Family Therapy beyond Postmodernism: Practice Challenges Theory

By Carmel Flaskas | Go to book overview
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Chapter 11

Concluding comments

In the last part of this book, I want to work back through its different layers. First, I will integrate the intersections made with psychoanalytic ideas in the last three chapters and then revisit the discussion of postmodernism in family therapy. This conclusion then returns full-circle to the initial themes of experience and conditional knowledge, ending with the plea to allow the space for theory diversity in enriching family therapy knowledge and practice.

Reflecting on the intersections with psychoanalytic ideas

In integrating the intersections I have made with psychoanalytic ideas, I will again very quickly summarise each chapter's discussion and then draw together the themes which emerge from this work.

Chapter 8 introduced the relational processes of attachment and the unconscious. Attachment theory addresses the development of patterns in relationship, and the unconscious may be thought of as a layer of experience that exists alongside our conscious, languaged understandings of the world. When it shows itself in our lived experience, it disconcerts our conscious understandings and challenges the limits of our languaging about ourselves. Current attachment research is beginning to link the capacity to develop coherent narratives about attachment experience with the possibility of transforming attachment patterns. The unconscious also has the capacity for transformation, for in confronting the limits of our conscious stories, it challenges us to re-story our experience in a way that brings a richer coherence to our understandings of ourselves. In considering specifically the relationship


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