Leaving Home – Jay Haley

Oak Titmouse leaving the nesting hole

Oak Titmouse leaving the nesting hole (Photo credit: Alan Vernon.)

p. 41

“Although a scientific description of the deviant communicative behaviour of a problem young person in the family is incredibly complex, a therapeutic description can be simplified.

For therapeutic purposes, the behavior can be simplified into two main functions:

1) the Social Function: the young person stabilizes a group of intimates by his or her eccentric behaviour. It is this function which is the main issue for therapeutic interventions.

2) the Metaphoric Function: every deviant act is also a message to the members of the group and to outsiders. The act can be seen as a metaphor, often a parody, of a theme important to the group. Usually it is a group issue which is conflictual.”

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