November 1963

Family Myth and Homeostasis

Author Affiliations


Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;9(5):457-463. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720170031005

In the footsteps of Claude Bernard and Cannon, whose emphasis on the constancy of an internal milieu is well known, Jackson1 introduced the concept of "family homeostasis" to denote the observation that the continuous interplay of dynamic forces within the family tends towards the maintenance of certain forms of equilibrium among family members. This concept, emphasizing the emotional unity of family relationships, has been, since, much documented. In fact, in certain circles it has become acceptable to regard individual symptomatology almost exclusively as a manifestation of a greater Gestalt: the family. This point of view, apparently shared by an increasingly larger number of therapists and investigators, has markedly changed the direction of psychiatric inquiry and is being reflected in recent developments in psychotherapy and research.

The purpose of this paper is to investigate some particular aspects of the family relationship,

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