Research Methods in Family Therapy

By Douglas H. Sprenkle; Fred P. Piercy | Go to book overview
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Let's Get Grounded


The most potent obstacle to the recognition of family resources is the search
for pathology.

—KARPEL (1986)


The quote that opens this chapter was the catalyst that led one of us (SED, the “I” here) to the line of research that still holds my interest today. Well over a decade later, I am still holding the magnifying glass in search of more information about client strengths and resources in family therapy. This quote resonated with my thinking about resilience and its place in therapy. I was inspired to ask questions like: How do we get around this predominant “search for pathology” in therapy? How do we actually “recognize” family resources? How can we learn to do this as therapists? What are the implications of searching only for pathology? How often do we assume that families are not resourceful because of the problems they present with in therapy? Where do we hear about this in our coursework or training? If therapists do “recognize” family resources, how do they do this? Most importantly, how can we tap into these resources and use them in therapy? The other author (CYT) also took part in this initial research venture, which we discuss in this chapter.

Some of the questions inspired by our interest in focusing on resources in research were reflected in the research example presented in the first edition's chapter on grounded theory (Rafuls & Moon, 1996). Findings from that particular research study led to grounded theory on “resource-based consultation” (Rafuls, 1994). In practice, this has led to the development of “resource-based reflective consultation” (Echevarria-Doan, 2001)—an interventive, consultative method designed to elicit and

Silvia Echevarria-Doan was formerly known as Silvia Echevarria Rafuls.


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Research Methods in Family Therapy
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