Online-Journal für systemische Entwicklungen

Family Process 1978

Heft 1

Gurman, Alan S. & David P. Kniskern (1978): Deterioration in Marital and Family Therapy: Empirical, Clinical, and Conceptual Issues. In: Family Process, 17 (1), S. 3–20. 

Abstract: Recent empirical evidence of deterioration during both nonbehavioral and behavioral marital and family therapy is presented. While the frequency of patient worsening in marital-family therapy does not appear to exceed that previously found for individual psychotherapy, the acceptability of the evidence for negative effects in the treatment of systems may be greater than that which exists for individual treatment. After examining the empirical evidence of negative effects in family therapy and some of the factors that influence their occurrence, the authors discuss some conceptual issues relevant to a definition of worsening in marital and family therapy and present some methodological guidelines for the assessment of deterioration in therapy with family systems. It is concluded that the study of deterioration processes in family therapy may aid the understanding of family change processes more generally.

Coleman, Sandra B. & Donald I. Davis (1978): Family Therapy and Drug Abuse: A National Survey. In: Family Process, 17 (1), S. 21–29. 

Abstract: The following report describes the results of a national study of the role of family therapy in the drug abuse field. Characteristics of agencies that work with families are described, as well as the demographic characteristics and psychological problems of the clients most apt to be treated in family therapy. The study also looks at the role and structure of family therapy in the ecological system of the treatment institutions. A profile of the family therapists who are responsible for providing services to families is presented. An attempt was made to assess agencies’ level of development with regard to family therapy by using an instrument, The Progress Index for Family Therapy Programs. Generally, findings indicated that there is considerable variation in expertise. More extensive training in family therapy techniques was of major concern, particularly among clinics with a heroin addict population.

Stein, Howard F. (1978): The Slovak-American ‘Swaddling Ethos’: Homeostat for Family Dynamics and Cultural Continuity. In: Family Process, 17 (1), S. 31–45. 

Abstract: This paper explores the systemic relationships among cultural ethos, family dynamics, personality configuration, and child-rearing patterns among multi-generation Slovak-Americans. The ‘swaddling ethos’ is posited to serve as a homeostat whose regulatory function can be discerned through the analysis of family structure and process, in particular through the explication of values, affective patterns, roles, boundaries, and structural units within the family. The core of the ethos is a dependency-security complex that attaches the individual to an extended family network of obligation, indebtedness, and reciprocity (ethnic, Slovak); induces rebellion against such attachment (mainstream, American); and undermines efforts toward separation-individuation, resulting in the perpetuation of an ethnic tradition.

Gartner, Richard B., Richard H. Fulmer, Margot Weinshel & Shelly Goldklank (1978): The Family Life Cycle: Developmental Crises and Their Structural Impact on Families in a Community Mental Health Center. In: Family Process, 17 (1), S. 47–58. 

Abstract: A typology for troubled families was developed based on the configuration of family members and the position of the identified patient within the family structure. This typology was investigated by surveying the demographic and clinical characteristics of 110 families of patients treated in a day hospital. Four types or ‘constellations’ were found in the sample population. The families in the four Constellations differed significantly from one another in the gender, age, and diagnoses of the identified patient and the income level of the families. The Constellations thus appeared to constitute distinct clinical entities in the population studied. The reasons for the differences among Constellations are discussed in terms of the stress families experience during developmental crises involving structural change.

Scheflen, Albert E. (1978): Susan Smiled: On Explanation in Family Therapy. In: Family Process, 17 (1), S. 59–68. 

Abstract: The contemporary psychotherapist is exposed to a variety of conceptual models and paradigms. These are usually presented as opposing truths in different doctrinal schools, but actually they are all valid from one point of view or another. And, accordingly, they are all tactically useful at some point or another. I thought it was important to say this, but I did not want to write a dry, academic paper on the subject. So I will tell a clinical story that weaves the threads into a fabric.

Jefferson, Carter (1978): Some Notes on the Use of Family Sculpture in Therapy. In: Family Process, 17 (1), S. 69–76. 

Abstract: Therapists learning to use family sculpture as a tool often find difficulty in exploiting the technique to its fullest. This article, designed to encourage therapists to take the risks involved in using a technique new to them, describes how the author and his cotherapists used sculpture in three cases in different ways. In each case, the author explains how the therapists made the choices involved in directing the therapeutic process. He suggests that even when a sculpture itself seems to have failed to produce useful information, it can elicit from clients signals that will indicate opportunities for effective use of other techniques and that a sculpture, once used, can be restaged to reinforce client behavior change.

Rosenberg, John B. & Marion B. Lindblad (1978): Behavior Therapy in a Family Context: Treating Elective Mutism. In: Family Process, 17 (1), S. 77–82. 

