Hypothesizing, circularity, and neutrality revisited: an invitation to curiosity

Fam Process. 1987 Dec;26(4):405-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1545-5300.1987.00405.x.


This essay examines the systemic guiding principles of neutrality, hypothesizing, and circularity, historically developed by the Milan Team of Selvini-Palazzoli, Boscolo, Cecchin, and Prata (12, 13). With the reorganization of these team members (see 11 for a summary of the distinctions between the work of the Selvini-Palazzoli and Prata research team and the Cecchin and Boscolo training team), different reconstructions of the original systemic principles have evolved. New understanding of the concepts of circularity, hypothesizing, and neutrality are now possible, given the systemic epistemology on which the early Milan model was based. It should be emphasized, however, that the ideas presented in this essay are most associated with the systemic work of the Cecchin and Boscolo team.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Emotions
  • Family Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Professional-Family Relations
  • Social Responsibility