Strategic therapy and present centered therapy have often received attention as discretely different phenomena. Cloe Madanes will present her views of strategic therapy and its relevance for present centered therapy. Erving Polster will do the same, showing the disparity and commonality of the two. Their individual views will animate a conversation with each other.
Madanes will present 18 strategies that she developed for working with the whole age range and the whole range of problems presented to therapy. These interventions are in the tradition of Strategic Therapy in that the therapist plans a strategy that involves the social context of the individual and the therapist is directive, guiding clients towards the solutions for their challenges.
New developments will be presented in the theory and technique of strategic therapy with individuals, families, and couples, including prescribing the metaphor and the use of confusional techniques with families. Concepts will be illustrated with videotaped examples.
A presentation of the influence upon therapy, particularly Strategic Therapy of Zen Buddhism. Similarities between therapeutic change and spiritual enlightenment are discussed in terms of the relationship between Master and trainee and therapist and client. The use of directives, of riddles, of absurd tasks, and the types of single interventions and paradoxical procedures are discussed. Examples of cases and Zen stories are compared. Zen, systems theory, and Erickson's strategic therapy are brought together.
Many strategic therapists eschew theory and sacrifice grounding. Missing theory resides in basic sciences. Hypnosis data reveal consciousness and volition as paradoxes, resolvable through evolutionary biology. Human's minds evolved as shared self-deceptions. Theory can predict transference, paradox, game antitheses, Erickson's "common sense psychology," but it constrains their optimum utilization.