Paradoxical methods of family therapy in social work

Gediminas Navaitis


The article deals with the usage of the paradox in the family consulting by social worker.
Social worker receives invitation to work with more than one person at the same time very often, and very often the object of such multi-personal help is a small and specific group - a family. On the one hand, there would be no time for social worker to know the family better and/or to make the personal close relationship with family members, on the other hand, the family would have no motivation to solve its problems independently or to change something in the family. Under such circumstances the usage of proper method in family consulting becomes the matter of great importance for social worker. The method of paradox would be recommended.
The paradoxical communication with problem family can help to soothe the family members, to discuss and express the symptom, and to stimulate new actions. The paradox could be used by such means: neutral answer to emotional statement, permission to act symptomatically, stimulation of delay of decision making, permission to stay in crisis, prohibition to do what no one wants to do, prediction of symptom’s recurrence, overestimation of symptom’s meaning, positive estimation of symptom, stimulation of symptom behavior, request to teach symptom behavior, connect symptom behavior and positive behavior.
Methods of simulation of symptom, prescribed inactivity, reframing, metaphor, responsibility for symptom, and supporting of role are discussed in the article. The application of methods in practice is also presented.


family consulting; social work; paradoxial interventions

Full Text:

PDF (Lietuvių)


  • There are currently no refbacks.

"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789