Creating an Ethical Position in Family Therapy

By Ivan B. Inger; Jeri Inger | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FIVE
Practising from an ethical perspective

Psychotherapy, as reflective of philosophical thinking, was not a subject of much concern in the psychotherapy literature nor was it represented in methods of practice except for a few practitioners like Frankl ( 1959), who concerned himself with psychotherapy as a search for meanings. As we delved deeper into the differences between philosophical and scientific thinking, we discovered, along with many other family therapists and theorists, that many scientists were struggling with very similar concerns about objectivity, subjectivity, observers, and the observed. Some of the notions of the philosophy of science (e.g. Maturana, 1978; Von Foerster, 1981; Capra, 1982; Von Glasersfeld, 1979, 1984) were being introduced into the family therapy field. At the same time, some family therapists were becoming interested in the process of therapy rather than the content of therapy, especially the focus on the contributions of the therapists to the culture of therapy (to cite a few examples: Keeney, 1983; Watzlawick, 1984; Segal, 1986; Boscolo, Cecchin, Hoffman, & Penn, 1987). The main element of concern seemed to be centred around Von Foerster ( 1981) thinking that we must bring observers into the experiences observed.

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