Culturally Competent Family Therapy: A General Model

By Shlomo Ariel | Go to book overview

self-fulfillment, her mother's depression and hypochondria, the habit of blaming failure on external agents and considering intimacy and personal warmth of secondary importance, then she attributes David's behavior to his family of origin's culture, which she considers problematic, aggressive and lacking insight, or to David's personality, which she considers as being a failure, nonunderstanding and unloving. This also hinders her from achieving her goals, which evokes in her emotions related to her family of origin's emotives. She reacts, with the same goals in mind, by crying and acting miserable. She accuses David and his family and threatens to leave.

If Edna behaves in a way that does not fit into David's family of origin's culture, then David classifies her behavior as belonging to the culture of her family and friends, which he considers intellectually and verbally superior, powerful, snobbish, immoral and exploitative, or to Edna's personality, which he takes to be aggressive, unloving, domineering, conceited and crazy. Then he views Edna's behavior as hindering the reaching of his goals of remaining a part of his nonacademic, working-class family and friends, and his goal of not letting Edna control him. He responds by avoiding Edna and her friends, by sleeping a lot and minimizing verbal and nonverbal communication with her and her friends. He criticizes her friends and her behavior with her mother. He does not support her when she needs emotional support.


SUMMARY

This chapter is devoted to the presentation of a model and a theoretical language that make it possible to explicate, synthesize, systematize and formalize all the knowledge acquired about any particular family as a cultural entity. In this model and language, the family is represented through an information-processing metaphor. It is viewed as a network of living computers programmed to receive, process and produce information according to culturally prescribed routines. The set of programs is the family's unique culture.

Family programs consist of data manipulation instructions, second data interpretation instructions (name as, distinguish, introduce into a set, make distinctions, symbolize as, attribute a property or a process to, attribute data to property or process, place in a relation [a list of kinds of relations is provided]).

Family programs are constructed according to the following scheme: ID of family members, their proximity and control goals with respect to each other and the external environment, relevant information stored in their memory and instructions for processing input and producing output. The instructions are tied together by operators. This formula for coding diagnostically relevant family-cultural information into such formalized representations of programs was illustrated by a case and examples.

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Culturally Competent Family Therapy: A General Model
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Part I - Culture and Family Therapy: an Overview 1
  • 1 - The Necessity to Incorporate Culture into the Theory and Practice of Family Therapy 3
  • Summary 17
  • 2 - The General Model of Culturally Competent Family Therapy: a Brief Outline 19
  • Summary 30
  • Part II - Family-Cultural Concepts Relevant to Diagnosis and Treatment 33
  • 3 - The Family's Conceptualization of Its Environment 35
  • Summary 43
  • 4 - The Family's Cultural Identity 45
  • Summary 65
  • 5 - The Family's Functioning and Lifestyle 67
  • Summary 74
  • 6 - The Family's Coping with Problems and Difficulties 77
  • Summary 82
  • Part III - The Information-Processing Framework 83
  • 7 - The Family as an Information-Processing System 85
  • Summary 100
  • 8 - Culturally Determined Family Dysfunction 103
  • Summary 116
  • Part IV - Culturally Competent Family Diagnosis 119
  • 9 - Data-Collection Instruments and Procedures 121
  • Summary 130
  • 10 - Analysis of Diagnostic Data 131
  • Summary 150
  • Part V - Therapy 153
  • 11 - The Therapeutic Alliance in Culturally Competent Family Therapy 155
  • Summary 163
  • 12 - Planning the Therapy: Strategies, Tactics and Techniques 165
  • Summary 193
  • 13 - The Therapeutic Process 195
  • Summary 212
  • Epilogue 213
  • Appendix - A Classified List of References 215
  • References 229
  • Index 249
  • About the Author 255
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