This book introduces a new, integrative, systemic approach to psychotherapy and counseling and shows how the principles of dynamic complex systems can guide everyday clinical work. Our mental, interpersonal, and biological (e.g., neuronal) systems are complex and nonlinear, and allow spontaneous pattern formation and chaotic dynamics. Their self-organizing nature sometimes maneuvers the systems into pathological states. However, the very same principles can be utilized therapeutically to encourage change for the better. The feedback-driven nonlinear dynamic systems approach described here basically attempts to facilitate positive self-organizing processes, such as order transitions, healthy patterns of behavior, and learning processes. In addition to describing the theory and evidence supporting the feedback-driven nonlinear dynamic systems approach, the authors use an extensive case study to illustrate how the principles of dynamic complex systems can guide everyday clinical work.They show how modeling and monitoring of the client's systems and an empirical description of its patterns allows the therapist to individually fine-tune therapeutic techniques to support the client's progress.
Fine-meshed feedback based on real-time data and time-series analysis is at the core of the approach, and so an internet-based monitoring system - the Synergetic Navigation System (SNS) - that helps capture dynamic processes and guide practitioners' therapeutic decisions is also described.
Gunter Schiepek; Professor, PhD; Paracelsus Private Medical University, Graz, Austria. Heiko Eckert; Dr.; Center for Complex Systems, Weinstadt, Germany.
Foreword1 Why Is It So Challenging to Define SystemicPsychotherapy?2 The End of Therapeutic Schools2.1 What Do Interventions and TherapeuticTechniques Really Contribute?2.2 Laymen in Psychotherapy2.3 The Dodo Bird Effect2.4 Allegiance With One's Own Approach2.5 Sudden Changes2.6 The Heroic Client2.7 Should We Follow Manuals?2.8 The Therapist2.9 The Therapeutic Relationship2.10 Psychotherapy as a Complex System3 Psychotherapy as Providing Conditions forSelf-Organization3.1 What Is Synergetics?3.2 How Does Self-Organization Work?3.3 Neuronal and Mental Self-Organization4 Conditions for Support of Self-Organization: TheGeneric Principles4.1 Stability Conditions4.2 Identification of Relevant System Patterns4.3 Sense of Significance4.4 Control Parameters and Motivation for Change4.5 Destabilization and Amplification of Fluctuations4.6 Cairos, Resonance, and Synchronization4.7 Purposeful Symmetry Breaking4.8 Stabilization of New Patterns5 Synergetic Process Management6 The Synergetic Navigation System (SNS)6.1 Ambulatory Assessment and Real-TimeMonitoring in Psychotherapy6.2 Functionalities of the SNS7 Case Study7.1 Problems and Resources7.2 Therapeutic Progress With Order Transition7.3 System Modeling8 The Interconnection of Monitoring and Therapy8.1 Therapeutic Effects of Feedback Systems8.2 SNS-Based Therapy Sessions8.3 Reactive Measures9 Conceptual Developments9.1 Dynamic Pattern Recognition and ProcessRegulation as Components of TherapeuticPractice9.2 Evidence-Based Practice and Relative RationalJustification of Treatments9.3 The Relation Between Common Factors andGeneric Principles9.4 The Model of Self-Organization as aSynthesis of the Medical Model and theCommon Factors Model10 Integrated Systemic Psychotherapy10.1 Systemic Neurotherapies10.1.1 Real-Time Neuro-Feedback With fMRI10.1.2 Neuromodulation10.2 Systemic Therapies