Online-Journal für systemische Entwicklungen

Family Process 1979

Heft 1

Olson, David H., Douglas H. Sprenkle & Candyce S. Russell (1979): Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems: I. Cohesion and Adaptability Dimensions, Family Types, and Clinical Applications. In: Family Process, 18 (1), S. 3–28. 

Abstract: The conceptual clustering of numerous concepts from family therapy and other social science fields reveals two significant dimensions of family behavior, cohesion and adaptability. These two dimensions are placed into a circumplex model that is used to identify 16 types of marital and family systems. The model proposes that a balanced level of both cohesion and adaptability is the most functional to marital and family development. It postulates the need for a balance on the cohesion dimension between too much closeness (which leads to enmeshed systems) and too little closeness (which leads to disengaged systems). There also needs to be a balance on the adaptability dimension between too much change (which leads to chaotic systems) and too little change (which leads to rigid systems). The model was developed as a tool for clinical diagnosis and for specifying treatment goals with couples and families.

Russel, Candyce S. (1979): Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems: III. Empirical Evaluation With Families. In: Family Process, 18 (1), S. 29–45. 

Abstract: This study was designed to test the circumplex model of family systems that hypothesizes moderate family cohesion and moderate adaptability to be more functional than either extreme. Thirty-one Catholic family triads with daughters ranging in age from 14 to 17 years participated in a structured family interaction game (SIMFAM) and filled out questionnaires that measured the variables of cohesion and adaptability and the facilitative variables of support and creativity. All families were considered normal but were subdivided into those that had more and less difficulty with this adolescent. Analysis of the data yielded considerable support for the circumplex model. High family functioning was associated with moderate family cohesion and adaptability, and low family functioning had extreme scores on these dimensions. As predicted, high family support and creativity were also related to high family functioning. Implications of these findings for family therapy are discussed.

Zuckerman, Edward & Theodore Jacob (1979): Task Effects In Family Interaction. In: Family Process, 18 (1), S. 47–53. 

Abstract: The effect of different experimental tasks on emergent patterns of family activity, conflict, and influence was assessed by means of multivariate analysis procedures on a sample of 30 family triads. Although a task effect did emerge for the family activity measure, the overall pattern of findings indicates marked consistency in family interaction across the three experimental tasks. Findings are discussed in terms of methodological and theoretical explanations that could account for obtained results.

Knud, Goll (1979): Role Structure and Subculture in Families of Elective Mutists. In: Family Process, 18 (1), S. 55–68. 

Abstract: This study of ten case records points to a common role structure and subculture in families of elective mutists. The paper describes a theory of treatment based on breaking down the family’s distrust of the outer world before social training of the identified patient is started.

Feldman, Larry B. (1979): Marital Conflict and Marital Intimacy: An Integrative Psychodynamic-Behavioral-Systemic Model. In: Family Process, 18 (1), S. 69–78. 

Abstract: A conceptual model of some of the intrapsychic and interpersonal forces that stimulate and maintain repetitive, nonproductive marital conflict behavior is presented. In this model, concepts derived from psychoanalytic and social-learning theory are integrated within a family systems framework. Implications for conjoint therapy with conflictual couples are discussed.

Boss, Pauline Grossenbacher, Hamilton I. Mccubbin & Gary Lester (1979): The Corporate Executive Wife’s Coping Patterns in Response to Routine Husband-Father Absence. In: Family Process, 18 (1), S. 79–86. 

Abstract: The routine absence of corporate executive husband/fathers in intact families is a variation of father absence. Though not prolonged, frequent exits and reentries may stress the family system. To determine how nonclinical family members deal with routine father absence, a coping inventory was administered to 66 corporate wives. Factor analysis revealed wives coped with the stress of routine father absence by (a) fitting into the corporate lifestyle; (b) developing self; and (c) establishing independence. Though a pilot study, findings offer empirical support for a premise more traditionally accepted by family therapists than by family sociologists: Individual psychological variables need to be considered along with systems variables in the development of family stress theory.

House, Alvin Enis & Edward E. Stambaugh (1979): Transfer of Therapeutic Effects from Institution to Home: Faith, Hope, and Behavior Modification. In: Family Process, 18 (1), S. 87–93. 

Abstract: Effective transfer of therapeutic results from institutional to home settings is a demanding problem facing family therapists. The issues involved and one approach to their solution are examined through the case of a 10-year-old boy hospitalized for severe antisocial behavior. Once results were obtained in an institutional setting, the therapeutic program there was faded out and concurrently faded into the home. Three- and 12-month follow-ups revealed continued improvement.

