Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Communication Terms Found on The SW EXAM

While you prepare for the social work exam, it's important to remember communication terms. Gregory Bateson (among many others) was one of the founding fathers of communication theory when it comes to social sciences. He coined the term: Double Bind- which originated from his studies with schizophrenic patients and their communication with family. Double Bind is like hitting someone every time you say I love you. There are two contradictory messages but it becomes a bind because the person cannot understand the contradiction.


A lot of this type of communication is Metacommunication which means it is an interpretation of what is said and acted out.

A paradox is a great method of communication to bring attention to the problems with metacommunication and double bind messages. A paradox is when a therapist prescribes the exact symptom that it causing the problem. So, for example, if a family continues to not communicate compliments to each other after doing a chore, then the therapist can tell the family to make sure to not say thanks or good job or any kind word after a family member finishes their chore. This is thought to give up control of that action and draw attention so that the negative remarks no longer serve their purpose.

Read more about Bateson and communication theory here.

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