Abstract: This paper discusses the necessity of using both behavioral and family approaches in combination, while working with electively mute children. The symptom and its significance within the family system is presented along with a rationale for avoiding the pitfalls of individual approaches with such children. A case history outlining specific behavioral techniques is described in detail with an exploration of the use of reinforcement theory, counter-conditioning, and successive approximations in bringing about change in electively mute children. The need for bringing about changes within the family system so as to maintain the changes that have occurred through use of the behavior techniques is discussed and presented as crucial to the treatment process. The paper takes the position that either approach, by itself, will not be effective in helping electively mute children but that the treatment of choice is a combination of therapeutic techniques.

Klopper, Elizabeth J., Bennett I. Tittler, Steven Friedman & Sara J. Hughes (1978): A Multi-Method Investigation of Two Family Constructs. In: Family Process, 17 (1), S. 83–93. 

Abstract: Two family constructs-prominence and interpersonal distance-are examined. Their origins are traced in the experimental and theoretical literature. The validity of each construct is investigated using data obtained from 15 families with a symptom-bearing child. Validity is supported in both cases through the occurrence of significant correlations among different measures of the same construct. It is suggested that the current distress of the families being studied may have increased the clarity of the prominence hierarchies and dyadic distances that emerged.

Weeks, Gerald & Luciano L’Abate (1978): A Bibliography of Paradoxical Methods in Psychotherapy of Family Systems. In: Family Process, 17 (1), S. 95–98. 

Abstract: Paradoxical psychotherapy has become a major focus of intervention in the last few years, especially in family therapy. In fact, a large percentage of the articles dealing with paradoxical techniques have appeared in this journal. However, this approach is still relatively new and has not gained widespread acceptance. This lack of acceptance could be the result of its newness or its noncommonsensical nature. Ethical questions have been raised also concerning its being too manipulative. Whatever the case, paradoxical methods have been used much more by marital and family therapists than by individually oriented therapists, despite the fact that the approach can be just as useful in individually oriented therapy (32).

These references were compiled to inform the reader about paradoxical methods and to facilitate theory construction, research, and application. It is a relatively comprehensive listing that should prove useful to all therapists working with a broad range of clients. The references will enable the reader unfamiliar with paradoxical therapy to answer the question, “What is paradoxical therapy?” (eg., 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 74, 79, 80). The reader wishing to broaden or deepen his understanding of paradoxical therapy will be able to find references dealing with theory (eg., 5, 12, 24, 79, 80, 81, 82), research (eg., 4, 58, 72, 81), and application (eg., 8, 11, 14, 23, 26, 31, 33, 80). In addition, the reader interested in the philosophical and historical background may find some of those references in a recent review (74).

Every effort has been made to check and countercheck the completeness of this bibliography. The authors welcome additional references that may have been left out of the current list.

Notes and Comment.  (1978): In: Family Process, 17 (1), S. 99–105. 

Fisch, Richard (1978): Review – Jay Haley (1977): Problem-Solving Therapy. San Francisco (Jossey-Bass). In: Family Process, 17 (1), S. 107–108. 

Kadis, B. (1978): Review – Harold Voth (1977): The Castrated Family. Mission, Kansas (Sheed Andrews & McNeel). In: Family Process, 17 (1), S. 108–108. 

Greenberg, George S. & Veen Van (1978): Review – Alfred P. French (1977): Disturbed Children and Their Families: Innovations in Evaluation and Treatment. New York (Human Science Press). In: Family Process, 17 (1), S. 108–110. 

Rueveni, Uri (1978): Review – Billie S. Ables (1977): Therapy for Couples: A Clinician’s Guide for Effective Treatment. San Francisco (Jossey-Bass). In: Family Process, 17 (1), S. 110–110. 

Glick, Ira D. (1978): Abstracts of Literature. In: Family Process, 17 (1), S. 115–117. 

Heft 2

Gurman, Alan S. & Roger M. Knudson (1978): Behavioral Marriage Therapy: I. A Psychodynamic-Systems Analysis and Critique. In: Family Process, 17 (2), S. 121–138. 

Abstract: After briefly summarizing the major theoretical premises and treatment strategies of Behavioral Marriage Therapy (BMT), five major clusters of implicit assumptions in BMT are identified and critically examined: I. ‘The Rational Observing Ego Shall Conquer All’; II. ‘Behavior Should Not Mean, But Be’; III. ‘What’s Sauce for the Goose is Sauce for the Gander’; IV. ‘Repression Is Good for Your Marital Mental Health’; V. ‘The Folly of the Therapist as Technician.’ Throughout this analysis, the conceptual and clinical limitations of a strictly or predominantly behavioral approach to couples therapy are described, and BMT is reconsidered in the light of object relations theory and communication theory perspectives on marital dysfunction and its treatment.

Gurman, Alan S. & David P. Kniskern (1978): Behavioral Marriage Therapy: II. Empirical Perspective. In: Family Process, 17 (2), S. 139–148. 

