How could the drops of water know themselves to be a river? Yet the river flows on.
Antoine De Saint Exupery
Through considerable luck and good fortune I have been able to visit countries and cultures. As a youngster I saw other cultures and countries as people in need of enlightenment. I saw that the world's population was eager to be more like those in the West. I later learned that this was called globalization. I thought it was important for others to be like us. I studied hard to improve my English skills-after all, the Bible was in English!-and never learned foreign languages.
Somewhere during my development, my views changed from conquest to appreciation. My travels took on new meaning and substance. I began to understand the importance of gender, ethnicity, and culture. Many may find my epiphany silly, because they have always known such things. However, I was raised a White privileged male of European heritage. I was raised Christian, but taught to look down on others. I was not very different from others I met in my North American travels.
This monograph offers a global perspective. This is something that I believe is imperative. This perspective seems revolutionary to those of my background and “old hat” to others. Whether you are learning a new perspective or finding support for your old one, this important book has merit.
An essential aspect of family therapy, whatever the school of therapy, is a negotiation directly or indirectly of the structures of family relationships among family members. The therapist plays an active part in furthering, facilitating, forcing, and directing these negotiations in the family. In the process, the therapist engages in negotiations between himself and herself and the family through his or her persońal and professional incursions into the family's relations. The family structures that are being negotiated are not simply personal arrangements among family members. They are manifestations of the values of the cultural groups to which the family belongs. The