suddenly we turn over to it and we want to catch it, it will disappear like a mist blowing in the wind “.

Paradoxical injunction is: “scare you fear” or “avoid to avoid”, in other words face! Accepting the child fear regardless of its causes is natural (and explained by his personal history) the therapist work was directed not so much to the child as to his entourage recommending greater understanding of the child and and especially not to confuse love and protection with pampering, inviting them to reflect on the following: Up to what age you think it will take to sleep with him in bed? How do you know which is the time? How painful do you think it is to discover, that you as teenager were raised inadequate, that you don’t know what is intimacy, and especially how do you think that the young adult will tell to his first love that even in old age he sleept with grandma, grandpa, mother?

These themes of meditation circumscribes to the first tasks which is one of  the techniques.


Case 3.

„Don’t cry mother’s darling!”

Mother and Father went to visit their daughter, during she lived at the mother’s sister, from age two to four years. A difficult period in which parents had to miss a large part of time of Irine’s life, regardless their will. „We usually slink off when she was sleeping  or when she didn’t see as, not to start crying,” says the mother in the first session. The girl is crying on the first day of kindergarten, for four years almost every day, and she is still crying in the mornings when she goes to kindergarten, regardless of who takes her and sometimes in the afternoon before the arrival of the parents. Everyone around her: the father, the grandmother, aunts, kindergarten teacher and especially her mother tells her: „ Don’t cry cry Irene!,” “You are a big girl!”, “ It’s a shame to cry!” This has installed a vicious circle in which the girl was forbidden to cry yet she was crying because the advice: “ Don’t cry!” maintains and enhances Irine’s behavior. Furthermore – for fear of harrowing scenes of kindergarten hall – the parents gave her all sorts of explanations (“Irene you are a big girl!”, „Girls aren’t whiners!”, „Parents must go to work!”), they threatened her with different punishment (“Without toys! No computer! Locked in your room without playing with your friends”) or they made various promises and rewards (“ we buy you what you want!”).

All these were attempts to resolve a difficult situation, attempts that parents use to heal the tears and the fear for years but to no avail. What did Irine’s parents to get out of the infernal cycle in wich they were all prisoners? They followed a few steps to change. The first step was that Irine was allowed to cry: “If you feel like crying, you can cry!” The parent’s attempts to resolve the problem was the imperative: “Stop crying!”. Therapeutic theme was returned to 180º  of this appeal, that: “You are allowed to cry!”. The second step was when the mother gave her daughter security, presenting her a different perspective, never talking about crying and about separation but rather about the joy of  meeting again later: “I’m glad Irine that you go to kindergarten, I go to work, you to yours and we’ll be happy both when we meet again!”. This new behavior of the mother has helped Irina to change her own perspective on the situation, seeing his mother how it changes, so was she. Mother also followed the recommendation that in the future to use the exception – in the mornings when Irine doesn’t cry, do not remind her of the days when she cryed, so to not reactive the loop. The moment of interruption of the loop is the exception (the day she is not crying), the mother should behave naturally. Following this injunction the girl had several days without crying and is currently on the right path.



From the constraints of space we used in the illustration of the two cases just a few techniques applied in the systemic-strategic practice. Because of the many therapeutic maneuvers, of the advancing and withdrawing, of the victories, accomplishments or less their accomplishments, in their dynamics, make their efficiency to expand outside of psychopathology, difficulties, complaints, life situations, can be successfully applied any significant relationship with a person outside the office (not as therapeutic value but to improve relations). The beauty of this therapeutic school stands in its apparent simplicity.