Abstract: Two recent published reviews of research on behavioral marriage therapy stimulated us to supplement these accounts with additional relevant data. First, we place research on behavioral couples therapy in the broader context of outcome research on nonbehavioral marital therapy. We then summarize the results of 23 studies of behavioral couples therapy not included in these previous reviews and conclude that these additional data on controlled and comparative studies do little to enhance the current empirical status of the efficacy of behavioral marriage therapy and in no case do they establish the superiority of social learning approaches. It is concluded that an open mind to all sources of data on the efficacy of marital therapy is needed if the field is to make meaningful advances.

Jacobson, Neil & Robert L. Weiss (1978): Behavioral Marriage Therapy. III. The Contents of Gurman et al. May Be Hazardous to Our Health. In: Family Process, 17 (2), S. 149–163. 

Abstract: This paper was written as a reply to a critique of behavioral marital therapy (BMT) by Gurman, Kniskern, and Knudson (6, 7). The reply is divided into four sections. First, the paper addresses the critics’ comments on the conceptual model put forth by BMT, correcting and clarifying various misconceptions, and restating some of the basic ideological principles in the behavioral model. Second, the paper discusses behavioral change techniques and technology, along with extratechnological treatment considerations. Again, misrepresentations of BMT are corrected. Third, an analysis of the literature investigating the therapeutic efficacy of BMT is reviewed, and the conclusion is reached that BMT is demonstrably effective, at least for a substantial number of mildly to moderately distressed couples. Criticisms are made of the analysis of the same literature conducted by Gurman et al. We conclude that, contrary to the spirit of the paper by Gurman et al., BMT is a viable framework for conceptualizing and treating relationship problems and that the commitment of its adherents to experimental investigation promises continued evolution, refinement, and improvement.

Gurman, Alan S., Roger M. Knudson & David P. Kniskern (1978): Behavioral Marriage Therapy. IV. Take Two Aspirin and Call Us in the Morning. In: Family Process, 17 (2), S. 165–180. 

Abstract: The Jacobson-Weiss critique of the Gurman-Knudson and Gurman-Kniskern discussions of behavioral marriage therapy (BMT), while scholarly, derives from such a narrow conceptual set that, with only minor exceptions, Jacobson and Weiss have failed basically to comprehend the essence of our theoretical and logical criticisms of BMT. Moreover, a careful reanalysis of the research cited by our critics as evidence for the efficacy of BMT reveals the strength of the empirical foundation of this approach to have been greatly exaggerated. While few of our concerns about a predominantly behavioral approach to marriage therapy have been ameliorated by Jacobson and Weiss’ commentary, some success seems to have been achieved in terms of our original purpose: to stimulate critical thinking about the premises and process of marital therapy.

Hare-Mustin, Rachel T. (1978): A Feminist Approach to Family Therapy. In: Family Process, 17 (2), S. 181–194. 

Abstract: Although family therapy recognizes the importance of the social context as a determiner of behavior, family therapists have not examined the consequences of traditional socialization practices that primarily disadvantage women. The unquestioned reinforcement of stereotyped sex roles takes place in much of family therapy. A feminist therapy orientation that considers the consequences of stereotyped sex roles and the statuses prescribed by society for females and males should be part of family therapy practice. This paper describes the ways in which family therapists who are aware of their own biases and those of the family can change sexist patterns through applying feminist principles to such areas as the contract, shifting tasks in the family, communication, generational boundaries, relabeling deviance, modeling, and therapeutic alliances.

Kaplan, Marvin L. & Netta R. Kaplan (1978): Individual and Family Growth: A Gestalt Approach. In: Family Process, 17 (2), S. 195–205. 

Abstract: Gestalt therapy is described as a comprehensive framework of theory and techniques for experiential family therapy. Like other experientially oriented therapies, it is systems-oriented, immediate-experience-oriented, and affect-oriented. Unlike others, this method regards the client system’s emergent processes as the central focus, and it emphasizes that growth occurs as the family and its members are helped to greater self-awareness and responsibility for their own functioning.

Breunlin, Douglas C. & Pam Southgate (1978): An Interactional Approach to Dysfunctional Silencing in Family Therapy. In: Family Process, 17 (2), S. 207–216. 

Abstract: This paper presents an interactional approach to the problem of dysfunctional silencing in family therapy. Silencing is classified as dysfunctional if it satisfies two conditions: (a) it occurs repeatedly and independently of content, and (b) it functions as negative feedback that limits change in the family system. Dysfunctional silencing is defined as those efforts of one or more family members to limit change by repeatedly blocking the communication of another family member, who in turn colludes by tacitly agreeing to remain silent. The interactional approach presented utilizes conflict-resolution techniques and videotape feedback; it is illustrated by a case example.

Tiller, J.W. G. (1978): Brief Family Therapy for Childhood Tic Syndrome. In: Family Process, 17 (2), S. 217–223. 

Abstract: This paper reports the success of brief analytically oriented outpatient family therapy exclusively in treating an eight-year old girl presenting with a short history of multiple tics involving facial, thoracic, and upper limb musculature, with associated hoarse coughing and grunting. Diagnostic features are reviewed. No medicines were used, and the patient remained asymptomatic nine months after ceasing family therapy. Tentative indications for family therapy for tiqueurs are proposed.

