Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Global Perspectives in Family Therapy: Development, Practice, and Trends

Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Global Perspectives in Family Therapy: Development, Practice, and Trends

Article excerpt

Global Perspectives in Family Therapy: Development, Practice, and Trends. Kit S. Ng (Ed.). New York: Brunner-Routledge. 2003. 234 pp. ISBN 0-52021826-4. $39.95.

"If I ask about the world, you can offer to tell me how it is under one or more frames of reference, but if I insist that you tell me how it is apart from all frames, what can you say?" (Nelson Goodman, quoted in Gergen, 2001, 11). Knowledge is socially embedded and relationally distributed. It is derived from looking at the world from some perspective or the other, and is in the service of some interests rather than others. Global Perspectives in Family Therapy, edited by Kit S. Ng, demonstrates these important points from a family therapy perspective by discussing the unique development and application of family therapy within diverse cultural settings throughout the world. The contents of this fine book clearly affirm that families, the individuals contained therein, and the practice of family therapy cannot be understood apart from their socially embedded and relational context.

The book is divided into four sections, each addressing various aspects of the development and practice of family therapy from within a cluster of countries. Chapter 1 offers a global perspective, introducing readers to divergent and complex family structures and family therapy practices throughout the world. The remainder of the book addresses the historical development of family therapy, training issues, current developments, and research and future trends in family therapy across 14 separate countries. These include India, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore (Chapters 2-5); Austria, France, Greece, Italy, and Russia (Chapters 6-10); Nigeria and South Africa (Chapters 11 and 12); and Brazil, Ecuador, and Israel (Chapters 13-15). The authors of these chapters have personal experience in and intimate knowledge of the countries they address and the development and application of family therapy therein.

Throughout the text, the growth of family therapy worldwide and impediments thereto are documented. Family dynamics, structure, values, goals, issues, and numerous other characteristics are defined and described within the context of each country and the culture it espouses. …

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