Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Book Reviews -- Family Therapy: Fundamentals of Theory and Practice by William A. Griffin

Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Book Reviews -- Family Therapy: Fundamentals of Theory and Practice by William A. Griffin

Article excerpt

This small and readable book proposes to introduce the notion of family therapy, and to then present basic concepts of family therapy in a broad manner, and having done so, to refer the reader to advanced reading. It meets its goals.

For those perplexed about the need to introduce family therapy as an idea: this book is for you. Dr. Griffin assumes, correctly, that there are many mistaken ideas about what constitutes family therapy. While he presents a very opinionated view of what it is and what it is not, it is a view with which I am largely sympathetic. He emphasizes efficacy, not exotica, and gives practical advice that is evidently derived from considerable clinical experience. The author manages to convey a sense of comfort with uncertainty that never comes across as flippant or cavalier.

Specifically, Dr. Griffin holds the position that, with few exceptions, "all child and adolescent problems should be treated as family problems." The fact that so many family problems are treated in relative isolation is lamented, and condemned, but the tendency is also explained in a manner that will encourage therapists of all descriptions to reconsider the relevance of a family-based approached to the treatment of a wide variety of problems and diagnoses.

Gratefully, Dr. Griffin does not present the formidable challenge of learning and doing family therapy as something easy or quick. But, he argues cogently for the necessity of learning and doing it, and points out the danger of using individual approaches for systems-level problems. …

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