Friday, July 31, 2015

Family Therapy in the 21st Century


Erosion of boundaries
        o Schools of therapy are becoming less divided; therapists are borrowing techniques from almost all areas.
        o Therapists have seen the need to adjust their therapy to fit the specific client.

Postmodernism
        o Contemporary anti-positivism
        o Viewing knowledge as relative and context dependent
        o Questions assumptions of objectivity that characterize modern science
        o In family therapy, challenging the idea of scientific certainty, and linked to method of deconstruction
        o Most accepted practices were deconstructed- shown to be social conventions developed by people with         their own agendas.

The Feminist Critique
        o Exposed gender bias in existing models and advocated a style of therapy that called into question         systems theory itself.
        o Feminists stated that therapist failed to see that the archetypal family case of the over involved mother         and peripheral father is best understood not as a clinical problem but as a product of a historical process         hundreds of years in the making.
        o Belief that gender inequality should be primary concern for family therapists

Social Constructionism and the Narrative Revolution
        o Constructivism
                ◆ A relativistic point of view that emphasizes the subjective construction of reality.
                ◆ Implies that what we see in families may be based as much on our preconceptions as on what’s                 actually going on.
        o Collaborative Model
                ◆ A more egalitarian view of the therapist’s role.
                ◆ A stance advocated by critics of what they see as the authoritarianism in traditional approaches to                 family therapy
        o Reflecting team
                ◆ Tom Anderson’s technique of having the observing team share their reactions with the family at the                 end of a session.
                ◆ Observers will come out from behind a one way mirror to discuss their impressions with the                 therapist and family.
        o It was thought that therapist were doing therapy TO the client as opposed to WITH the client.
        o A therapist should take a not-knowing stance which leads to genuineness.
        o This therapy came from the biblical study called hermeneutics= the art of analyzing literary texts or         human experience, understood as fundamentally ambiguous, by interpreting levels of meaning.
        o Social constructionism
                ◆ Like constructivism, challenges the notion of an objective basis for knowledge.
                ◆ Knowledge and meaning are shaped by culturally shared assumptions.