Many people have contributed directly and indirectly to the creation of this book. I would like to acknowledge the support from staff at the Charles Burns Clinic who encourage the exploration and development of different approaches. I would like to give special thanks to my team colleagues in the Family Clinic, Queenie Harris and Elizabeth Wade Evans with whom, since 1979, I have enjoyed an invigorating partnership. Many of the ideas in this book have emerged from the time we three have shared in extensive theoretical discussion and clinical application of a systemic approach to family therapy. I should also like to give thanks to: Ruth Reay (Newcastle Polytechnic) and Philippa Seligman (the Family Institute, Cardiff) for their valuable comments on draft versions of the manuscript and their encouragement throughout the venture; Rolf Olsen for giving me the opportunity to convert my teaching methods into book form and whose frank criticism on early drafts provided much needed impetus to complete the project; my wife Alison Roper-Hall for her perceptive critiques, tireless patience and proof-reading skills which are an enduring source of support; and to those students and trainees, especially Maureen Gillman, Phil Wolsey, Jill Williams, and Lawrence Moulin whose enthusiastic participation and valuable feedback during training programmes has helped to shape the kind of exercises used in the text.
Finally I should like to thank the following practitioners whose contributions to Part III made the exposition of the ideas more meaningful: Sue Richardson (Cleveland Social Services), Maureen Gillman,