Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy (ANZJFT)

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1467-8438
Publications
Article
Memorializes Margaret Topham. In 1975, she became the first Australian social worker and family therapist in fulltime private practice. She was the first person to introduce family therapy to the media, to conduct interviews with families 'live' in front of colleagues and trainees, and to use the then new technology of videotape to record demonstration interviews. She was profoundly gifted at interpreting relationships through family sculpting. She was a talented unraveller of unresolved stages in the family life cycle, how these were experienced by respective family members, and how to enable them to draw on them strengths. She was expert too at recognising and engaging at multiple levels with the expression of unresolved family issues in the group process of trainees. And those therapists invited to do her family reconstruction marathons remember them with awe. While sympathetic to the goals of the feminist critiques of family therapy, she disagreed with aspects of their analysis and questioned whether division and blame were helpful. She was dismissive too of some later currents in family therapy, which she regarded as expedient intellectualising, to the detriment of the humanity of families and therapists. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Discusses a framework for conducting transcultural therapy with Australian Aboriginal families, which emphasizes the importance of developing cultural sensitivity, competence, and the role of cultural consultants. The present author explores the indigenous belief system about health and healing, demonstrating the importance of body, land, and spirit to the Aboriginal people. Continuity and change in belief and health practices are traced from the traditional setting to the mission or reserve and urban setting. A case study demonstrates how to work with this belief system and provides practical recommendations for family therapists. On a broader level, the present author demonstrates the compatibility of systemic thinking to the Aboriginal worldview and draws from the literature of transcultural psychiatry, geography, medical anthropology, and family therapy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Presents an approach to therapy with adults who have been sexually abused in childhood. The approach is based on a general method that directs the therapist to explore regularities of pattern of behavior, affect, meaning, and belief, across time and within all relevant systems. Features of the approach that make it appropriate for adults who were abused in childhood include its emphasis on enquiry, attempt to be congruent with a feminist perspective in family therapy, emphasis on the affective dimension, and capacity to draw on a range of schools and techniques of family therapy. The application of the method to adults abused in childhood is discussed with reference to specific clients. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Discusses directions that health, welfare, legal, and educational professionals appear to be taking in intervention with the problem of violence and abuse in the community. Recent advances in systems theory can lead to useful models of explanation and intervention with abusive behavior that promote the attribution of responsibility for abuse to the abuse perpetrator. These ideas can assist integration and cooperation between legal and therapeutic priorities. Systemic ideas about abusive behavior need to be incorporated with criminal justice priorities to help promote responsible thinking and behavior in both therapeutic and educational contexts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Describes a case in which the film The Karate Kid was used to help an 11-yr-old boy and his family distinguish between aggression and assertion and learn about the related issues of discipline, obedience, control, and balance. The film provided a therapeutic metaphor that bypassed the restraints operating within the family system. An outline of the steps in therapy is presented, including presession information gathering and hypothesis formulation, an analysis of restraints in the family using the cybernetic model, and a description of how these were interwoven with the metaphor of the film to create a powerful therapeutic intervention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Discusses the burden placed on family members with a head injured relative. When working with families with a member with a neuropsychological condition, the family therapist (FT) may be required to embrace a more flexible role. Depending on the developmental needs of the family, the FT may at times (1) provide educational information about brain damage and its effects, (2) arrange family support groups or wider network meetings, (3) be the family's advocate in the context of complex legal and financial bureaucracies, or (4) undertake marital, sexual, or family therapy when required. Whatever the role played, a family sensitive practice approach by FTs is advocated. It is also deemed useful to develop a theoretical assessment model which helps the FT locate where individual family members are in their negotiation of the tasks of grieving, restructuring, identity reformation, and achieving a sense of growth after head injury. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Presents the case of an 11-yr-old boy who twice suffered the loss of his mother, through his adoption and through her subsequent suicide. Four years after these events the S presented with behavioral problems attributed to a block in his grieving process. Initially, therapy was difficult because of the S's inability to express his feelings verbally and because of restraints noted to be operating within the family system. A breakthrough was made through the use of the film The Never Ending Story as a therapeutic metaphor and as the basis of an action ritual. