So far I have chosen to approach the limits of postmodernist ideas through the specific explorations of reality and realness, truth, and ideas of self. These three different routes have led to some converging themes, as well as particular themes yielded by the topic at hand. In this chapter, I would like to draw these themes together and reflect back on the initial discussions of postmodernism and narrative and social constructionist ideas. This part of the work is both summary and synthesis, and allows me to clarify the focus of the remainder of the book.
The structure of the chapter is simple enough and in three parts. The first section takes on the task of synthesising the discussion of postmodernist limits. The second section argues for an appreciation of, rather than adherence to, postmodernist ideas in family therapy, and begs the question of alternate ways of theorising intersubjectivity which replicate neither the limits of modernist ideas, nor the restraints of family therapy's current use of postmodernist ideas. In the final section, as I intend to intersect very particular ideas from psychoanalysis in extending this discussion in the next chapters, I lay out the purpose and limits of my own use of psychoanalytic ideas and the specific choices I will be making in 'using' psychoanalytic ideas within the different therapeutic interests of systemic family therapy.
At the risk of repetition, let me simply list core themes from each of the last three chapters, as preparation for ordering a discussion of the limits of postmodernist ideas.