Professional Books -- Understanding Family Process: Basics of Family Systems Theory by C. Broderick

Article excerpt

An unfortunate result of becoming a training director of a marriage and family therapy program is that I now approach professional books with two underlying questions: Could this book be used as a text for a course? If yes, what course? Understanding Family Process: Basics of Family Systems Theory would be an excellent introductory text for courses dealing with the theoretical foundations of family therapy.

Broderick notes that he has been working in the academic family field for 40 years. His own lengthy scholarly history suggests a major strength of this book--its ability to provide a historical view of the development of family systems theory. Broderick offers a personal account of the burgeoning influence of systems theory, first in the family therapy field and later in family studies/sociology. Another characteristic of the author's own background, his knowledge of both the family therapy and family studies/sociology fields, gives this book a breadth that is somewhat uncommon among current family therapy books.

The goal of this book is to "develop an economical but reasonably comprehensive model of family process (systems) theory and...tie into it...pertinent family scholarship" (p. x). Broderick draws on scholarship from family therapy, family studies, and family sociology, easily moving back and forth from one area to the next. …