ILENO I.DA COSTA
Not much has been written about the history of family therapy in Brazil. In 1989, we sought to systematize what there was in the field of family therapy in Brazil (Bucher, 1989). A few years later, a survey was taken of what was happening in the area (Macedo, 1993). After that, few efforts were made to trace the evolution of what had happened in the area. Recently Kaslow (2001) published an article entitled “History of Family Therapy: Evolution Outside of the U.S., ” which was made available on the home page of the International Family Therapy Association (IFTA). However, the article carries information on family therapy in just one of the states of Brazil.
An attempt to relate the history of a movement is never easy. Generally historical reconstructions are limited to identifying the personalities who initiated or transformed the movement. In this chapter, we intend to describe these aspects, which constitute the living memory of the family therapy movement in Brazil, considering that such a record will help identify the theoretical and conceptual issues that underlie the structural and dynamic transformations in families today and in therapeutic practice. Therefore, the recording of attainments provides an important opportunity to gather recollections of what has been done and accomplished with regard to family therapy in Brazil.
For three decades, as we shall see, family therapy in Brazil followed in the theoretical tracks of the North American and European continents. It may be stated that we are facing two fundamental questions, which must be better investigated: (a) How do family therapists, in practice, construct subjective and collective meanings regarding Brazilian families; and (b) What is the reality of Brazilian families, considering the continental dimensions of Brazil and its diverse regional, social, and cultural manifestations?