Family Therapy as an Alternative to Medication: An Appraisal of Pharmland

By Phoebe S. Prosky; David V. Keith | Go to book overview

Chapter 4

Psychobiological Family Therapy: Toward an Ecological Psychiatry

Larry S. Freeman, MD

“Then you'd better not fight to-day, ” said Alice, thinking it a good opportunity to make peace.

“We must have a bit of a fight, but I don't care about going on long, ” said Tweedledum. “What's the time now?”

Tweedledee looked at his watch and said, “Half-past four.”

“Let's fight till six, and then have dinner, ” said Tweedledum.

“Very well, ” the other said, rather sadly: “and she can watch usonly you'd better not come very close, ”he added: “I generally hit everything I can seewhen I get really excited.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The world of mental health practices is fraught with debate, conflict, and confusion. Nowhere is this more evident than in the contrasting practice patterns and theoretical underpinnings of family therapists and psycho-pharmacologists. The unfortunate result has been a “failure to communicate” or, worse, a communication that one or the other approach is “wrong.” These beliefs in the incorrectness of others' work, and the rightness of one's own and like-minded clinicians', stem from conflicts of values, world views, politics, economics, and personal biases (Fancher, 1995). This state of affairs is likely to continue as long as these fundamental practices are seen to be in conflict, or even merely different yet compatible. Unless they

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