Gershenson, Judith & Martin S. Cohen (1978): Through the Looking Glass: The Experiences of Two Family Therapy Trainees with Live Supervision. In: Family Process, 17 (2), S. 225–230. 

Abstract: A thorough investigation of the literature pertaining to therapy supervision reveals that supervision has never been examined from the viewpoint of the trainee. This paper examines live supervision of family therapy from that viewpoint. It suggests that live supervision is a powerful and effective tool-a tool that engenders strong emotional responses.

Greenberg, George S. (1978): Review – Peggy Papp (Ed.)(1977): Family Therapy: Full-Length Case Studies. New York (Gardner Press). In: Family Process, 17 (2), S. 231–231. 

Salin, Lothar (1978): Review – Helm Stierlin (1977): Psychoanalytic Family Therapy. New York (Jason Aronson). In: Family Process, 17 (2), S. 231–233. 

Mann, Jay (1978): Review – Bernie Zilbergeld (1978): Male Sexuality. Boston-Toronto (Little, Brown and Company). In: Family Process, 17 (2), S. 233–234. 

Hatcher, Chris (1978): Review – Gerald H. Zuk (1973): Family Therapy and Diagnosis. New York (Six audiotapes produced by Psychotherapy Tape Library). In: Family Process, 17 (2), S. 234–234. 

Shisslak, Catherine M. (1978): Review – Lois Pratt (1976): Family Structure and Effective Health Behavior: The Energized Family. Boston (Houghton Mifflin Company). In: Family Process, 17 (2), S. 234–235. 

Breslin, Ken (1978): Review – James A. Levine (1976): Who Will Raise The Children? (New Options for Fathers and Mothers). Philadelphia and New York (J. B. Lippincott Co.). In: Family Process, 17 (2), S. 235–235. 

Breslin, Ken (1978): Review – Edward V. Stein (Ed.)(1977): Fathering: Fact or Fable? Nashville (Abingdon). In: Family Process, 17 (2), S. 235–235. 

Breslin, Ken (1978): Review – Marshall L. Hamilton (1977): Father’s Influence on Children. Chicago (Nelson-Hall). In: Family Process, 17 (2), S. 235–235. 

Bloch, Donald A. (1978): Notes and Comment. The Law, Social Policy, and the Changing Family. In: Family Process, 17 (2), S. 239–246. 

Heft 3

Wells, Richard A. & Alan E. Dezen (1978): The Results of Family Therapy Revisited: The Nonbehavioral Methods. In: Family Process, 17 (3), S. 251–274. 

Abstract: Studies from 1971 to 1976 reporting on the outcome of the nonbehavioral family therapies are analyzed and critically reviewed. Such research has increased in both quality and quantity since 1970 and, broadly speaking, has legitimized the status of family therapy as a viable mode of helping. Particularly potent effects were noted for family therapy as an alternative to psychiatric hospitalization, with psychosomatic problems in children and adolescents, and in certain applications with parent-child and parent-adolescent relationships. However, a number of studies comparing family therapy with no formal treatment or an alternative treatment found little difference in outcome. Problems in family therapy outcome research are discussed and some future directions suggested.

Gurman, Alan S. & David P. Kniskern (1978): Technolatry, Methodolatry, and the Results of Family Therapy. In: Family Process, 17 (3), S. 275–281. 

Abstract: Wells and Dezen’s revisited results of research on the outcomes of nonbehavioral family therapy are themselves revisited. While their conclusions are largely defensible in terms of conventional criteria for research design and for assessing change in psychotherapy, we question whether such standard criteria are sufficient for studying the outcomes of family therapy. Moreover, Wells and Dezen’s preoccupation with therapeutic technology at the expense of relationship factors and of ‘objective’ change measures at the expense of more inferential measures severely limits the clinical and conceptual meaningfulness of their review.

Wells, Richard A. & Alan Ethan Dezen (1978): Ideologies, Idols (and Graven Images?): Rejoinder to Gurman and Kniskern. In: Family Process, 17 (3), S. 283–288. 

Abstract: Three major issues raised in Gurman and Kniskern’s commentary are discussed. These are (a) the suitability of established research design criteria for studying the outcome of family therapy; (b) the impact of therapist relationship factors on therapy outcome; and (c) the place of concrete or objective change measures in psychotherapy outcome research. Areas of agreement and disagreement with Gurman and Kniskern’s observations are identified.

Montalvo, Braulio (1978): Opening Comments: Child placement policies and practices. In: Family Process, 17 (3), S. 287–288. 