Raasoch, John & H. Peter Laqueur (1979): Learning Multiple Family Therapy Through Simulated Workshops. In: Family Process, 18 (1), S. 95–98. 

Abstract: Multiple Family Therapy (MFT) can be learned more rapidly through simulated workshops. A chronological approach to a simulated workshop is outlined describing mechanics and techniques. The hardest parts of simulated and real MFT are taking off and landing. Specific exercises are detailed to facilitate the early phases when professionals tend to simulate excessive psychopathology. However, recovery is usually rapid and dramatic in simulations; thus, the workshop leaders appear impressive. How to end ‘healthily’ is the final challenge. Group input for assessment of simulated and real MFT is essential. From this feedback, subassertives and schizophrenics may be at the highest risk for deleterious effects from real MFT.

Bloch, Donald A. (1979): Notes and Comment. In: Family Process, 18 (1), S. 99–102. 

Segal, Lynn (1979): Review – Frank Farrelly & Jeff Brandsma (1974): Provocative Therapy. Millbrae, CA (Shields Publishing Company). In: Family Process, 18 (1), S. 103–104. 

Whitaker, Carl A. (1979): Review – Frank Farrelly & Jeff Brandsma (1974): Provocative Therapy. Millbrae, CA (Shields Publishing Company). In: Family Process, 18 (1), S. 104–104. 

Selvini Palazzoli, Mara (1979): Review – Salvador Minuchin, Bernice L. Rosman & Lester Baker (1978): Psychosomatics Families: Anorexia Nervosa in Context. Cambridge, MA (Harvard University Press). In: Family Process, 18 (1), S. 104–105. 

Gurman, Alan S. (1979): Review – W. Robert Beavers (1977): Psychotherapy and Growth: A Family Systems Perspective. New York (Brunner/Mazel). In: Family Process, 18 (1), S. 105–107. 

Pittman, Frank S. (1979): Review – Thomas J. Paolino Jr. & Barbara S. McCrady (1977): The Alcoholic Marriage: Perspectives. New York (Grune and Stratton). In: Family Process, 18 (1), S. 107–108. 

Herr, John J. (1979): Review – Elaine Brody (1977): Long-Term Care of Older People: A Practical Guide. New York (Human Sciences Press). In: Family Process, 18 (1), S. 108–109. 

Heft 2

Keeney, Bradford P. (1979): Ecosystemic Epistemology: An Alternative Paradigm for Diagnosis. In: Family Process, 18 (2), S. 117–129. 

Abstract: An alternative paradigm for diagnosis based on cybernetics, ecology, and systems theory is proposed. This paradigm, termed ‘ecosystemic epistemology,’ suggests that diagnosis focus on knowing problematic situations in an ecological and systemic way. Theoretical statements concerning this approach are delineated with specific references to major family therapists. This discussion provides a foundation for an ecosystemic epistemology for diagnosis that addresses the following issues: (a) the meaning of system; (b) the symptom’s presence in the system; (c) the therapist’s presence in the system; (d) the ecological relationship system that emerges in diagnosis; and (e) the relation between ecosystemic epistemology and the process of diagnosis. In effect, this paper attempts to formally describe the underlying epistemology inherent in the work of therapists who approach diagnosis in an ecological and systemic way.

Richman, Joseph (1979): The Family Therapy of Attempted Suicide. In: Family Process, 18 (2), S. 131–142. 

Abstract: Suicidal behavior is a multidetermined act based upon a variety of factors among which family tensions and patterns of interaction predominate. Family therapy, nevertheless, is underutilized for suicidal situations because too few practitioners possess the requisite skills in both suicidology and family treatment. This paper attempts to integrate the two fields, describes some assessment procedures, and presents an account of the method of family therapy utilized by the author with suicidal persons. The basic goals of therapy are to help initiate and to catalyze a healing process that will enable the participants to accept changes in both individual and family existence; to decrease the amount of destructive family interaction; to deal with the inevitable anxiety that accompanies growth and development; to make contact with and among the family members; and to provide hope.

Weingarten, Kathy (1979): Family Awareness for Nonclinicians: Participation in a Simulated Family as a Teaching Technique. In: Family Process, 18 (2), S. 143–150. 

Abstract: This paper describes a course in family theory geared to ‘well’ family members that combines didactic and experiential teaching techniques. A key feature of the course is that students participate in a simulated family for twelve weeks. Family therapists are skilled at using techniques that powerfully dramatize family process; they can provide a needed and useful service to the community by teaching the dynamics of families functioning to people who have a personal or professional interest in learning more about families.

