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paradoxical intervention

(anti expectation technique)

This therapeutic technique plays a particularly important role in communication therapy, strategic therapy, and systemic therapy. The patient or the family is exposed to contradictory instructions. A situation is created that cannot be resolved by means of logic, but only by creatively changing one's internal map of the world (paradigm/model/map), or through second-order change.


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)