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Proposes a therapeutic approach that incorporates the triple motives of power, affiliation, and intimacy as a reflection of the full range of possible human relationships. The model incorporates narrative contribution, attachment theory, and feminist theory. The 4 seasons are suggested as representational of the therapeutic cycle. Autumn is representative of the initial phase, a time of shedding old patterns, childhood illusions, and defenses during the initial narrative period; winter is representative of a time of internal change and repowering. Spring represents the period of reemergence and new personal growth; summer is the period of full bloom when separation from the therapist is addressed. The seasonal therapy cycle may occur for varying periods and phases: over an entire life span, a section within it, or both concurrently. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Outlines an approach to child-at-risk cases for family therapists based on a therapy project that incorporated the results of a qualitative research study of over 40 families investigating parents' perceptions of intervention in child-at-risk cases. Discussion focuses on initial meetings between therapists and family members and outlines ways to connect with parents to establish ground rules for subsequent therapy and to develop relationships based on mutual respect and trust. A case example involving a 25-yr-old man and a 21-yr-old woman is provided. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Reviewed 9 investigations comparing brief family therapy with an alternative treatment. All of the studies were vulnerable to criticisms on design and methodological grounds. Problem areas included specification of therapeutic techniques, confounding of therapeutic variables, equivalence of therapist factors, measurement of outcome, adequacy of measures, and appropriate use of control groups. All studies concluded that childhood problems could be treated successfully with brief family therapy techniques. However, in light of the design problems listed, these conclusions appear tentative. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Explores an alternative option for clinical research, free from some of the traditional restraints of the scientific approach based on a positivist/empiricist paradigm. A case example (involving a 14-yr-old girl with problem behavior and her mother) is provided in which the core events in the psychotherapeutic process and their related outcomes become the focus for research inquiry following a research design proposed by E. H. Auerswald (see record 1988-30358-001). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Presents a classification of anxiety disorders, including panic disorder and agoraphobia, social phobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and considers the role of family therapy (FT) in treating these conditions. Married women make up most of the population of agoraphobics and, for many of these women, FT that stresses spouse involvement and couples' communication can have a successful outcome. Also, exposure in vivo is generally crucial to recovery from persistent agoraphobia. In cases of OCD, spouse-aided therapy may also be used, although high levels of family hostility may need to be overcome. The essence of successful FT in cases of OCD is to facilitate clients' own attempts to overcome their symptoms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
In this paper I look at the current trend toward positivism in the practice of psychotherapy. I use the term psychotherapy throughout, to remind family therapist readers that the problem is not ours alone. I offer a brief, critical literature review. I suggest that the trend towards positivism offers little of therapeutic value and compromises the ethical practice of psychotherapy. The origins of the trend lie in economic rationalism (demonstrated by the sorry state of the profession in the USA), philosophical error (the belief in certain knowledge) and a misplaced faith in method (simple algorithms exist that can transcend even the most complex circumstances). I dispute the validity of these influences and draw upon David Smail's suggestion that the pursuit of objectivity is an attempt to avoid the awkward necessity of making moral judgements. In the last section of the paper I briefly examine a philosophical framework that could serve as a guide to the subjective practice of psychotherapy and I offer a simple subjective metaphor drawn from a work of literary criticism. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Discusses the history of strategic approaches to family therapy, the importance of identifying repetitive behavioral sequences, and the main themes and paradigms that characterize the procedure. The applicability of brief/strategic approaches (including directives, paradoxical interventions, and reframing and redefining strategies) is noted. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Although the shift from 1st to 2nd order cybernetics has made the concept of the therapist–family system part of the everyday discourse of family therapy, there is little focus on the emotional aspects of the therapist–family system. Relevant process concepts, such as induction or accommodation, are poorly defined and inadequate. Three reasons for the neglect of emotional aspects of family therapy are explored: more recent theoretical and technical directions, the politics of gender, and the enduring difficulty of working with and writing about therapists' and families' emotions. A case example illustrates connections between psychoanalytic and systems family therapy models. Concepts such as counter-transference and projective identification may enrich family therapists' understanding of what is happening in the therapist–family system. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