Teismann, Mark W. (1979): Jealousy: Systematic, Problem-Solving Therapy With Couples. In: Family Process, 18 (2), S. 151–160. 

Abstract: Literature on the treatment of marital jealousy has focused on individual and interpersonal awareness/insight and the use of communication-negotiation skills. This paper proposes an alternative viewpoint applying the problem-solving approaches of Erikson, Haley, Watzlawick, Weakland, and Fisch to the alteration of jealous systems. Through a detailed case study, the author describes the concept of the therapeutic triangle and the use of paradox and symptom transfer as potential contributions in the treatment of jealousy. Finally, the author discusses briefly a possible factor leading to the success of the systematic, problem-solving modality: serious playfulness.

Riskin, Jules & Marguerite E. Mccorkle (1979): „Nontherapy“ Family Research and Change in Families: A Brief Clinical Research Communication. In: Family Process, 18 (2), S. 161–162. 

Abstract: This is the second interim report of an exploratory, prospective study of psychiatrically ‘nonlabeled’ family interaction. The project focuses primarily on whole-family interaction as it progresses through time.

Hodgson, James W. & Robert A. Lewis (1979): Pilgrim’s Progress III: A Trend Analysis of Family Theory and Methodology. In: Family Process, 18 (2), S. 163–173. 

Abstract: Exciting developments in family theory construction over the past few years demand a constant survey and evaluation of measurable progress. This paper documents some developmental trends that have taken place in family theory construction and its applications, as well as in the relation of theory to advances in methodology. Many of these trends are examined in the light of two earlier reports, Pilgrim’s Progress I (21) and Pilgrim’s Progress H (13).

Perkins, Terry F. & James P. Kahan (1979): An Empirical Comparison of Natural-Father and Stepfather Family Systems. In: Family Process, 18 (2), S. 175–183. 

Abstract: This study examined the family system differences between 40 volunteer natural-father and stepfather families. Family triads consisting of the husband, the wife, and a child whose age ranged from 12 to 15 years were studied. Four instruments were used: (a) the Family Concept Q-Sort; (b) a Semantic Differential; (c) a demographic questionnaire; and (d) an interaction-reaction questionnaire. Analyses of variance on the data obtained from the Q-sorts and the Semantic Differentials indicated that stepfather family systems are different from natural-father family systems along several salient dimensions including psychological adjustment, satisfaction with family, reciprocal understanding, and perceived goodness and potency. It was concluded that the differences between the family systems in terms of their interpersonal relations and perceptions affect the entire stepparent family system and its ability to function adequately.

Walker, Kennet N. & Lillian Messinger (1979): Remarriage after Divorce: Dissolution and Reconstruction of Family Boundaries. In: Family Process, 18 (2), S. 185–192. 

Abstract: Remarriage is analyzed from the perspective of family boundaries and roles. The nuclear and remarriage family models are compared, and the process that begins with the formation of the first-marriage nuclear family and ends with the formation of a second-marriage family is conceptualized in terms of changing family boundaries and roles. Discussions with remarriage group members provide concrete illustrations of this process and suggest solutions to some of the problems confronting remarriage family members.

Walker, Libby, Holly Brown, Helen Crohn, Evelyn Rodstein, Elliot Zeisel & Clifford J. Sager (1979): An Annotated Bibliography of the Remarried, the Living Together, and Their Children. In: Family Process, 18 (2), S. 193–212. 

Abstract: This bibliography was developed by the Remarried Consultation Center of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services of New York City for our own use. Because there is a growing interest in remarriage and the new types of families this social phenomenon creates, we became convinced that the meager number of articles and books in this area would be of interest to others. We have focused our attention on the now common phenomenon of the remarried and those living together in a committed relationship situation. Some articles that were not designed as studies of remarriage situations are included because their content is pertinent to our subject. The bibliography is divided into six sections to facilitate reference use. It should be noted, however, that these sections are not rigid and that some items could readily have been included under two or more sections. Articles included cover publication dates through April 1978. The six sections are: L Demography; II. Remarried Couples; III. Stepparents and Stepchildren; IV. Divorce as a Precursor to Remarriage; V. Children of Divorce in Relation to Remarriage; VI. Remarriage – Prophylactic and Therapeutic Aspects. Unfortunately we did not find sufficient material to warrant a section on theoretical aspects. We have tried to make this bibliography as complete as possible using two computer retrieval systems as well as our own search of the literature. If you are familiar with references we have missed, we should appreciate hearing from you.