Abstract: Child placement policies and practices are always based on ideas as to what kind of society we want to be. We want to keep a balance between the needs of the child and those of the parents-divorced, biological, foster, or adoptive. We seek new legal frameworks to allow for different kinds of placements with varying degrees of access, openness, and privacy. The goal is to find relationship arrangements that will do justice to all the individuals involved. The job of shaping and testing new arrangements, determining their limits, may take decades. We will learn who are the parents actually ready to raise a child in joint custody or to foster or adopt a child while maintaining access to the biological parents. We will learn what forms of access are likely to enhance or jeopardize the relationships and growth of the participants. We will discover patterns that encourage or discourage parents in undertaking new forms of placement and ways for professionals to relate to these families. We may find that the issue of the ‘compulsive’ identity search is less critical than the difficulties involved in establishing intrafamilial boundaries and developing optimal conditions for raising children. The art of anticipating agency-induced ‘latrogenic errors’ will become indispensable. It will be used for developing fair ground rules for those involved in the experience of child placement. This will improve an imperfect world by restoring two concepts-that the rights of the individual can be protected without neglecting the needs of others and that contractual arrangements and interpersonal commitments cannot only be revised but also honored. These concepts have rapidly weakened since Freud. On the basis of his theories the psychology of the family and the community shifted dramatically to that of the individual’s internal plight. The culmination of that powerful trend was seen among mental health professionals who focused exclusively on the phenomenology of the foster child’s or adoptee’s identity search, fantasies, and anxieties, and only incidentally on the concerns of the adoptive, foster, and biological parents. The professionals were aware of the dynamic patterns of coalitions and splits set up between an agency’s representative and the sets of parents involved, but for them these interactions were merely the background in a drama of intrapsychic forces struggling for resolution. The tendency has been to look inside people’s heads and to consider the agency’s involvement and the organizing power of the interpersonal arrangement as secondary influences in the making of problems. This tendency-by no means only a lamentable and myopic error of the past-may be yielding. Whether disguised as interactional theory, as family-oriented perceptions, or as awareness of context, consideration for the needs of others is coming back. More adoptees and foster children are concerned that their successful search may prove to be less than welcome to unconsenting biological parents. More professionals are concerned with preventing a particular outlook, whether it be the doctrinaire position of the courts or agencies thirty years ago or the self-actualizing drive of the adoptee or foster child today, from asserting itself at the expense of others. Practitioners look for a new ethic and for informed viewpoints to make wiser decisions when dealing with child placement. The following section offers three such viewpoints. The first paper favors the continuity of biological or previous family ties across a variety of child placement settings and views the identity search as more than an inner event, as a nonpathological social quest and an integrative experience. The second paper attributes the ‘compulsive’ identity search to ‘psychological stress within the adoptive family’ and ‘distortion in the vitally important area of adoptive education’; it stresses the importance of safeguarding the contractual foundations of adoption. The third paper emphasizes the need to develop empirical data on the impact on birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees of the movement to unseal adoption records; it describes a study of the attitudes of birth parents who relinquished children in the past. The strengths of each presentation are limited by the problems imposed by self-selected samples, but the papers afford the reader the opportunity of looking at the child-placement experience from different perspectives.

Colìn, Fernando (1978): Family Ties and Child Placement. In: Family Process, 17 (3), S. 289–312. 

Abstract: The fundamental premise of this paper is the primacy of the child’s experience of biological-familial continuity in establishing his sense of self and personal significance. This paper examines the effects of current child placement practices on the child’s ties to his biological, foster, and adoptive families. It explores alternative practices that would take into account biological-familial continuity.Comment is invited.

Andrews, Roberta G. (1978): Adoption: Legal Resolution or Legal Fraud? In: Family Process, 17 (3), S. 313–328. 

Abstract: Adoption, long considered a binding social contract, is under attack because it separates the adopted from their biological family. The attitudes and practices of secrecy by the courts, agencies, and adoptive families have intensified the adoptees’ feelings of being different and cut off from their roots. In a changing climate of greater openness about sensitive subjects, less tension in discussing adoption can be a significant prophylactic factor. In this sense, adopted people, collectively and individually, are making a meaningful contribution to a complex area of human relations. However, if adoption records are unsealed by legislative acts, the primary needs of the adoptive and biological parents can be undermined by the needs of the adopted adult.

Pannor, Reuben, Annette Baran & Arthur D. Sorosky (1978): Birth Parents Who Relinquished Babies for Adoption Revisited. In: Family Process, 17 (3), S. 329–337. 

Abstract: The fact that adoption records may be opened by court decree to enable adoptees to have access to identifying information about their birth parents makes it incumbent upon those concerned with adoption practices to study the impact of this on adoptees, adoptive parents, birth parents, and professional practice. This paper reports on research addressed to the attitudes and feelings of birth parents years after they relinquished babies for adoption.

Heard, David B. (1978): Keith: A Case Study of Structural Family Therapy. In: Family Process, 17 (3), S. 339–353. 

Abstract: This is an edited case presentation of marital therapy of a couple whose child was originally presented as the problem. Two primary themes are emphasized throughout the case. The first is that therapy consists of stages involving critical transitional points that need to be appropriately timed. The second is the use of a task to bring about structural realignment within the family. Excerpts were chosen because they clearly represent the process of movement in the therapy, illustrating both the stages of therapy and the utilization of an assigned task by the therapist. Commentary on the case material is interspersed throughout transcriptions.