52 wives of Australian Merchant Navy men answered questions regarding the stress they and their family experienced due to the seafarer's long absence. Data were collected on work patterns, the effect of the lifestyle on their marriage, and sexual relations. Results show several problems associated with the seafaring family life. 83% found it stressful before and after their husband was due to return home. They also felt their children experienced considerable stress because of their father's absence. Many Ss felt that the seafaring life caused difficulties in their marriage, and 25% believed that their husbands had or were having sexual relations outside their marriage. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Argues that literature in family therapy training neglects the usefulness of individual supervision. Just as family members struggle to integrate needs for autonomy with needs for family membership, so the individual family therapy trainee has individual concerns. Psychoanalytic literature recognizes the power of the emotional responses of the psychotherapist, but is uncertain how to handle these reactions, especially the parallel process between psychotherapy and supervision. The integration of individual process-centered supervision with live group supervision and training provides a structure to maximize the supervisory experience. Illustrative case material is presented. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Studied the association between the frequency and intensity of violent behavior and the level of vulnerability of victims of domestic violence, and the effectiveness of a group intervention in reducing vulnerability and violence. 16 females in 2 12-wk programs were assessed for violence and vulnerability during pre-intervention, intervention, and post-intervention (3-mo follow-up) stages. I. S. McDonald's (1989) Cycle of Violence was used as a framework to sensitize Ss to the perpetrator's characteristics to promote their understanding of their volatile partners and interrupt the cycle of violence. Group membership was associated with a significant decrease in violence, vulnerability and neuroticism. Reduction in violence was dependent on the male assuming responsibility for change, though it was more likely to be associated with women decreasing their vulnerability and balancing power in the relationships. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
While the Internet is full of bloggers offering unsolicited 'reviews' and 'talk-ups' of books they have read, professional journals are publishing fewer and fewer book reviews. The decline of book reviewing is part of the new preference for 'online solutions': you download and print specific articles or chapters, rather than purchase entire books or read print journals. Despite this, more and more books every year flood from the world's presses: clearly, money can still be made in book publishing. We are convinced that there is still an important role for published book reviews. Unfortunately, many therapists seem to believe that reviewing a book is like working with a client: one must at all costs treat the author with 'unconditional positive regard' and keep 'confrontation' to a minimum. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
In an earlier paper, the relationship between spirituality, science and therapy was explored. In this paper, spirituality is discussed in a more clinical context. Family response to trauma is outlined, concentrating on the area of acquired brain injury, and several models of adaptation are reviewed. There appear to be commonalities in response to different types of trauma. However in the area of acquired brain injury, positive outcomes have been under-reported in the literature which has focused for various reasons on maladaptation. In viewing response to trauma as involving both the potential for positive transformation as well as suffering and burden, concepts of V. E. Frankl (1963) and C. W. Jung (1959), spiritual belief and 'near death experience' are discussed. Examples of how families find meaning and positively appraise their experience of acquired brain injury are given. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Reviewed outcome research in brief child-oriented family therapy by examining 11 investigations in the categories of descriptive reports and single-group studies (7 anecdotal reports and 4 uncontrolled single-group studies). Although most investigators claimed that brief family therapy was effective, all studies were vulnerable to criticism, including problems with lack of control procedures, statistical analysis, confounding of the therapeutic variables, baseline and outcome measurement techniques, and follow-up procedures. Findings support previous reports (e.g., M. K. Dulcan, 1975) that carefully designed studies of psychotherapy with children and families are rare. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Explores an alternative to the concept of Brief Therapy which, in German, means "letter (writing) therapy". The author faced rejection from a client, a 33-yr-old woman who complained of loneliness and suffered from fear and anxiety about being alone forever. After struggling through self-blame, the author decided to approach the situation by Brief Therapy. This article includes their letters and describes a personal account of Brief Therapy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Describes the long-term effects of brief family therapy on children with emotional and behavioral problems of moderate severity. Brief family therapy, including single session therapy, is widely used to provide a timely and responsive service for children with these problems. The authors believe there is surprisingly little information about how these children and families fare in the longer term. In this study Child Behavior Checklists (CBCLs) were completed by parents before, 3 mo after, and 12 mo after therapy; 110 parents also participated in semi-structured telephone interviews 12 mo after therapy. Parents' CBCL ratings showed a significant decrease in children's problems after therapy, which were maintained over the subsequent year, although some children continued to experience difficulties. Parents generally found brief therapy to be a helpful experience. Ways to strengthen the preventive possibilities of brief therapy work is identified at both a practical and conceptual level. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Argues that families in therapy are viewed against the background or context of the therapist and his or her ethnicity, social class, gender, and sexual preference. This view casts clients in the role of the therapist's "other." A number of cases are cited to illustrate (1) the theme of clients whose ability to define themselves in their own terms was severely constrained due to professional discourses and (2) the theme of conflict between more powerful and less powerful professionals. Ethical imperatives of therapists in relation to their clients are listed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Explores how chaos theory may have some relevance to marriage and family therapy. Chaos is distinct from randomness; there is order in chaos and chaos is order. The chaos model is sensitive to increases in pressure on the system, as are family systems. Patterns may be seen in what appears to be chaotic bahavior. Family issues that appear to be chaotic may actually be stabilizing factors. Unexpected complexity, such as making family decisions about issues that are not clear-cut (i.e., chaotic) can be destabilizing. A healthy family system is one that is flexible and can tolerate periods of chaos. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Describes an approach to maximizing abusive parents' interest and commitment to therapy. Difficulties faced by therapists in working with treatment-resistant parents include the defense mechanisms and primitive ego levels of many abusive parents and the therapist's obligation to report abuse. Parents' motivation for remaining in therapy may be related to the impact of the route of referral and to gender. Guidelines are provided for minimizing negative consequences of notification and constructing therapeutic leverage to elicit and maintain parents' motivation throughout therapy. Types of leverage to maintain parents' motivation include that which ensures the safety of family members, that which ensures that parents regularly attend therapy, and that which motivates parents to remain interested in changing attitudes, behavior, and relationships. Illustrative case examples are provided. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Discusses features associated with middle childhood (aged 6–12 yrs) in relation to the family and the outside environment. The child at this stage is described in terms of characteristic physical development and motor behavior; psychosexual development and sexuality; and psychosocial, cognitive, moral, and language development. These individual developments are compared with the impact of school and peer influences. Within the family unit, the influences of parents, siblings, and external stressors and supports are considered. It is suggested that, during this stage, the family has the dual task of balancing the growing independence of the child with a sense of belonging and loyalty to the family. It is proposed that, to foster further development, parents should allow the child increased freedom to explore while maintaining guidelines and should instill in the child a sense of reciprocity. It is concluded that, despite the tendency in family therapy to look to the family as the source of all difficulties, therapists should look broadly at a range of systems that form the child's world to assess the etiology of problems. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
When children are placed in residential treatment, underlying messages are often conveyed: the child is the problem, the parents are the problem, and the treatment center has the answers. The child who is placed in residential care may be caught between the parents and the treatment setting: If the child positively responds to treatment, parents could feel incompetent, a dynamic that is counterproductive to successful treatment. It is argued from Milan (M. Selvini-Palazzoli et al, 1978; and K. Tomm [see PA, Vol 72:10190 and 18019]) and other systemic views that both family and treatment systems be considered in planning treatment strategies. Ideas about parent-training groups, family counseling, family admission into residential treatment, and externalization of the problem are reviewed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Discusses ways that some central family therapy models approach the therapeutic dilemma of children's problems emerging in conjunction with marital problems. The Structural, Haley-Madanes Strategic, and Milan Systemic models share the assumption that the child's symptoms are reflective of underlying family disturbance, with marital problems given a central place in the hypothesizing. In contrast, the Solution-focused and Narrative approaches avoid assumptions about the deeper purpose of symptoms, focusing instead on the impact of the problem on family relationships, including the marriage. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Discusses the influence of dominant metaphors in everyday and professional language, and relates this theme to emerging concerns with the historically dominant metaphor in family therapy: the family viewed as a system. Increasing interest is being shown in the development of alternative metaphors, especially those based on aspects of language and literary practice (e.g., conversation, discourse, rhetoric, narrative, text). Postmodernist cultural studies are reviewed to examine how people choose the metaphors they live by, and the concept of the ethical-poetical imagination is borrowed as a criterion for comparison and choice. From this vantage point, preferences for the metaphorical future of postmodernist family therapy are expressed and explained. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
The metaphor of timelessness is developed to describe the paralyzing "nothing will ever change" feeling that is common to chronic or longer term conditions and work with these conditions. This paper expands on the practical approaches outlined by G. Agnetti and J. Young (see record 1993-46133-001) where a more detailed development of the timelessness concept is reported. Ways to punctuate timelessness include acknowledging hopelessness, celebrating the past, and health rituals. Also discussed are chronic therapy and organizations and timelessness. These approaches, through disrupting the timelessness, lead to change, progress and hope being more accessible to client and worker. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Family therapy is not easily understood, especially by the beginner therapist. This is not surprising given the confusing overlap between the various models and proliferation of new and often unexplained concepts and terms. This article serves to reverse this trend by presenting an overview of family therapy that can be understood by the novice. It clarifies the assumptions, terms, methods and goals of the main three schools of thought, namely structural, strategic and systemic. The similarities and differences between these schools are discussed and a summary table has been inserted for comparison purposes. A glossary has been included to assist the reader in defining commonly used terms and concepts.