Fisch, Richard (1979): Review – Mara Selvini Palazzoli, Gianfranco Cecchin, Guiliana Prata & Luigi Boscolo (1978): Paradox and Counterparadox. New York/London (Jason Aronson). In: Family Process, 18 (2), S. 213–214. 

Sluzki, Carlos E. (1979): Review – Jane Ferber & John Schoonbeck (1977): Crisis: A Handbook for Systemic Intervention. New York (Gardiner). In: Family Process, 18 (2), S. 214–214. 

Bank, Stephen & Beth Masterman (1979): Review – Ann W. Burgess & Nicholas Groth, L. Holstrom & Suzanne Sgroi (1978): Sexual Assault of Children and Adolescents. Lexington, Mass. (Lexington Books). In: Family Process, 18 (2), S. 214–216. 

Friedman, Philip H. (1979): Review – John Bell (1974); Family Therapy. New York (Aronson). In: Family Process, 18 (2), S. 216–217. 

Shisslak, C. M. (1979): Review – Lee D. Scheingold & Nathaniel N. Wagner (1974): Sound Sex and the Aging Heart. New York (Human Science Press). In: Family Process, 18 (2), S. 217–218. 

Callow, Susan (1979): Review – Barry Robert Berkey (1976): Save Your Marriage. Chicago (Nelson-Hall). In: Family Process, 18 (2), S. 218–218. 

Heft 3

Tomm, Karl M. & Lorraine M. Wright (1979): Training in Family Therapy: Perceptual, Conceptual and Executive Skills. In: Family Process, 18 (3), S. 227–250. 

Abstract: This paper presents a comprehensive and detailed outline of family therapy skills to aid in providing a more precise focus in the training of clinicians in family therapy. The skills are based on an integrated treatment model within a systems framework. Four major functions performed by a family therapist are separated and are further differentiated into general therapeutic competencies. Specific perceptual, conceptual, and executive skills are described in the form of instructional objectives and are listed under each competency. Occasional clarifying notes or examples are cited along with particular skills. Clinicians and trainees should find this outline a useful guide in skill development.

Duncan, Stanton (1979): Family Treatment Approaches to Drug Abuse Problems: A Review. In: Family Process, 18 (3), S. 251–280. 

Abstract: This review covers the literature that has emerged specifically on the family treatment of drug abuse problems. Following a brief discussion of patterns and structures prevalent in drug-abusing families, 68 different studies or programs (discussed in 74 papers) are compared as to their techniques and results. These are categorized within the following modalities: marital treatment, group treatment for parents, concurrent parent and identified patient treatment, treatment with individual families (both inpatient and outpatient), sibling-oriented treatment, multiple family therapy, and social network therapy. A table presents the various studies, along with the types of results they provide. Outcomes are contrasted for the 14 studies that quantified their results. The final section presents implications for the following areas: treatment activities (clarification of technique, family recruitment, direction and effectiveness of treatment, confidentiality, and treatment delivery systems), training, prevention, and future research (outcome, technique and responsibility). It is concluded that family treatment for drug abuse is gaining widespread acceptance and shows considerable promise for dealing effectively with problems of this type.

Harbin, Henry T. (1979): A Family-Oriented Psychiatric Inpatient Unit. In: Family Process, 18 (3), S. 281–291. 

Abstract: This article presents the structure and policies of a psychiatric inpatient unit that was developed with the goal of fully integrating family-oriented treatment approaches into its therapeutic program. There is an explanation of different methods to involve families in the hospital treatment process and delineation of a variety of treatment techniques specific for families of inpatients. The role of the nursing staff is described as well as some of the contradictions and paradoxes that are inherent in this type of inpatient unit.

Bernal, Guillermo & Jeffrey Baker (1979): Toward a Metacommunicational Framework of Couple Interactions. In: Family Process, 18 (3), S. 293–302. 

Abstract: A multi-level, metacommunicational framework to understand couple interactions is presented. Five interactional levels are defined following a mode of abstraction that parallels the theory of logical types; case examples are offered of couples interacting at each of the levels. The clinical implications of the framework, as a metaphor for understanding transactional processes, are discussed with an emphasis on the pragmatics of working with punctuational differences, developing therapeutic strategies, measuring progress, and setting goals for therapy with couples.

White, Michael (1979): Structural and Strategic Approaches to Psychosomatic Families. In: Family Process, 18 (3), S. 303–314. 

