John Morris

Philosophy and Approach to Marriage and Family Therapy

Families are viewed as self-organizing, interdependent systems in which members are linked in a developmental process. Family meanings and beliefs are derived from common experiences. In some cases, problems arise because solutions do not "fit" a current dilemma, or solutions from previous generations prove to not work in the family's present context. After time, the "problem" organizes the family and is maintained as a way of avoiding developmental processes that bring about naturally occurring changes.

My approach to therapy is to form hypotheses or ideas about the family's dilemmas, and through the interviewing process, help family members define their dilemmas and find options for change that make sense to them. Hypotheses are continually re-examined, confirmed and revised throughout the process. Interviews are conducted using a variety of methods including circular questioning and positive connotation. By means of multiple interventions, including reframing, clarifying and externalizing problems, identifying goals, and building on strengths, the family is helped to take the initiative for change. The out-come is therefore congruent with the family's beliefs and lifestyle patterns.

I adhere to the Code of Ethics as set forth in the Oregon Administrative rules, Chapter 833, Division 60. A copy of this code is made available to clients. A Bill of Rights of Clients from the code is prominently displayed.

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