In the spirit of the great predecessor Gregory Bateson, the brief systemic strategic therapy after the Palo Alto School contributes to an ecology of  the human relationships. This means that no patient has an abstract suffering in itself, but rather that the difficulties, deficiencies, psychological suffering to the disease, all based on a misunderstanding, a conflict, a relational dysfunction that has escalated with interactional spiral. The specific questionnaire of the therapy has a schematic form like this: “Who do? What is doing? To Whom? In what circumstances / conditions? “

Although both cases presented symptoms that can lead to pathologized conclusions, note that both are based on: a). poor relationships (a grandmother replaces the mother, the other grandmother substitute for the father – case No. 2.), b). misunderstanding (case 1: the symptoms, of medical recommendations, the consequences of an intervention), c). unreasonable expectations (for 1.: immediate healing by lowering the temperature, case 2: although the child may sleep alone,he is not encouraged to do so, although the family sleeps with him they have the expectation for him to sleep alone), d). vicious circle (case 1: the more I am restlessness, the more I heal later, case 2.: the more he fear the morewe secure him, therefore he will fear more) or e). dysfunctional positioning (in the first case: I can decide on the rhythm of my healing, case 2: substitution of roles: absent father replaced by  maternal grandfather, then after his death by paternal grandparents; mother replaced the maternal grandmother, during hospitalization care the grandmothers role is taken over by the  mother for a short time, but because of  the feelings of guilt and excessive protection encourages an inappropriate behavior – sleeping with the son).

Non-normativity is the principle that guides the therapist to solving without choosing for the patient how to deliver change. In other words: “We take the horse to the river to drink, but we don’t drink in his place”.

A superficial approach would assign a discomfort, a dis-satisfaction and a symptom of reasons at the first sight  pathological (case 1. – Delayed healing, case 2 – delayed maturation). Palo Alto School approach does not ignore the symptom bearer, it locates it  in the interrelationship with the system in which it is, here and now.

Therapist’s concern is not the linear evolution of the individual, but rather an circular interaction. This is why the formulas that the therapist will seek and find after a deep analysis (not spontaneous as it may seem) are very important and they build, from the first session, a therapeutic alliance, trust in the therapist and in the patient’s own powers. Purpose of therapeutic act is built with the joint effort of the two partners of relationship therapist and patient.

The deontology of this school wants that the award for the merits of change to be made ​​by the therapist to the patient (as, ironically, and unfair, sometimes because of the apparent simplicity, the patient is inclined to believe that henot solved  his problem not after a labor so many times difficult , but rather “because God”, or a massage, or the advice of a friend or even worse due to a miracle pill, so sold in our time).

For example in case 1. – hypothetically the concerned patient might say: “I do not know what happened after meeting with you, but suddenly I began to urinate more and my temperature dropped. There was a miracle. “

In the 2nd case: “I do not know what you told the child, but that very night he wanted to sleep alone after hi talked to his mother on the phone”

In both cases occurred “miracles”.

A minimum consolation brings that, although we worked honestly and we attributed the merits of change to the  patient himself, if he will assign in a wrong way the cure, the solutions, the resolving, expected changes, a new attempt to settle a new solving and not in a correctly work performed together, relapse will occur.  We expect him back into the office.

Chapter 3. Conclusions and perspectives

Once entering the universities, further development of ideas from Palo Alto group, institutionalization and especially success that exceeds the psychologist’s office entered in institutions, organizations, in different systems in which people relate, make by this approach one of the most important schools of twentieth century.

The stiffening danger, that was Bateson fear and  Erickson major concern, will appear only if it will remember that vigor is given by pragmatic irreverence and by the critical of any established order. If it become a scientific school like all other or it will remain this remarkable laboratory where to be evaluated, controlled and completed new  concepts on pathology, communication and ultimately on man himself, this the future’s difficult question. About this we will provide answers. Certainty is generally accepted that through the effects and the perspectives opened by the Palo Alto group we deal with a fundamental epistemological step.

All steps made by the disciples and followers of Gregory Bateson do nothing else to emphasize the dynamism of his ideas by enabling the development of  their great founder dream, to build up a veritable ecology of human relationships.


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Correspondence to:
Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Dimitrie Cantemir University, Targu Mures, 3-5 Bodoni Sandor street, Tel.: +40-365-401.127; +40-365-401.129, Fax: +40-365-401.125