Summary: My Preferred Therapeutic Goals

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My Preferred Therapeutic Goals
Most family therapy approaches that I’ve studied agree that the major goals of therapy are anxiety relief and change; however, theories differ on how to achieve these goals; for example, Bowen’s transgenerational model emphasizes insight into family patterns transmitted across generations (G&G, 2013, p. 208), whereas strategic therapy (p. 303) and brief solution-focused therapy (p. 376), though very different in origin, emphasize action and change over understanding and insight. To further illustrate, post-modern solution-focused therapy privileges “solution talk” over exploration of the problem (p. 376), and in its rush to achieve change, does not seem to honor clients’ struggles. Strategic family therapy seems
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For example, the primary goal of structural therapy is the wholeness of the family (Reed, 2015, personal communication), and to this end explores boundaries within and between family subsystems, reframing and restructuring transactional patterns (G&G, 2013, p. 285, 294). This holistic, albeit modern theory, provides a laudable therapy goal that I can embrace in my integrated approach. In light of my postmodern narrative preference, my emphasis depends on what is primarily distressing the client. For example, a client with dysphoria about gender identity might benefit from exploring his or her gender identity narrative and gain insights examining oppressive dominant gender norms and narratives. On the other hand, if overeating is the problem story on which the client wishes to focus, than together we might address the behavior by finding unique outcomes, thickening the alternative narrative, and enabling the client to thicken the hidden story of balanced eating, making it more salient and …show more content…
The videos shown in our first class compared solution focused therapy and person-centered therapy and showed the benefits of each approach. In the solution-focused therapy session, the therapist met with a couple whose interaction was volatile and so the therapist needed to be directive in order to move the couple toward solution thinking. The video featuring a person-centered therapist, showed how easily the therapeutic relationship could be established one on one using this therapeutic stance. The genuineness of the therapist, her empathy, and unconditional regard for the client allowed him to open up and explore his thoughts openly, discovering desires he had not acknowledged out loud before. The couple in the solution-focused video obviously made progress toward a goal with the help of the therapist; however, I felt the person-centered therapist came closer to the stance I wish to assume, privileging clients’ stories without inserting my own agenda. Narrative therapy allows me the opportunity to get to know clients, privilege their stories, while at the same time gently moving them to change. The challenge is to ask probing questions to find unique outcomes while at the same time maintaining the three-pronged person-centered

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