Response to Chapter Four

Human beings communicate through sounds, gestures,reactions, and movements. The aspect of communication is conveyed inchapter four of Shelly Smith’s system theory book. This helps usunderstand how a message is perceived once it is relayed. Healthyrelationships are founded on purposeful communication betweenindividuals. It seems that there’s a breakdown of communicationbetween Amy and Jim as they plan to meet and share a meal. Both Jimand Amy are holding back from expressing their intents. Systemtheorists such as Bateson recommend acknowledgement of conflict as ameans to conflict resolution. In my opinion, through a therapysession, the couple will be able to dig deeper into their source ofconflict, understand each other and freely express themselves withoutfear.

We see that in psychotic patients, emotional communication may causedistress or agitation. In this case, expressing uncertainty directlywhen communicating brings results that are manageable. For effectivecommunication to occur, views and ideas need to be confidently,clearly and concisely relayed verbally to create free conversations.

The solutions offered in this chapter are practical in dealing withconflicts that arise from miscommunication. Any misconceptions orprejudices can be avoided through active listening, showing empathyto other people’s perspectives, posing open ended questions,seeking clarity, and offering constructive criticism (Smith-Acuña,2011).

In conclusion, chapter four of the book establishes meaningful waysin which to communicate effectively to achieve desirable results. Thepurposes of communication in creating emotional bonds vary fromcreating a serene environment to problem solving. Conflicts caneasily be resolved through meaningful communication once theintentions of the sender and impact of communication is understood.


Smith-Acuña, S. (2011). Systems Theory in Action: Applications to Individual, Couple, and Family Therapy. John Wiley &amp Sons Inc.

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