Family Therapy: First Steps towards a Systemic Approach

By John B. Burnham | Go to book overview

Introduction

The position of family therapy in social work and allied fields

Working with families has always been part of social work. Family therapy, however, is being used increasingly in almost all the helping professions. This approach looks at problems within the system of relationships in which they occur, and aims to promote change by intervening in the broader system rather than in the individual alone. Social work, psychiatry, psychology, and nursing have all embraced the approach to a greater or lesser extent. This in turn has often resulted in professionals from the same or different disciplines working together in ad hoc support groups or formalized teams. Although each professional contributes knowledge and skills from his or her own discipline the result is more than multi-disciplinary. The approach that is created and shared is often trans-disciplinary since the systemic constructs and working methods do not belong to any of the traditional helping professions and are therefore available to all.

Families of various sizes, configurations, creeds, and cultures are perhaps the most commonly occurring relationship systems with which professions work, and as such they are the focus of this book. However, a systemic approach can be useful when working with and between other systems, such as schools, residential establishments, hospitals, professional networks, and work settings.

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Family Therapy: First Steps towards a Systemic Approach
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • General Editor’s Foreword viii
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - Theory 7
  • 1 - Relationships 9
  • 2 - Transitions 25
  • 3 - Punctuation 45
  • 4 - Models of Therapy 61
  • Part II - Practice 75
  • 5 - Convening 76
  • 6 - Preparation 92
  • 7 - Interviewing I 108
  • 8 - Interviewing II 126
  • 9 - Intervening 142
  • 10 - Failure 160
  • Part III - Agency Context 177
  • 11 - Integrating Family Therapy into a Social Work Agency 179
  • 12 - Applications of Family Therapy in Social Work Practice 192
  • Appendix I - Training Resources in Family Therapy 214
  • Appendix II - Invitation/ Appointment Letters 217
  • Appendix III - Pre-Session Questionnaires 219
  • Appendix IV - Videotape Consent Form 221
  • Appendix V - Verbatim Letter from Case Description in Chapter 12 223
  • References 225
  • Name Index 235
  • Subject Index 238
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