The third foundation of our integrative model, after intergenerational and developmental resources, is the major theoretical orientations of the family therapy field itself. We know historically that many of these primary clinical theories evolved from the work of certain pioneering family therapists, such as Minuchin, Bowen, Whitaker, and Haley. Although each theory's basic view of family dynamics and the associated style of interventions may vary rather widely, they all have in common their own foundation derived primarily from systems theory. (Of course, these elements are also interwoven with the unique personal resources of these pioneers.)
Some of us may have trained with one or more of these early pioneers or with their first or second generation "disciples." Two decades ago the family therapy field appeared more fragmented, with a variety of competing orientations. Many of today's senior practitioners learned a singular model of family therapy and have had to learn through their own clinical experiences how to best use and integrate other orientations and styles to be more effective in their practices. The family therapy field has moved over the past decade or so toward further attempts to consolidate or integrate some of these orientations (Lebow, 1997a). This new direction has been, in part, due to a desire to have available a more holistic approach to working with families; but more practically, it has been to respond to the pragmatic clinical awareness of practitioners that a singular approach to treating the broad range of presenting problems with which family therapists work these days is simply not realistic.
We want to review the contributions of each of the major family therapy theories to the supervision process. Some of these theories have specific models for supervision and in others the approach to clinical training is implied. We believe