Comprehending complexities

Nothing in the world is a simple thing, including ideas of any hue or shade. Health, wellness, illness and becoming healthy are not simple ideas by any stretch of imagination. However to reach a certain stage of complexity one has to pass through many intermediate stages of events that are interwoven, which may be simple or complex in their constructions.

Complexity theory is a well honed framework in research, particularly in systems theory which looks at the functioning of individual units while looking at the functioning of a system as a whole. I am working with complexity theory and systems approach in family counseling, and how the various actors interact with one another is of immense significance to me, at all times. From my past observations what I find is that in a family system when one person is adversely impacted by family dynamics, in reality every person is being impacted adversely- to one or another degree.

These days I am reading some very fascinating yet complex ideas from a totally different domain- and trying to understand the meaning and difference between decolonial perspectives and postcolonial perspectives. On the whole applying this to the domain of mental health is another long journey of complexity, or looking at the same picture from a different lens.

Language has increasingly become the focus of my work and yet seeing the conception of language, or knowledge from the point of view of decolonial perspectives is challenging all the previously held notions of mine, even in mental  health. I think this will take me to a new inquiry, of an even more serious nature than I had ever thought of or thought that I would be capable of. Currently I am toying with many ideas coming out of South America, and superimposing them on ideas of emancipation, to see what new synthesis emerges.

Mostly new ideas will emerge in the domain  of research only, but inevitably research percolates down into day-to-day encounters in therapy. As a result, and thanks to the research orientation I bring into therapeutic dialogic collaborations, the conceptualization of distress itself is so vastly different in my mind, from the day-to-day mental illness labels that they are as far apart as the two poles, which would never meet!

I must be working on the intersection of complexity theory in family therapy, and that is how when I talk to one person facing a mental illness label it is my attempt that their family become a part of the therapeutic collaboration, to enable faster outcomes and better bonds, due to more open dialogues that happen in therapy sessions.


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