An Introduction to Family Therapy: Systemic Theory and Practice

By Rudi Dallos; Ros Draper | Go to book overview

2 The second phase –
mid-1970s to mid-1980s

Cultural landscape

The second phase can be seen to reveal some important movements in the family therapy field away from the pragmatic and somewhat behaviourist emphasis of the first phase towards a rationalist philo sophical approach more central to European traditions of thought. In particular, the ideas of Kant, who stressed that our knowledge of the world was inevitably a construction and questioned the notion of objective reality, inspired the growth of humanistic psychologies in the USA. There were also the wider cultural movements towards individualism, personal growth, inner exploration, creativity and individuality, for example as seen in alternative movements, such as the hippies, ecology groups, gay rights movements and anti-racist movements. In psychotherapy constructivist ideas had a profound effect, for example the work of George Kelly (very much inspired by Kant’s ideas) and Carl Rogers, which led to person-centred forms of therapy and counselling. These took as a central aim the establishing of empathy by attempting to understand the client’s world from his or her perspective, rather than that of an expert therapist. More generally, there was a movement in psychology away from behaviourism and positivism towards cognitive approaches that focused on how people actively attempted to form versions of the world which shaped their actions. Earlier, Bateson had also been influenced by humanistic and existential ideas and linked his idea of epistemologies, for example, with George Kelly’s notion of construct systems (a personal but organized set of interconnected constructs or beliefs).

Outside the USA one of the most significant developments was that of the Milan team in the 1970s. Palazzoli et al. (1978) turned to Bateson’s ideas, especially his emphasis on families as centrally concerned with

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An Introduction to Family Therapy: Systemic Theory and Practice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • An Introduction to Family Therapy - Systemic Theory and Practice iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Figures xi
  • Notes on the Authors xii
  • Preface xiii
  • Foreword xvi
  • Acknowledgements xix
  • Dedication and Acknowledgements xx
  • Introduction 1
  • 1: The First Phase – 1950s to Mid-1970s 17
  • 2: The Second Phase – Mid-1970s to Mid-1980s 63
  • 3: The Third Phase – Mid-1980s to 2000 91
  • 4: Ideas That Keep Knocking on the Door 125
  • 5: Systemic Formulation 151
  • 6: Current Practice Development 2000–2005 - Conversations Across the Boundaries of Models 172
  • 7: Research and Evaluation 198
  • 8: Reflections and Critique 2005 231
  • Postscripts 240
  • Topic Reading Lists 256
  • Formats for Exploration 290
  • Glossary of Terms 305
  • British Texts 310
  • References 315
  • Index 327
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