The Therapeutic Process
The first contact between therapist and family in this form of therapy is often different from the first contact in ordinary therapy. Disadvantaged minorities are overrepresented in culturally competent family therapy. In many cases, the family is compelled to go to therapy by court order, administrative pressure or the like. Frequently, the therapist will have to reach out to the family, going to look for the family at home or on the street. In many cases there will be little common ground between the therapist and the family. The family's conception of what therapy is about, their understanding of the nature of their relationship and their expectations will be radically different. Often, the family and the therapist will not understand each other's language. All the problems and difficulties discussed in chapters 6 and 11 are likely to appear from the very first moment. The therapist cannot avoid acting immediately and according to all the principles listed there.
After an initial understanding has been reached between the therapist and the family, the therapist begins the intake process, which includes naturalistic observations in various settings, a presenting-problems interview and a case- history interview. As emphasized in chapter 9, in this form of therapy the observations and the interviews should not be conducted in a standardized,