It was when people with symptomatic behaviors were first observed in their natural habitat -- the family, rather than a clinician's office -- that the family movement began. One can say that there is such a thing as an epidemiology of ideas. Paralleling its use in the growing field of animal ethology, live observation began to be used with human families in formal or informal research during the ' 1950s. At the same time lone clinicians were stumbling onto family therapy and then stumbling onto each other as they sought to validate the information they were getting.
However, the rules of the psychoanalytic establishment banned the contamination of therapy by the inclusion of relatives. As a result, "treatment" occurred mostly in the guise of research. An at-home anthropology developed in which clinicians took the lead, with the family context of psychiatric disorders becoming visible for the first time. As the Chinese say, "Only the fish do not know
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Publication information: Book title: Foundations of Family Therapy:A Conceptual Framework for Systems Change. Contributors: Lynn Hoffman - Author. Publisher: Basic Books. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1981. Page number: 16.
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