Global Perspectives in Family Therapy: Development, Practice, and Trends

By Ritchie, Holly K. | Journal of Professional Counseling, Practice, Theory, & Research, Fall 2004 | Go to article overview
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Global Perspectives in Family Therapy: Development, Practice, and Trends


Ritchie, Holly K., Journal of Professional Counseling, Practice, Theory, & Research


Global Perspectives in Family Therapy: Development, Practice, and Trends. Kit S. Ng (Ed.). New York: Brunner-Routledge. 2003.234 pp. ISBN 0-52021826-4. $39.95

Family therapy is more effective when counselors understand the cultural background of families with whom they work. Diversity among families can be highly complex and requires a thorough knowledge of the family, its members, and the culture to which the family belongs. Global Perspectives in Family Therapy, edited by Kit S. Ng, provides an excellent overview of fourteen countries' cultural dynamics that have specifically impacted family therapy and its growth and development within those countries. Family roles and structures, specific problems related to the family, and certain therapeutic implications as they relate to each individual culture group - are specific issues addressed in each chapter of the book.

Chapter one introduces the reader to the need for a global perspective in family therapy and offers an overview of family therapy's struggle to grow and develop within diverse cultures. The remaining chapters of the book are divided into four parts that relate the varied histories of family therapy in certain areas of the world: I) Asia; II) Europe; III) Africa; IV) other countries. Among the countries discussed are: Part I: India, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore; Pan II: Austria, France, Greece, Italy, and Russia; Part III: Nigeria and South Africa; and Part FV: Brazil, Ecuador, and Israel.

Within each chapter, one finds an accounting of the struggle for each country to develop its own niche in the world of family therapy. Family dynamics, structure, values, goals, issues, and numerous other characteristics are defined and described within the context of each individual country and the culture it espouses. Particularly helpful for students, the text emphasizes the importance of understanding one's worldview when working with culturally diverse people groups.

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