Family Therapy Networker

Articles from Vol. 19, No. 6, November/December

Around the Network: New Visions of Psychotherapy
FOR ALMOST 20 YEARS, THE Family Therapy Network Symposium has been something like a state fair for therapists, a community festival and exhibition of therapeutic handiwork, complete with the mental health profession's equivalent of sheep-shearing, cider-making...
BOOK REVIEW; A Profession of Moralists: Of Values, Science and Other Therapeutic Power Plays
IN 1964, WHEN PSYCHOLOGIST Perry London's book The Modes and Morals of Psychotherapy was first published, the two therapy superpowers of the day psychoanalysis and behavior therapy were duking it out over who had the best methods. The analysts argued...
CASE STUDIES; the Overresponsibility Trap: Helping Quotco-Dependentsquot Create a New Life Story
AMONG THE MOST CHALLENGING PRESENTING problems family therapists face are those in which the person initiating therapy complains about the burden of a partner's out-of-control behavior whether that be domestic violence, incest or substance abuse. To...
Embracing Both/and
EARLY IN MY CAREER, I LOVED the stories of the great family therapists who, with unwavering conviction, marched into therapy sessions and applied their particular brand of intervention. When I watched tapes of the Master Therapists, I was always transfixed...
Focusing Your Wide-Angle Lens
WHEN I WAS A YOUNG AND enthusiastic family therapist, I thought that there was one key to understanding the truth about a family, and I had it. Once I got the family together behind the closed doors in my office, all I needed to do was grasp the nuances...
Happily Ever After
In The Good Marriage, researcher Judith Wallerstein, author of Surviving the Breakup and Second Chances, shifts her attention from the impact of divorce to exploring the factors that make marriages succeed. What follows are the conclusions she draws...
Honoring the Everyday
HARRY STACK SULLIVAN, ONE of family therapy's grandparents, thought clinicians should be experts on what he called "problems in living." He believed that in order for us to do our job to help people become less anxious, think more clearly and lead more...
Imperfect Lives
OSCAR WILDE TOLD US THAT IN this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it." Those who don't get their heart's desire seem to complain more about it. They show up almost daily in therapy, bewailing...
Mastering Mindfulness
I'M SITTING WITH THE Pattersons, an old-married couple, kids mostly grown, and she's hammering away at him. It's a first session, and I can't tell whether her startling bursts of anger are old hoary business or new. She's resurrecting incidents from...
PERSPECTIVES; Paranoia on Main Street: In the Media Age, No One Feels Safe
FOR MANY YEARS, FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE 1970s, my family and I lived in Peterborough, a town of about 5,000 in southern New Hampshire. Thornton Wilder was in residence there when he wrote Our Town, which used, unchanged, the names of the nearest mountain...
SCREENING ROOM; Clueless: God Help the Parents of Today's Teens
THE MISERY OF ADOLESCENCE THE MOST DRAMATIC and difficult of life's transitions is getting more attention lately than its glamour. A new genre of highly personal, studiedly honest and often grungy films are showing us an adolescence without hope, an...
SHORT STORY: Unplugged
AT 9:15 P.M. BILLY PUT A SALAD BOWL OF DRY COCOA Crispies on the coffee table and prepared to start his day.His mother said goodnight. Mouth full, Billy waved, picked up his guitar, played the opening chords of his latest song. She went upstairs and...
The Good Therapist: The Good Therapist
MANY THERAPISTS THESE DAYS FEEL A LITTLE LIKE hurricane victims watching the roof of an entire profession being blown off. They wonder balefully (and loudly) if their corner of civilization is facing extinction, if their way of life and the worldview...
Turning Tragedy into Comedy
A YOUNG MAN NAMED JEFF, who was dying from cancer that had metastasized to his things, was a patient of mine 30 years ago. His family cried and prayed over him and pretended he would recover, though they knew he knew better. I was initially called in...