Listening to the music: emotion as a natural part of systems theory
by Susan M. Johnson
The paper argues that emotion is not a within phenomena that falls outside the bounds of systems theory. It is a leading element in the system that organises interactions between intimates. To leave emotion unaddressed is to miss a crucial part of the context of close relationships. Emotional expression is the main route by which partners and family members define their relationships and influence each other’s behavior. It is the music of the attachment dance. The fastest and most direct way to create change in relationships may be to change this music and actively evoke the emotions that elicit caring, compassion and contact.
From: Journal of Systemic Therapies: Vol. 17, 1998, Special Issue: The Use of Emotions in Couples and Family Therapy, pp. 1-17.