Abstract: Patterns of relatedness characteristic of psychosomatic families are discussed. A step-wise intervention procedure based on structural and strategic approaches is presented. The goals of the procedure are to establish symptomatic relief and modify concurrently the patterns of relatedness. The procedure is applied to a sample of families in which a child presents with psychogenic abdominal pain. This paper is intended as a detailed and practical guide to working with such families; a degree of generalization is possible, as well.

Sederer, Lloyd I. & Nooy Sederer (1979): A Family Myth: Sex Therapy Gone Awry. In: Family Process, 18 (3), S. 315–321. 

Abstract: The treatment of sexual disorders has achieved considerable popularity and respectability within the mental health profession and the lay community. As a consequence, it has become increasingly difficult to elude requests for this type of treatment and even more difficult to balance sexual concerns with the numerous other modes of relating that exist within a dyadic relationship. This paper will report two versions of a case study in which sexual dysfunction served as a myth that was carefully constructed to veil certain more fundamental problems.

Masten, Ann S. (1979): Family Therapy as a Treatment for Children: A Critical Review of Outcome Research. In: Family Process, 18 (3), S. 323–335. 

Abstract: The value of family therapy as a treatment for child psychopathology is considered by reviewing pertinent outcome research. Fourteen studies that met three criteria are included in the review: (a) a child or adolescent was the identified patient or referral; (b) therapy included at least one parent and the child; and (c) outcome was evaluated in terms of the child’s symptoms. There are major shortcomings in most of the available data, with only two well-controlled studies. Some empirical evidence does exist that family therapy is an effective treatment for children; the data from studies of adolescents are especially encouraging. However, insufficient data are available for comparing the relative merits of conjoint family treatment and individual child therapy. If the value of family therapy as a treatment alternative or, ideally, as the ‘treatment of choice’ for a referred individual child is to be established, more and better controlled comparative outcome studies will be necessary. Suggestions for future research are presented emphasizing the need for a developmental perspective by recommending, for example, the use of factorial designs in which the interaction of treatment and age can be analyzed.

Steinglass, Peter (1979): The Home Observation Assessment Method (HOAM): Real-Time Naturalistic Observation of Families in Their Homes. In: Family Process, 18 (3), S. 337–354. 

Abstract: The Home Observation Assessment Method (HOAM) is a new method developed to carry out objective coding of family interaction over extended time periods in a home setting. It is a computer-compatible coding system that permits on-line data reduction of interactional variables emphasizing contextual and structural dimensions of family behavior. To date, the HOAM has been applied to the study of 31 families observed for a total of over 250 sessions. Initial analysis of data from these sessions indicates that coder reliability is high and that the HOAM successfully measures dimensions of family behavior independent of architectural aspects of the home setting. Preliminary findings also indicate that although families differ dramatically along the interactional dimensions measured by the HOAM, all families studied spent remarkably little time in decision-making behavior, suggesting that behavior in the home is predominantly ‘maintenance-oriented.’

Goodrich, Wells (1979): Review – Sharkey Duncan & Donald Fiske (1977): Face-to-Face Interaction: Research, Methods, and Theory. Hillsdale, NJ (Lawrence Earlbaum). In: Family Process, 18 (3), S. 355–356. 

Abstract: In the history of every specific field of psychological investigation, there is a phase in which the initial conceptualizations of the field begin to be tested by commonly agreed-upon research strategies and research methods. The field of newborn and infant research reached that phase in the 1950s. Research on the drug treatment of the psychoses in the 1960s began to use certain designs and rating instruments. The field of psychotherapy research in the 1970s is in the midst of this phase of development, searching for minimum standards of methodologic rigor. Several hundred psychotherapy researchers now are concerned to achieve some standardized strategies for evaluating psychotherapy process and outcome. Within this context, the contribution of Duncan and Fiske is considerable. The book focuses on research strategies, tactics, and, above all, research methods in psychotherapy. It is a useful discussion and presentation of questions having to do with choosing units of interaction for study, defining dimensions of psychotherapy, deciding what can be reliably measured, and the like. It is a “hard-nosed” approach to the measurement of face-to-face interaction, skeptical of all concepts of human experience. Those whose clinical orientation is that the meaning of human dyadic interaction is readily apparent to clinically trained judges will be dismayed at the dry empiricism that runs through this volume. On the other hand, those who are convinced, as are the authors, that the significance of a piece of human interaction lies in scrutinizing behavioral strategies revealed by careful records will be supported. It is true that on page 10 the authors make a plea, reminiscent of Frenkel-Brunswik’s comments now 25 years old, that psychotherapy process research is in need of new conceptual models framed at an intermediate level of abstractness. That is to sayexcept for the behavior modifiersmost practising clinicians of either family therapy or individual therapy use such an array of global concepts that many such ideas are unmeasurable and hence untestable. What the researcher needs, once he has the hardware worked out, are simplified concepts to work with. It is hoped that the new, heuristically framed models of therapy will capture some of the essential variance of the complex psychotherapeutic relationship and thus become worth measuring.

