The Power of Drawing Distinctions in Systems Therapy
At a recent conference of 200 participants considering applications of systems methodologies in psychiatric therapy organized by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Crete, three CWA associates made presentations related to social system design and family therapy. Scheduled for one hour, the conference attendees demanded that the conference agenda be rescheduled to permit the CWA presentation team to continue an additional two hours!
The presenters were CWA associates:
- Dr. Nicholas Paritsis M.D., Director of the Laboratory for Cybernetics and Systems Behavior, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Division of Medicine, University of Crete, who was the moderator of the seminar;
- Dr. Ioanna Tsivacou, Research Fellow at the University of the Aegean; and
- Dr. Aleco Christakis, CEO, CWA Ltd.
The presentations focused on a seminal paper published in 1997 in the Systems Research Journal by Dr. Ioanna Tsivakou, titled “The Rationality of Distinctions and the Emergence of Power.” Dr Tsivakou focused her presentation on the nature of social power, which accrues to those who control distinction making in discourse and dialogue, and on various methods for averting undesirable concentration of such power. Dr. Christakis elaborated on the role of the CogniScope system approach in enabling stakeholders, through languaging, to draw distinctions, in an equitable and authenticated manner in the design of their social systems. The Q&A lasted for more than an hour after the completion of the presentations. The event was covered, and Dr. Christakis was interviewed by one of the islands TV stations.