Foundations of Family Therapy: A Conceptual Framework for Systems Change

By Lynn Hoffman | Go to book overview

Foreword

In this volume Lynn Hoffman undertakes an eagerly awaited display and integration of the theory and technique of family therapy. Her vision is panoramic; she possesses that relevant and encyclopedic fund of information that could have come only from long and thoughtful observation of the best of her colleagues at work, from having struggled with teaching and doing family therapy herself, and finally from having encompassed the now voluminous pertinent literature. The attempt is daring; it is aptly titled "foundations."

It is safe to say that this is the earliest time at which this book could have been written; equally so, that it has been written none too soon. We are at the end of the second great cycle of growth in the field. It is necessary to take stock, pull together the loose threads, and consolidate the gains that have been made. This volume does that superbly; it will provide a solid base for the future growth that is to come.

Attention to family as a clinical entity and as a fruitful area of theoretical concern developed in a tiny but portentous fashion in the third decade of this century. Clinical psychiatry during that period, and the more important years following World War II, was dominated by psychoanalysis, itself already struggling with revisionist movements. Psychoanalysts like Sullivan, Horney, Thompson, and Fromm-Reichmann, among others, were enlarging the perspectives of their science to include insights from field theory, linguistics, and cultural anthropology. Thus, as psychoanalytic theory constructed ever more intricate models of intrapsychic sequences and structure-functions, "news of a difference" was begin

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