This book is a journey to a newly discovered kingdom, the world behind the looking glass. For me, the advent of the one-way screen, which clinicians and researchers have used since the 1950s to observe live family interviews, was analogous to the discovery of the telescope. Seeing differently made it possible to think differently. And new ways of thinking have led to an epistemological revolution, one that touches all the sciences and that challenges many traditional concepts, from the belief in linear causality to theories of individual motivation.
Family therapy, although not a behavioral science per se, is in the odd position of being one of the few areas of behavioral research and practice to be influenced by this epistemological shift. It is therefore more than just a novel therapeutic technique; it is based on new assumptions about human behavior and human interaction that have far-reaching implications. To really understand it, we will have to go back several decades and explore the diverse themes and concepts around which the family movement has evolved.