Evans, Richard C. (1978): Comments on Heard, David B. (1978): Keith: A Case Study of Structural Family Therapy. In: Family Process, 17 (3), S. 339–353. In: Family Process, 17 (3), S. 353–354. 

Abstract: This case study illustrates both the power and limitations of the structural family therapy model in a case presenting with a symptomatic child. An 8-year-old boy’s behavioral problems at home (not obeying mother while responding to father) and at school (“won’t follow instructions and won’t accept training and teaching”) are understood as the result of structural imbalance based upon a covert marital agreement that only father is to be competent in managing the boy. This is, in turn, based upon the couple’s unacknowledged, shared view that the husband feels threatened by his wife’s new job and needs bolstering of his status and self-esteem. Using this model the therapist appears to handle the marital conflict and dysfunctional solution with beneficial effects on the marriage, the wife’s sense of competence, and the boy’s behavior. The report is impressive but troubles me because in this child-centered case we are left to guess about the boy’s subjective experience from beginning to end. This would be consistent with a behavioral description of the case if all family members were described this way, but in fact the inner experiences of both parents are presented in some detail. Again, there is nothing objectionable about that except that the report leaves us finally with an unbalanced model of treatment in which the boy’s behavior is considered the result of structural forces, whereas everybody else has insides.

Heard, David B. (1978): Rejoinder to Richard C. Evans Comments. In: Family Process, 17 (3), S. 354–356. 

Abstract: The thoughtful comments of Dr. Evans focus upon a central issue of discussion between family therapists and child therapists: To what extent do structural therapists look at the internal dynamics of the symptomatic child? This is not the first time this question has been raised. Mc Dermott has referred to the differences as “An Undeclared War” (2) between child therapists and family therapists. The article by Montalvo and Haley (4) suggests that child therapy is one approach to making an intervention within the family system. The differences here are clearly theoretical, but I agree with Dr. Evans that a richness is lost when this interplay is sacrificed for the sake of theoretical purity. Structural therapists do work with people’s feelings and do consider the inner experience of both adults and children. Somehow the fact that structural therapists generate and actively use affect in the therapeutic process has been overshadowed, perhaps disguised, owing to a desire of structural therapists to differentiate themselves within the field. A psychoanalytically oriented family therapist and a structurally oriented family therapist might make the same therapeutic intervention within the same family. How they view the intervention in terms of a theory of change is radically different however. Take the example of a father who feels angry, distant, and aloof from his family and is complaining bitterly in the presence of the family and therapist about his being excluded from family activities. The structural therapist views his close attention to the man’s expression of feelings as conducive to altering the way the father is perceived and dealt with by other family members. The same behavior can take place with a psychoanalytically oriented therapist who will perhaps conceptualize the intervention in terms of a theory of repression.

Doane, Jeri A. (1978): Family Interaction and Communication Deviance in Disturbed and Normal Families: A Review of Research. In: Family Process, 17 (3), S. 357–376. 

Abstract: Recent family interaction studies are reviewed with an emphasis on looking for dimensions along which disturbed and normal families differ. Several areas of consistency in the literature were found, including: family coalition patterns, patterns of conflict, flexibility versus rigidity, family effectiveness and efficiency, and deviant styles of communication. It was concluded that several measures reliably discriminate disturbed from normal families and that one type of measure in particular is a reliable predictor of thought disorder in offspring. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed.

Jacob, Theodore & Linda Grounds (1978): Confusions and Conclusions: A Response to Doane. In: Family Process, 17 (3), S. 377–387. 

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to evaluate critically the logic and conclusions of Doane’s article (14), and in so doing, to raise serious questions regarding her evaluation of the family interaction literature. In particular, we suggest that Doane’s paper is characterized by (a) a confused and inaccurate presentation of previous reviews; (b) a vague and contradictory set of terms around which she attempts to recast previous findings; (c) an arbitrary and unsystematic selection of findings used to support suggestions regarding reliable group differences; (d) uncritical and erroneous interpretations of findings that ostensibly support suggested differences between groups; and (e) a superficial acceptance of recent family interaction data concerned with the relationship between communication deviance/clarity and psychopathology. We hope our detailed critique will stimulate other observers of family interaction research to contribute more accurate and significant perspectives to the field than those presented in Doane’s review.

Doane, Jeri A. (1978): Questions of Strategy: Rejoinder to Jacob and Grounds. In: Family Process, 17 (3), S. 389–394. 

Abstract: Perhaps the best way to respond to Jacob and Grounds’ critique is to focus on the more important issues they raise and to clarify some of the apparent confusion. It seems there are several general classes of criticism that Jacob and Grounds have offered: arbitrariness in selection of studies, inconsistency in reporting findings, inaccuracies in the data reported, and an overly favorable conclusion with respect to the communication deviance literature. Each of these issues will be dealt with here, using as many specific illustrations and examples as space permits.

