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Applying Systems Concepts

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Systems theory suggests that we all exert subtle influences for good or for ill, and that one person can make a difference. It also suggests that life is full of uncertainty, and we feel this more keenly when unfortunate things happen. Remember the butterfly causing a hurricane example from Chaos Theory: tiny differences can suddenly blow up in a way that transforms systems. Job changes, moving, loss of a loved one, divorce, and other events (which may have been, at the time they occurred, considered irrelevant) can change a family. In this assignment, apply your initial understanding of systems theory concepts to three families that have been affected by dementia. Be sure to carefully review this week’s resources. You will be expected to apply the information from these resources when you prepare your assignments. In the video, The Long Goodbye: Facing Dementia, Ken, Brenda, and Michael, along with their families, are affected by dementia. Dementia affects their family structure, their roles, their interaction patterns, the rules of their relationships (including the balance of togetherness and separateness), changes their homeostatic balances, and so forth. You are responsible for reviewing this video and writing a 3 to 5-page paper on the families in The Long Goodbye: Facing Dementia. This paper is not intended to be a “book report” summary of the video, but it should examine each of these individuals/families, and then describe the impact of dementia systemically, describing the changes in family structure, patterns, themes, habits, rules, and other systemic concepts. Feel free to use any concepts addressed in Activities 3 and 4 or any other concepts from Dallos and Draper (2010). To demonstrate your understanding of the systemic concepts, apply terms and citations from the assigned readings. Finally, briefly describe one thing you think a systems-informed family therapist might do while working with a family affected by dementia. To complete this assignment you might choose to tell the story of the illness development from the perspectives of different participants or select specific concepts and illustrate how these ideas have been illustrated in the documentary. Length: 3-5 pages

Systems theory suggests that we all exert subtle influences for good or for ill, and that one person can make a difference. It also suggests that life is full of uncertainty, and we feel this more keenly when unfortunate things happen. Remember the b
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