So, A Blog…

This blog was created to comment on developments intertwined with, or related to, the conceptualization that I offered with the support of my colleague Barton Evans called Interrelated Multidimensional Diagnoses. Yep, it’s a mouthful, but I could not figure out how to better describe the multiplicity of individual and systems characteristics and dynamics at work in these pathological conditions. Some of which had been argued for over forty years. What is also important to describe here is that this is not just a relabeling of family systems theory as might naturally be presupposed by some, instead the idea here is to get at characteristics or symptoms each individual may, or may not, possess. Further, indeed what dynamics may, or may not, be at work within a family system. Still, more importantly, how a pathological dynamic may, or may not, have developed through the interactions between the individuals, the family system, and larger systems – such as healthcare or legal systems. Hence, the words interrelated and multidimensional…

The term Interrelated Multidimensional Diagnosis (IMD) was proposed to describe a set of diagnoses that holistically describe interrelated individual and system characteristics. These characteristics, together with subdynamics in the case of an IMD, cumulatively create a multidimensional pathological dynamic. In the mathematical sense…

The intention here is to differentiate these kinds of pathological dynamics from others due to their complex nature. By the way, there’s no need to fear math, as only simple math is suggested in these matters compared with those from my work with colleagues in the late ‘90s. Math is used in a ‘this, plus this, equals – or does not equal, this’ sense.

While the three primary references for Interrelated Multidimensional Diagnoses (IMD) address Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy and/or Factitious Disorder by Proxy or Parental Alienation, it has been proposed in the book that Intergenerational Trauma, Malingering by Proxy, Parental Estrangement, and Undue Influence may well be, in brief, IMDs.

The anchors for these discussions may be found in the pieces that have been offered to build toward Interrelated Multidimensional Diagnoses (IMD), such as the article written with Barton Evans and Becky Webber-Dereszynski in 2009, the article Dr. Evans and I did to put forward the concept in 2019, and then the book that came from all of this work in 2020. There are also a few podcasts that have been put together. As a concept, IMDs, are ‘a proposal’ to the professional communities that address these kinds of pathological dynamics. As stated in the preface of the book on this topic,

This conceptualization of an Interrelated Multidimensional Diagnosis will not answer every problem given the convoluted nature of these phenomena. What you will find across the pages of this book are a series of proposals, one proposal after another intended to address the needs and problems related to these phenomena.

Though it is stated in the book, my intention by putting up this blog a year after the book’s publication is to supply a continuation of the journey that is worth your time and attention.

Update Summer 2022

The hope was to get a blog in once a week or every other week, but my schedule is a bit challenging at times with unexpected depositions, hearings and trials, or, just plain too much work. What became apparent over time was that once a month was likely more realistic, and as you might observe that was not realistic as I have simply been swamped with an array of work – since I do not just work in civil custody matters… I hope to circle back and add a blog post now and then… Still, I will do my best to respond to constructive and productive discussions, or themes should they emerge from the comments provided. That is, if there are any…

Sincerely yours,

Michael R. Bütz, Ph.D.

Billings, Montana

The References…

Bütz, M. R., Evans, F.B., Webber-Dereszynski, R. (2009). A practitioner’s complaint and proposed direction: Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, Factitious Disorder By Proxy and Fabricated and/or Induced Illness in Children. Professional Psychology: Research & Practice, 40(1), 31-38.

Bütz, M. R., & Evans, F. B. (2019). Factitious disorder by proxy, parent alienation, and the argument for interrelated multidimensional diagnoses. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 50(6), 364.

Bütz, M. R. (2020). Parental Alienation and Factitious Disorder by Proxy Beyond DSM-5: Interrelated Multidimensional Diagnoses. Routledge Publishers: New York, New York.

Bütz, M. R., Chamberlain, L., McCown, W. G. (1997). Strange attractors: chaos, complexity and the art of family therapy. New York: John Wiley & Sons. (See review in Contemporary Psychology, Vol. 43 (4), pp. 270-271 & Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology and Life Sciences, Vol. 2 (3), pp. 253-259).

Bütz, M. R. (1997). Chaos and complexity, the implications for psychological theory and practice. Washington, D. C.: Taylor & Francis.

Chamberlain, L., Bütz, M. R. (1998). Clinical chaos, a therapist’s guide to nonlinear dynamics and therapeutic change. Philadelphia, PA: Brunner/Mazel.

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