Weakland, John H. (1978): Review – Allen Fay (1978): Making Things Better by Making Them Worse. New York (Hawthorn Books). In: Family Process, 17 (3), S. 395–395. 

Sluzki, Carlos E. (1978): Review – Anne Bernstein (1978): The Flight of the Stork. New York (Delacorte Press). In: Family Process, 17 (3), S. 395–396. 

Kurtz, Barbaraterry (1978): Review – Georgia Travis (1976): Chronic Illness in Children Stanford (Stanford University Press). In: Family Process, 17 (3), S. 396–396. 

Heft 4

Woodward, Christel A., Jack Santa-Barbara, Sol Levin & N. B. Epstein (1978): Aspects of Consumer Satisfaction With Brief Family Therapy. In: Family Process, 17 (4), S. 399–407. 

Abstract: In an evaluative study of brief family therapy, 279 families were administered a Family Satisfaction Questionnaire in their own homes, six months after treatment terminated. This questionnaire was designed to assess several aspects of the families’ satisfaction with services received. The identified patient in all families was a child with academic and/or behavioral problems at school. A variety of outcome measures were also obtained both at treatment termination and at the six-month follow-up. Families were generally satisfied with the overall services received but expressed widely varying degrees of satisfaction with various aspects of treatment. Very little dissatisfaction was expressed regarding the availability of services (less than 7 per cent), but a sizeable proportion of families (45 per cent) did not feel that the services provided were comprehensive and adequate. Despite concerns regarding comprehensiveness and adequacy of the service, the majority of families were functioning well at the time of follow-up as assessed by a number of independent measures. Global satisfaction should not be regarded as the only index of treatment effectiveness, as many families who were dissatisfied experienced successful treatment outcomes.

Slipp, Samuel & Kenneth Kressel (1978): Difficulties in Family Therapy Evaluation I. A Comparison of Insight vs. Problem-Solving Approaches II. Design Critique and Recommendations. In: Family Process, 17 (4), S. 409–422. 

Abstract: In Part 1, an outcome study comparing two methods of family treatment, is reported. Families were randomly assigned to one of two forms of conjoint therapy: an Insight-oriented treatment (N = 10) or a Problem-Solving intervention (N = 10). The results on self-report measures of family functioning indicate that the Problem-Solving intervention produced more favorable changes after three months. Experienced therapists did better than inexperienced therapists in the Insight-treatment condition but level of experience did not make a difference in the Problem-Solving therapy. A group of eight families who dropped out of the Insight-treatment group provided data on correlates of premature termination. In Part II, the study is critically reviewed. The practical obstacles to implementing an experimental design in a clinic setting are considered. Special attention is given to issues involving the selection of treatment and control conditions: sampling and the measurement of outcome. Alternatives to experimental designs are considered.

Beckman-Brindley, Sharon & Joseph B. Tavormina (1978): Power Relationships in Families: A Social-Exchange Perspective. In: Family Process, 17 (4), S. 423–436. 

Abstract: Although researchers have investigated power relationships in families for twenty-five years, conclusions about normative family power patterns have been inconsistent and contradictory. Comparisons across studies have been difficult owing to different definitions of the construct, multiple methodologies, and inconsistent goals. With such confusion, a new, more integrated theoretical approach to the power issue seems warranted, as is suggested by the present paper. The current individual focus on power as a personal attribute can be replaced by a more dynamic, reciprocal, interactive process. Instead of specific or stable power patterns, power interactions should be fluid and time- or situation- specific. No one member would dominate, since power involves a mutual relationship system that changes its content, though not its rules of operation, across decision-making areas. Furthermore, family adjustment would relate to those rules and the family members’ reactions to their particular exchange system but not to specific types of power structures. With these considerations, future research should analyze the process, not the content, of power operations in order to maximize the clinical and theoretical utility of its construct.

Strayhorn, Joseph (1978): Social-Exchange Theory: Cognitive Restructuring in Marital Therapy. In: Family Process, 17 (4), S. 437–448. 

Abstract: Problems arise in marital relationships when any of the following conditions are not met: first, that the couple have correspondence of their beliefs, or rules, as to what behaviors constitute ‘value messages’ or ‘devalue messages’; second, that they depend primarily upon nonpainful channels for sending and receiving value messages; and third, that each partner’s required quota of value messages from the other be of a reasonable quantity, not inflated by unrealistic fear of abandonment or devaluation. Problems in any of these areas may present in a variety of seemingly disparate fashions. Each of these problems is amenable to cognitive restructuring strategies. Different demands are placed on the therapeutic alliance and the marital alliance by the elucidation of each of these three types of problems; proper timing of interventions is therefore necessary.

Grunebaum, Henry & Richard Chasin (1978): Relabeling and Reframing Reconsidered: The Beneficial Effects of a Pathological Label. In: Family Process, 17 (4), S. 449–455. 