 
Article
Family re-formation after dissolution of first marriage is conceptualized in terms of a process involving 4 stages: (1) the first marriage and its dissolution, (2) the divorced family, (3) repartnering, and (4) achieving family solidarity. The primary conditions for the successful formation of a second family are to complete the emotional divorce from the first spouse and to conceptualize the second family differently than the first. The most important task of the new family is to integrate the members of two former families. Those which promote flexibility of boundaries within the new system have a greater chance of success. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Discusses the Kan-No-Mushi, a notion found in traditional Japanese folklore of a mythical bug or worm that lives inside each child. The Kan-No-Mushi is thought to be the source of misbehavior; for example, it may cause a child to have a temper tantrum when it is agitated. In Japanese culture, learning to compromise and learning to coexist with others are important developmental tasks. Family discussions about the Kan-No-Mushi may contribute to this process by helping children learn to live with frustration and anger. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Examines the recent limited input of a systems approach in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in the context of the broader treating system. General information about OCD is given, along with summaries of the current dominant treatment approaches (cognitive-behavioral and drug treatment). Early attempts at applying a family approach are identified but considered to be parent or spouse blaming. The value of a systemic approach is emphasized, using age of onset figures and identifying rigid cycles of behavior that can occur around symptoms for 2 distinct groups: adolescents and a later age onset group, usually women. Marital therapy with OCD sufferers and spouses is discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Social construction theory invites systemic therapists to realign many traditional ideas of family therapy and to take a less technological and more collaborative approach to clients. This article reflects on the implications of social construction thinking for current systemic practice and explores the incorporation of these ideas into a 2-yr training program. A step-by-step supervisory process is outlined. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Describes the theoretical background of a constructivist approach to therapy, the Kiel-Meyn-Consultation-Model. The authors outline the guidelines of the model (cooperating, reflecting, making open for interviewing) and briefly describes the meta-dialogue, and point out some basic helpful attitudes consultants can hold. Annotated excerpts from a consultation are presented to give an idea of how the model works. The paper closes with summaries of follow-up sessions and evaluation by a therapist. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Illustrates how a systems consultation model can be applied to a health care setting, using the case of a 13-yr-old quadriplegic boy who had difficulty adjusting to his disability and to the hospital ward. Four phases in the consultation process are elaborated: exploration by a senior physician, social worker, and special school teacher; assessment; contracting/connecting; and implementation. The effectiveness of the systems consultation was enhanced by adopting the meta position of consultation and by following a consultative process. Adopting the model of thinking and stratagem of consultation provided a broad perspective of problems and potential solutions, increasing the number of choices and opportunities for intervention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Developing skilled and delicate approaches and interventions aimed at assisting families (or systems) to solve entrenched problems has been an exciting and stimulating aspect of family therapy over its relatively short existence. Recently, more and more authors have re-emphasised the need for respect and mutuality in dealing with clients, the need for the therapist to be aware of the clients' frames of reference and idiosyncratic solutions, some arguing that it is preferable to take less of the expert, interventionist stance. The necessity for empathy underlined in many earlier approaches to therapy is mentioned, though generally ‘in the small print’, in the reports of the processes being investigated and developed. This article re-considers empathy, always known to be at the heart of the counselling/therapy1 process, but perhaps too easily assumed at present. It contends that empathy remains essential, that it can be understood more fully, and thereby used more effectively. Some of the traditional understandings of empathy, mostly from writings on individual therapy, are considered. Working with families and systems demands a broader understanding and different applications. The therapist must be capable of empathy with the context and the relationships as well as with individuals. While asserting that human beings are generally capable of empathy, the article examines some particular aspects of its use in therapy, particularly with families; it contends further that a fuller understanding of empathy can enrich the whole process of therapy. The article argues that empathy remains an indispensable guide to intervention with the family, the system or the person, whatever form the intervention (or non-intervention) may take.
