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"I let my neighbor know beyond the hill; And on a day we meet to walk the line And set the wall between us once again." - from "Mending Wall" by Robert Frost Another month, and another essay.

After a two month break during which I seem to have facilitated a spirited discussion concerning the merits and failures of Alcoholics Anonymous, I'm now returning to my ongoing essay series concerning the technical contributions of various schools of psychotherapy to the psychotherapy process.

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Younger children function as a subgroup as well, but one with less power than parents have.

Other examples of common power heirarchies include the workplace, where almost always, an executive sub-group has power over a worker sub-group, and government, where a similar sort of executive sub-group governs a sub-group of citizens.

Today's essay concerns the important contribution of the Family Systems school.

Family Systems practitioners are the ecologists in my scheme for describing the various schools (Philosophers, Engineers, Ecologists and Gnostics: Four Approaches to Psychotherapy).

The prototype for this sort of power hierarchy is the nuclear family (e.g., parents with children).

Parents function as a powerful and bounded subgroup within the larger group known as the family.Psychological boundaries are constructed of ideas, perceptions, beliefs and understandings that enable people to define not only their social group memberships, but also their own self-concepts and identities.Such boundaries are the basis by which people distinguish between "We" or "I" (group members; insiders; part of "Us") and "Other" (outsiders and examples of what is "not-self").In this very social vision of therapy, groups of people operating as units are the proper client to which therapists must address their efforts.Individuals exist, but problems they experience are not individual but rather are social in nature.Each person can be said to have a psychological identity boundary around themselves by which they distinguish themselves from other people.

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