Abstract: Traditional labeling theory usually contends that pathological labels contribute to pathology and benign labels help alleviate it. However, it is likely that the role of pathological labels as the cause of pathology has been overstated and over-generalized. Family therapists have probably overused the practice of substituting a benign label for a pathological label-relabeling. In fact, there are many families in which a pathological label applied to one family member may have beneficial impact on the family system, including that member. Five such cases are presented, and labeling theory is reviewed. Definitions of the terms reframing and relabeling are suggested, and the differing implications of diagnosis and labeling theory are discussed.

Walsh, Froma W. (1978): Concurrent Grandparent Death and Birth of Schizophrenic Offspring: An Intriguing Finding. In: Family Process, 17 (4), S. 457–463. 

Abstract: The finding, in the following study, of grandparent death within ± two years of birth of 41 per cent of schizophrenics (N= 70), a rate significantly higher than that in psychiatric (N= 45) and normal (N= 25) control groups, raises the possibility that this family stress factor may contribute to the development of schizophrenia. The implications are considered regarding the likelihood that the concurrent stresses of the death and the birth, two major events in the family life cycle, could confound and impede mourning and parenting processes. Two hypotheses are suggested: (a) that a bereaved parent may be emotionally unavailable to spouse and infant, and (b) that attention to the child may block mourning and absorb painful feelings, with the child assuming a special replacement role. The dysfunctional potential is related to other interacting variables, including biological factors, mourning resolution, and the family system. Further study is called for.

Katkin, Steven (1978): Charting as a Multipurpose Treatment Intervention for Family Therapy. In: Family Process, 17 (4), S. 465–468. 

Abstract: This paper discusses the behavior modification technique of charting as a double-bind communication. Though the procedure was initially employed as a step in demonstrating operant conditioning (7) and later in diagnosis of the antecedents and consequences maintaining undesired behavior (8), it also proved one of the more powerful therapeutic interventions. Literature reviews on treatment programs for obesity (6) and behavioral approaches to marital therapy (2) support this contention. Its efficacy can be explained by integrating the viewpoints of behaviorist and family therapy approaches espoused by Haley (4) and Weakland et al. (9). Following are brief case reports in which charting resulted in quick and sometimes dramatic change.

Barnhill, Laurence R. & Dianne Longo (1978): Fixation and Regression in the Family Life Cycle. In: Family Process, 17 (4), S. 469–478. 

Abstract: In spite of the obvious fact that families differ significantly depending upon their current stage of the life cycle, most of the family therapy literature focuses on intervening in ongoing family interaction without specific attention to the dimension of family development. Family sociologists, on the other hand, while not dealing with modifying family functioning, have provided more detailed tools with which to understand variations in family functioning based on stages of family development. Our work with families in acute distress suggests the need to increase the specificity with which our assessments and interventions are tailored, by incorporating the family developmental view. This paper explores the utility of the family developmental view using the concepts of fixation and regression in the family life cycle. These concepts were found to be relatively refined and quite pragmatic assessment devices that assist therapists in specifying developmental issues of the family. Case examples of actual families in crisis are presented in order to demonstrate the utility of these conceptual tools.

Coleman, Sandra B. & M. Duncan Stanton (1978): An Index for Measuring Agency Involvement in Family Therapy. In: Family Process, 17 (4), S. 479–483. 

Abstract: The Progress Index for Family Therapy Programs, an instrument for measuring the relative level of involvement in family therapy by treatment programs, is presented. It was developed as part of a national survey on the use of family therapy for treating drug abuse and includes data from 500 agencies, 76 of which were Community Mental Health Centers. The Index may be useful for assessing extent of family therapy involvement for differing agencies treating different populations.

Rabkin, Richard (1978): Rabkin on Books: Commentary on the Malcolm article in The New Yorker (May 1978) about Salvador Minuchin and family therapy. In: Family Process, 17 (4), S. 485–486. 

Sander, Fred M. (1978): Review – Augustus Y. Napier & Carl A. Whitaker (1978): The Family Crucible. New York (Harper & Row). In: Family Process, 17 (4), S. 486–488. 

Wynne, Lyman C. (1978): Review – Augustus Y. Napier & Carl A. Whitaker (1978): The Family Crucible. New York (Harper & Row). In: Family Process, 17 (4), S. 488–489. 

Constantine, Larry L. (1978): Review – Nic& Craig W. Birdsong (1978): The Family and Alternate Life-styles.  Chicago (Nelson-Hall Publishers). In: Family Process, 17 (4), S. 489–490. 

Shands, Harley C. (1978): Review – Carlos E. Sluzki & Donald C. Ransom (1976): Double Bind: The Foundation of the Communicational Approach to the Family. New York (Grune & Stratton). In: Family Process, 17 (4), S. 490–493. 

Beels, Christian (1978): Review – Norman Ackerman, Kenneth Terkelsen & William MacFarlane: Down on Jack Night (with technical assistance of Bonnie Chance). 1/2′ reel-to-reel, b/w, 44 min., Family Video Productions, Center for Family Learning, 10 Hanford Ave., New Rochelle, New York 10805. In: Family Process, 17 (4), S. 493–493. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email