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healthy/functional families

The concepts of health and normality cannot be defined simply or unequivocally for individuals or families. Offer and Sabshin (1966) differentiated four perspectives of normality: as health (reasonable absence of illness and distress), as utopia (ideal), as statistical average, and as transactional system involved in change processes over time. The fourth of these perspectives, which is probably most congenial to family therapists, may better apply to the term "functional families" rather than to "healthy" or "normal" families.

Definition extracted with permission from Simon, Fritz, et al, Family Process, Inc.: Language of Family Therapy: A Systemic Vocabulary and Source Book (Family Process Press Series)

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12/7-10 AAAP