Online-Journal für systemische Entwicklungen

Whither Family Therapy

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Unter diesem Titel erschien 1962 ein Artikel von Jay Haley, mit dem er seine Herausgeberschaft von Family Process eröffnete. Das Editorial der Septemberausgabe 2014 von Jay Lebow trägt den gleichen Titel und leitet ein Heft ein, das eine Positionsbestimmung der Familientherapie und Systemischen Therapie versucht. Erfreulicherweise stellt der Verlag Wiley das ganze Heft vorübergehend kostenlos online zum Download zur Verfügung. Enthalten sind 13 Artikel mit hohem Prominenzfaktor, unter den AutorInnen sind u.a. Evan Imber-Black, William Madsen, Vickie Dickerson, Michael Rohrbaugh, Douglas Breunlin, Howard Liddle und Janine Roberts. Lebow schreibt: „With migration of family therapy and systemic concepts into so many directions and places, and without a few dominant voices carrying a singular systemic message, the scene easily can devolve into everyone tending their own garden and a lessening of the overarching systemic voice. Imber-Black (2014) in this issue presents the insightful idea of each systemic practitioner becoming the ambassador for systemic practice wherever they are, even if they are students or the new hire. Whether this comes in the form of sharing treatment methods or calling attention to the superior cost-benefit of systemic practice, we need a flow of such messages at each system level from the largest conferences or congresses to the smallest team meeting. Drug companies can advertise, and specific therapies have their own less expensive means of marketing. The core importance of working with families should receive the same attention; even if this was a new idea 50 years ago, it remains a crucial understanding that often can be ignored and its many methods need to be further disseminated.

This issue was conceived of as providing multiple lenses on the question of “Whither family therapy?”. Some of the articles that follow are about science, some about practice, and some about the connection between the two. Some are about specific threads in the field, such as poststructural viewpoints (Dickerson, 2014) or utilization of couple therapy in the treatment of specific disorders (Baucom et al., 2014). Some examine family therapy in particular contexts, such as medical systems (Doherty et al., 2014) or the legal context (Emery et al., 2014; Liddle, 2014) or family institutes (Rampage, 2014). Still others, such as the essay by Lee Combrinck-Graham (Combrinck-Graham, 2014), place the history of family therapy in a personal context.

Family therapy has evolved. Some of what in 1962 were exciting new models that captured a great deal of attention are today rarely, if ever, practiced. And yet family therapy has become a standard part of curricula in all the mental health fields, and a vital part of many multimodal treatment programs. Some today see an ever expanding, evolving field, others the demise of early energy into “more of the same”. Certainly what has emerged is a more participatory, more culturally and gender sensitive, and more collaborative set of methods that builds on a set of common factors with a stronger evidence base (Lebow, 2014). What were certitudes earlier have evolved into a set of dialectics about commonly occurring controversies in the field (Lebow, 2012, 2013, 2014).

The vantage points and topics in this issue are certainly not intended to cover all the questions, settings, or issues for family therapy today. Many important topics do not receive prominent attention; this mostly simply having to do with the patchwork way this issue was assembled. However, what is here are 13 different informative vantage points, each in relation to a part of this elephant. Family therapy is now clearly an elephant— large, well established, and subject to innumerable views.“

Alle bibliografischen Angaben des letzten Jahrganges von Family Process inklusive der abstracts finden Sie hier…


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