We are delighted that in writing the second edition we have realized our aim with the first edition of this text, which was to create, from a British perspective, a resource book for ourselves, our colleagues, experienced and new practitioners in the field of systemic family therapy and practice as we approached the end of the second millennium. In the second edition we hope to enable readers to keep up to date.
There is already a rich oral and literary tradition in systemic and family therapy so this book is part story, part chronicle: story, because we describe a series of events and intend to interest and even amuse the reader with our personal descriptions of the complex field of systemic and family therapy, a fascinating variety of ideas and practice which has emerged in the last 55 years. To the extent that these pages reflect our perspectives, we can defer to modernist, postmodernist and constructionist views and, with tongue in cheek, say this book is fictitious. Equally, we claim that this book is our attempt to chronicle and record the people, ideas, practices and socio-political cultural contexts that have contributed to the field in the second half of the twentieth century and beginning of the twenty-first century. We want this second edition of the book to celebrate 55 years of development in the field and provide a useful guide for readers on all five continents that is both coherent and resourceful. Our wish is that this book, above all, be a user-friendly account that preserves important knowledge and memories of events and facts in a fascinating and developing field of inquiry and practice and is a reference book for readers.
The organization of the book reflects our attempt to offer readers a story, a chronicle and a reference book. In the first edition we divided the 55 plus years of history into a first phase, second phase and third phase and can thus locate and track people, ideas and practices as they evolve out of modernism, through postmodernism and constructivism