Techniques of Family Therapy

Techniques of Family Therapy

Techniques of Family Therapy

Techniques of Family Therapy

Excerpt

In both form and content this book is designed to capture the excitement of family therapy for people who have not yet set out upon this adventure and for others who have begun to perform therapy with families and seek experienced guides. Family therapy has existed as a distinct type of treatment for about fifteen years and a considerable literature has developed about it. Yet the subject poses special problems for anyone who wishes to describe what happens in family therapy. A book by a particular therapist or his group tends to be parochial; it is confined to one method and does not express the variety of approaches to family treatment which have emerged. Yet no one has sufficient knowledge of the many family-therapy approaches to offer a concise work which summarizes both practice and theory. Even defining family therapy and distinguishing it from other therapeutic approaches can be difficult. Some family therapists regularly interview whole families together, but other family therapists will focus on parts of families or even work regularly with only one family member to bring about a change in the entire family. Because of the variety of ways families are treated, one cannot call family therapy simply a new method of treatment ; it is a new way of conceptualizing the cause and cure of psychiatric problems. Family therapists are distinct as a group largely because of a common assumption: if the individual is to change, the context in which he lives must change. The unit of treatment is no longer the person, even if only a single person is interviewed; it is the set of relationships in which the person is imbedded. Out of family therapy has come what is, perhaps, one of the major questions of this century:

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