Powell, Lawton (1979): Review – John J. Herr & John H. Weakland (1979): Counseling Elders and Their Families: Practical Techniques for Applied Gerontology. New York (Springer. In: Family Process, 18 (3), S. 356–357. 

Abstract: This book comes close to being the first to deal with psychotherapy in any of its forms, as applied specifically to older people. The ageism of our society is mirrored in the avoidance of this age group by the mental health establishment, as evidenced, for example, in the fact that only four percent of all patients seen at community mental health centers fall into the 65-and-over category; this rate has remained steady since statistics were first collected. It is a pleasure, therefore, to see such a book appear; gratitude would be felt simply because someone saw fit to produce any book on counseling with the elderly. Fortunately, there is no need for such faint praise. Counseling Elderly and Their Families is a substantial work that contains new information potentially useful to a great variety of professionals. First, one should underline the authors’ designation of their consumers: ” … anyone providing service to elders: administrators, social workers, physicians, nurses, psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, recreation leaders, senior center coordinators, ministers, attorneys, and paralegal aides” (p. ix), and policemen among others. Thus, the writers recognize that counseling may be needed, sought, and given in any situation in which older people interact with a professional or paraprofessional. They rightly view those situations explicitly designated as “mental health” in nature as providing only a small proportion of all such occasions and write partly to sensitize this broad array of caregivers to the need for help experienced by families in many diverse situations. Second, the authors are advocates of one particular approach to counseling the elderly, family therapy. They make the point effectively that the older person has a problem in the absence of involvement by significant others, most usually a family member. No one can read this book and not come away with a lifelong appreciation for the intricate nature of familial problem-solving that includes an elder. For this reviewer, whose familiarity with family therapy is minimal, the brief exposition of the principles of family therapy in Part 2 was extremely illuminating and set the stage for a highly coherent, seven-chapter, core exposition of the process and mechanisms of treatment. This section is followed by six case studies with many mildly edited verbatim examples.

Pittman, Frank S. (1979): Review – Clifford J. Sager (1976): Marriage Contracts and Couple Therapy. New York (Bruner/Mazel). In: Family Process, 18 (3), S. 357–358. 

Hoffman, Lynn (1979): Review – Lee A. Headley (1977): Adults and Their Parents in Family Therapy. New York (Plenum Press). In: Family Process, 18 (3), S. 358–359. 

Papp, Peggy (1979): Review – Paul Watzlawick (1979): The Language of Change. Palo Alto, CA (Mental Research Institute). In: Family Process, 18 (3), S. 359–360. 

Sluzki, Carlos E. (1979): Review – Joan Berg Victor & Joelle Sander (1978): The Family: The Evolution of Our Oldest Human Institution. Indianapolis/New York (The Bobbs Merrill Company). In: Family Process, 18 (3), S. 360–361. 

Heft 4

Sluzki, Carlos E. (1979): Migration and Family Conflict. In: Family Process, 18 (4), S. 379–390. 

Abstract: The stages of the process of migration are described, with the implications of each for family conflict and appropriate therapeutic intervention.

Clarkin, John F., Allen J. Frances & James L. Moodie (1979): Selection Criteria for Family Therapy. In: Family Process, 18 (4), S. 391–403. 

Abstract: The patient selection criteria for most modalities of psychotherapy have not yet been clearly articulated. This paper presents a decision-tree model outlining the factors that incline a clinician to perform a family evaluation, then to decide upon family treatment instead of another form of therapy, and finally to settle upon the particular duration and intensity of family treatment. We have compiled screening criteria, based on research and clinical opinion, to be applied in the utilization review of the decisions made at each of these steps. This method can be used to evaluate the appropriateness of care and to render decision-making explicit and accountable; it may also have considerable value in training and research.

Mossige, Svein, Rita Bast Pettersen & Rolv Mikkel Blakar (1979): Egocentrism and Inefficiency in the Communication of Families Containing Schizophrenic Members. In: Family Process, 18 (4), S. 405–425. 

