Traditional Family Therapy

Amazing Essays
Technique 1- Joining The first technique I enjoyed reading about in the book is the process of Joining. As the family therapist, it would be my job to take a leadership position or role in the therapy, from the very start. Once the family enters the office, they are giving permission and acknowledging that they would like help. This is a sign for the therapist to enter the family system to help change a problematic concern. These concerns may be causing pain, stress, or discomfort in the system or with members of the system. Joining is the process of connecting that occurs between the therapist and the family. This connection leads to the formation of the therapeutic system. The therapist becomes accepted as a part of the family system and …show more content…
This confusion helps family members to rethink their roles and try out new ones. It is important to join with angry and powerful family members yet, build an alliance with every family member in the system. Respecting the hierarchy also allows the therapist to understand how the family system is functioning.
Technique 2- Focus Technique two is the idea of focus. Minuchin describes focus as borrowed from the “world of photography”. In the world of family therapy, the therapist is the photographer, assessing the family session and collecting data. The therapist first pieces together the family boundaries, highlighted strengths, problems, and other functions. Then the therapist must be skilled enough to pick out the most important or salient pieces from the data and allow the family to process the information as a group to facilitate change. The therapist is always assessing for points of data to use in the session to help establish systemic change. The therapist is cautioned, however to be aware of “tunnel vision”. The therapist must be connected to her theory but also able to hear the family if they become lost in the cycle or the therapist themselves are being inducted into the family life. Focusing can be important when creating or pulling out themes from the family system’s
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Unbalancing is when the therapist joins and supports, or briefly takes sides with one individual or subsystem as opposed to another. The goal is to use the therapist’s authority to break an impasse in the family system, and change the relationships in a subsystem or between subsystems. The key to unbalancing is to interfere with the homeostasis of the family system and “shake things up”. Two problems exist with unbalancing. The first is that it is unfair. Although the therapist is interpreting behavior maintained by the family, they adopt a linear epistemology temporarily. The therapist must pay close attention to the effect the techniques have on the system’s stress, especially with the low-power members who suddenly affiliate with the therapist. If the therapist sees a problem unfolding, they can end the experiment, find the distressed member and attend to their needs next, or spread hope that new solutions can be discovered through unbalancing. The other problem is the personal demands on the therapist. The therapist must know proximity, participation, and temporary commitment to accomplish unbalancing. If the therapist’s style tends to be objective, the stress placed on the therapist may be too great. There are multiple ways to create an unbalance in the family

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