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)
Positive connotation refers to a family therapist's positive evaluation of behavior that usually would be regarded as pathological or "sick." Positive connotation is an essential element of strategic therapy, systemic therapy, and hypnotherapy. It aims at changing the family's value system and, hence, the family's model of the world (paradigm/model/map). When the meaning and the evaluation of a behavior changes, family members must necessarily react in a different manner toward this behavior; games without end, or self-perpetuating interaction cycles can thus be dissolved. The term "positiveinterpretation" was coined by Soper and L'Abate (1977) and is a generic term for this technique.