Abstract: Conceptual and methodological shortcomings of research on family and inter-actional psychopathology are owing mainly to the use of vague and ill-defined concepts of communication. Based on a theory of language use and communication within general social and cognitive psychology (e.g., Heider, Mead, Piaget, Rommetveit) Blakar has outlined a methodology by which interaction is analyzed in terms of how and to what extent the participants (families) manage or fail to cope with the various prerequisites for successful communication under varying situational conditions. A study illustrating this program is presented: The interaction of twelve families, six with (Group S) and six without (Group N) a schizophrenic member, is analyzed in Blakar’s communication conflict situation with respect to the members’ ability to decenter and take the perspective of each other. Group S proved significantly more egocentric, their egocentric attitudes resulting, as would be expected, in very inefficient communication. Moreover, Group S were not able to adapt their pattern of communication to the changing situational requirements. Finally, the subtle interplay between the capacities and behavior of the individual members and the family system is illustrated: the egocentrism of the members resulted in ‘closed systems,’ and the closed systems hindered adequate feedback, forcing the members to decenter.

Colapinto, Jorge (1979): The Relative Value of Empirical Evidence. In: Family Process, 18 (4), S. 427–441. 

Abstract: Arguments between adherents of different therapeutic models are often based on the assumption that empirical evidence is ultimately the judge of the merits of the respective approaches. The gathering of empirical evidence, however, is programmed by epistemological premises that in turn are not tested by ‘objective’ demonstration but rather by their congruence with prevailing sociocultural values. The epistemological premises behind individual- and systems-oriented models are incompatible, and respectively congruent with currently coexistent and opposite sociocultural values. Adherence to a particular model is thus based on epistemological-axiological positions rather than neutral objective evaluation.

Straker, G. & R. Jacobson (1979): A Study of the Relationship Between Family Interaction and Individual Symptomology Over Time. In: Family Process, 18 (4), S. 443–450. 

Abstract: The study was designed to answer two questions: (a) Can a relationship over time between family interaction and individual symptomatology be demonstrated? (b) Can it be shown that changes in interaction have more influence on changes in the symptom than vice versa. Five interaction dimensions were taped in weekly, three-quarter hour sessions over 20 weeks in five families, each consisting of a mother-father-child triad who met certain criteria and had an encopretic child. The interaction dimension scores were abstracted weekly from these sessions by content analyses relying on various scales. The derived ratio scores were then related to the number of days the child soiled himself in the week preceding and following the interaction measurement. The relationship was assessed by Pearson correlation coefficients and step-wise multiple regression analyses adjusted to account for the possible inflationary effects of taking measures from the same subjects more than once. The results of the analyses answered both questions posed by the study in the affirmative, thus supporting the rationale underlying family therapy.

Pinsof, William M. (1979): The Family Therapist Behavior Scale (FTBS): Development and Evaluation of a Coding System. In: Family Process, 18 (4), S. 451–461. 

Abstract: This study evaluated the validity and reliability of a new coding system – The Family Therapist Behavior Scale (FTBS) – that was designed to identify and study clinically relevant verbal behaviors of short-term, problem-oriented family therapists. Validity was assessed by testing the scale’s ability to discriminate significant, predicted differences between the in-therapy behaviors of eight beginning family therapists conducting observed interviews and eight advanced family therapists conducting supervisory interviews. All of the sessions, which were initial interviews, were videotaped. Two coders rated three five-minute samples from each of the 16 tapes with the FTBS. The validity results supported over 50 per cent of the 16 research hypotheses. The reliability analysis, based on the actual study data, indicated that the interrater reliability of the 19 category FTBS differed from chance at less than the .001 level of significance. The implications of these findings are examined and future research directions are identified.

Olson, Ulf-Johan & Peggy F. Pegg (1979): Direct Open Supervision: A Team Approach. In: Family Process, 18 (4), S. 463–469. 

Abstract: Created in the absence of one-way mirror facilities, Direct Open Supervision combines elements of live supervision with team participation in training family therapists. The theory and application of this approach to direct supervision are described.

Krell, Robert & Leslie Rabkin (1979): The Effects of Sibling Death on the Surviving Child: A Family Perspective. In: Family Process, 18 (4), S. 471–477. 