 
Article
Complements P. Roughan and A. Jenkins's (1990) description of a framework for understanding the development of sexual problems by describing the nature and practical application of strategies that evolved from the framework for intervention with couples experiencing sexual difficulties. The sequence of assessment and intervention includes assessment of couples' restraints, avoidance of therapist participation in the problem, and presentation of a systemic developmental framework for viewing the problem. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Marriage and family therapists need basic information about techniques used in sex therapy to deal with the sexual issues they may encounter in their practice. A method is outlined for incorporating the psychotherapeutic techniques presently used in sex therapy into the marriage and family counseling setting when there is a sexual issue involved. Practice issues include identification of organic causes, identification of psychological issues, examination of interpersonal issues, and assessment of systemic issues. Some interventions for use with resistant couples include relationship focus, reframing the problem, and prescribing the refusal. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Overviews theoretical concepts and clinical interventions in structural family therapy and illustrates both through an analysis of a 1st interview with an anorexic 16-yr-old and her parents. The following issues are considered: assessment, therapeutic style, responsibility for change, problem maintenance, function of the symptom, and theory of family functioning. It is cautioned that given the prescriptive content of the structural approach, therapists must remain cognizant of possible pejorative attitudes and assumptions, particularly toward women, that might infiltrate their practice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Discusses implications of postmodern thinking for therapeutic practices. Particular attention is paid to the ways in which postmodern thought highlights practitioners' own value systems which formerly may have been obscured by bodies of theoretical knowledge and techniques. Therapists operating within postmodern perspectives may question the objectivity of theories of knowledge and, in that process, retreat from their expert positions. This controversial shift is examined within the broader contexts of the politics of therapy and the power of therapeutic techniques and knowledge in general. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Briefly discusses differences between psychoanalytic psychotherapy and family therapy. It is noted that family therapy, almost by definition, addresses the conscious mind of each individual, but (if we except some behavioural and cognitive family therapy approaches) the unconscious of the system as a whole, whereas psychoanalytic psychotherapy seems to address the unconscious of the individual, but perhaps in the process missing the unconscious of the system of which that individual formed a part. At least some family therapy approaches might be grouped with Ericksonian hypnosis and its associated strategies, in that they speak a metaphoric language direct to the system's "collective mind". By contrast, perhaps, the whole project of psychoanalytic psychotherapy from Freud onwards has been to make the unconscious conscious, to make it a subject of discourse. The paper concludes with a brief discussion regarding whether family therapy should move back towards the "privileged", confidential relationship of patient and therapist, in which the only source of information about the wider system is the index patient (as in psychoanalytic psychotherapy). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Discusses how premarital education programs (PEPs) help prospective spouses examine their relationship prior to marriage. PEPs are considered preventative skills training and assume that exposing couples to skills for improving their relationship will help them deal with interpersonal difficulties. Skills included involve communication, negotiation, problem solving, and decision making. Problems with the current status of PEPs are identified, including the atheoretical nature of most programs, the lack of opportunity for couples to discuss critical tasks, and poor evaluation procedures used to examine effectiveness. Although the concept of preparation for marriage is a good one, the current value of these programs are limited. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Presents 5 stories of family therapy with Holocaust survivors and their families. Although they had seen other members of the helping professions, the Holocaust had never been mentioned. Only when it was explored did their problems become comprehensible and meaningful, providing the context for alleviating or resolving their complaints. The positive aspects of survivors' silence are explored. Silence is often experienced as strength, courage, and a testimonial to those who perished. The resilience of the survivors, the strength and vitality that made it possible for them to overcome their pasts and build new lives in a new country, are highlighted. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Responds to criticisms by L. Walker (see record 1995-30239-001) regarding Paterson's original article on theories of family therapy (see record 1995-02706-001). It is agreed that M. Foucault's (e.g., 1984) work serves a moral purpose that is much harder to find in the work of J. Derrida. However, Foucault's suggestion that revolt against the prevailing order has to be spontaneous and unplanned is refuted; such possibilities are suggested to be inconsistent with Foucault's own theory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Describes the course of family therapy for a family troubled by their family doctor's diagnosis of a genetic cause for the son's disruptive and often violent temperament. Steps in disabusing the family of its hopelessness about the cause of the son's rages and how this contributed to the elimination of the disruptive behavior are outlined. (0 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Argues that family therapy is part of the "medicalization" of marriage and the family, through which problems are defined (often inappropriately) as relationship problems and experts (therapists) are created. It is suggested that the professional power of the therapist is often used in ways that are not in the interests of families, especially those with greatest needs. Proposals to tackle these obstacles are made regarding practice and training in family therapy and the management of professional power. It is concluded that family therapists as a group must not try to be politically neutral about matters that affect the family in society. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Provides an outline of a program in beginning postgraduate family therapy training that uses a conceptual framework on empirical support for training content and methods. The advantages of simulation as an effective teaching method are discussed. The use of simulated families and participant observers allows greater ease of flexibility in training requirements. The method outlined incorporates experimental learning techniques to help reduce anxiety and thus ease the transition from learning to actual practicing with families. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Top-cited authors
Patricia Crittenden
  • Family Relations Institute
Jaakko Seikkula
  • University of Jyväskylä
Carmel Flaskas
Kerrie James
  • UNSW Sydney
Jenny Brown
  • Sydney Institute