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October 1961

A Method of Analysis of a Family Interview

Author Affiliations

Director, Mental Research Institute, Palo Alto, Calif. (Dr. Jackson); Assistant Director, Mental Research Institute (Dr. Riskin); Director of Training of Family Project, Mental Research Institute (Mrs. Satir).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;5(4):321-337. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710160001001

I. Introduction  During recent years evidence has been accumulating which suggests that a significant relationship exists between family interaction and mental illness. However, hypotheses concerning this relationship have been derived primarily from experience in conjoint family therapy and attempts to validate them have been essentially retrospective. We are in the process of setting up a longitudinal predictive study of families, in order to test predictively some of these clinical impressions. Currently, we are focusing on the development of methods which will enable us to identify more precisely different patterns of family interaction, and relate these patterns to various forms of mental illness. Specifically, this paper presents a brief theoretical framework followed by a detailed illustration of one such approach.* Also, we believe that this report offers (postdictive) evidence in support of hypotheses relating family interaction to mental illness, or in more general

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