Abstract: The death of a child invariably affects the family, who in effect become survivors. Adaptations are made in order to secure a new family equilibrium attendant upon such a loss. Surviving siblings not infrequently become the focus of maneuvers unconsciously designed to alleviate guilt and control fate through silence and efforts to maintain silence, through substitution for the lost child, and through endowing the survivor-child with qualities of the deceased. Three types of clinically identifiable types of survivor-children are described. Families that emphasize silence and focus on guilt, families in which the child becomes incomparably precious, and families in which substitution and replacement provide the major theme lead respectively to the ‘haunted,”bound,’ and ‘resurrected’ child. These children share many features, as do their families, but there appears to be a connection between the family defensive maneuver and the specific consequences for a child of the bereaved family.

Taylor, William R. (1979): Using Systems Theory to Organize Confusion. In: Family Process, 18 (4), S. 479–488. 

Abstract: This paper represents an initial step in applying to complex clinical situations the symbolic logic developed by G. Spencer Brown and elaborated by Francisco Varela. This way of modeling turns out to yield an interesting mixture of rigidity, ambiguity, and paradox, perhaps inevitable at our present level of understanding of systems containing feedback. Applying the Brown-Varela concepts seems a useful transitional step toward the future use of more sophisticated quantitative models such as those of Powers and Forrester.

Constantine, Larry L. (1979): Review – James Grier Miller (1978): Living Systems. New York (McGraw-Hill). In: Family Process, 18 (4), S. 489–491. 

Abstract: Of cells, mice, schoolgirls, families, and nation-states, James Grier Miller claims that “as the information input to a single channel or a living system … increases, the information output increases almost identically at first but gradually falls behind as it approaches a certain output rate, the channel capacity. … The output then levels off … and finally, as the information input rate continues to go up, the output decreases gradually toward zero as breakdown or the confusional state occurs under overload” (p. 103). To the extensive research confirming this (and related hypotheses 5.1-2, 5.1-3, 5.1-4, and 5.1-25) for levels of living systems from cells to organizations, I add my personal testimony, thereby defending not only the untimeliness of this review, but also its content. For, as my input channels succumbed under the onslaught of Miller’s output, even my futile “adjustment processes” were predictable under his comprehensive theory. Omissiona failure to transmit portions of the input, error, queuing or delayed output, filtering out of certain classes of input, abstracting to less than complete detail: to all these things I confess, even (dare I say?) to attempted adjustment by escape.

Yet, in an age numbed by superlatives and habituated to information overload, Miller’s Living Systems demands our superlatives and our attention. In an awesome, imposing, and expensive volume of over a thousand double-columned pages, Miller builds and then documents with encyclopedic examples an integrated theory of all living systems. Even with all the omission, filtering, abstracting, and chunking at my disposal, I cannot manage a short review. And merely to entice and “leave it to the reader”would be irresponsible. I cannot expect others to read it; even I had to resort to skimming some parts. (An unpardonable sin for a reviewer, mitigated, I would hope, by this contrite public confession.) As no review can do justice to a work of this magnitude, all I can do is to say something of what it is about and to suggest how it can be approached with profit by the family therapist or family theorist. At its heart, Miller’s General Living System Theory (GLST) is relatively simple but capable of elaboration in incredible detail. Both its simplicity and its detail will be resisted, and often one feels that much of the book exists to overcometo bludgeon into numbed submissionthese twin resistances.

LaPerriere, Kitty (1979): Review – Leslie Cameron-Bandler (1979): They Lived Happily Ever After. A Book About Achieving Happy Endings in Coupling. Cupertino, CA (Meta Publications). In: Family Process, 18 (4), S. 491–492. 

Guerney, Bernard G. (1979): Review – Luciano L’Abate (1977): Enrichment: Structured Interventions With Couples, Families, and Groups. Washington, D.C. (University Press of America). In: Family Process, 18 (4), S. 492–493. 

Sherman, Sanford N. (1979): Review – Emily B. & John (1979): Stepfamilies: A Guide to Working with Stepparents and Stepchildren. New York (Brunner/Mazel). In: Family Process, 18 (4), S. 493–494. 

Coyne, James C. (1979): Review -Mary K. Hinchliffe, Douglas Hooper & F. John Roberts (1978): The Melancholy Marriage. New Jersey (John Wiley). In: Family Process, 18 (4), S. 494–495. 

Jessen, Rose Galante (1979): Review – Hanna Yaxa Kwiatkowska, & A.T. R. Springfield III. (1978): Family Therapy and Evaluation Through Art (Charles C Thomas). In: Family Process, 18 (4), S. 495–496. 

Mccorkle, Marguerite E. (1979): Review – Jerry M. Lewis (1979): How’s Your Family? A Guide to Identifying Your Family’s Strengths and Weaknesses. New York (Brunner/Mazel). In: Family Process, 18 (4), S. 496–496. 

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