Reverse psychology

The Paradoxical intervention is a psychotherapeutic method that was introduced in the 1970s, particularly in the systemic therapy as a means to resolve paradoxical communication.

By a paradoxical intervention deadlocked perspective should be shaken, so as to make a problem solving possible. Methods include, for example:

  • Symptom prescription
  • Reframing (positive reinterpretation of the symptom )
  • Relapse prediction
  • Utilisation of a symptom

When prescribing the symptom understood as problematic behavior is encouraged. Thus, for example, the therapeutic prescription in a couple therapy, in which they accused him of doing nothing at home, in the following statement made ​​to him: Until our meeting you refrain from any activity in the home. The real problem (namely, the idea that he must constantly do something ) dissolves thereby.

This is the starting idea that all behavior has its social function in the system. Problematic behaviors are a response to paradoxical communication (see double bond theory ) and serve as a contribution to the maintenance of the system, even if its members suffer. The aim of this strategy is to make available by prescription the function of problem behavior the system members in his paradox aware. In addition, to be clear that this behavior is by no means spontaneous or uncontrollable, but certainly can be controlled.

In contrast, the paradox of intention asks the patient outright, exactly the herbeizuwünschen in a paradoxical way, what he is afraid. This is based on the idea that this self- confirming and fulfilling vicious circle of fear can be broken. The paradoxical intention is a cognitive technique of logotherapy Viktor E. Frankl.

After Viktor E. Frankl, Paul Watzlawick and Jay Haley, this method can lead to symptom reduction, if the target behavior is characterized by spontaneity and has helped the struggle against the symptom for its maintenance.

Paradoxical intervention is also used as a method to falling asleep.