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This is the preferred attitude of a therapist toward all the members of a family in systemic therapy. Used with circular questioning, this attitude prevents the therapist from being drawn into "family games," from being tempted to enter a coalition with one or more family members, or from being "brought around" to acting in certain ways within the family system. No family member is given the opportunity to feel that he or she has a special relationship to the therapist. The therapist maintains the same degree of closeness/distance to each family member and, thus, stays on the level of metacommunication during therapy. In this sense, neutrality is not so much an internal attitude as a "technical maneuver" that enables the therapist to maintain the role of authority with all the members of the family.

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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