The Craft of Family Therapy
Routledge – 2014 – 234 pages
Family therapy trainees are inundated with a multitude of family therapy theories. They also have difficulty shifting from an individualistic view to one of seeing interactions and systems. How do therapists hone their own methods with all of these choices? And how do they learn how to best treat families with all of the focus being taken away from their clients and redirected instead on processes? Perhaps most importantly, how can they learn through an inductive process of exploring what has occurred during the therapeutic session?
Veteran therapist and founder of Structural Family Therapy, Salvador Minuchin, goes back to basics with his two co-authors Michael D. Reiter and Charmaine Borda in The Craft of Family Therapy. In this book they teach readers basic communication and family therapy skills using some of Dr. Minuchin’s most interesting and illuminating cases. Not only do readers re-learn basic techniques, such as reframing and joining, but they are treated to an in-depth commentary on each case, with Dr. Minuchin emphasizing the techniques he uses that allow him to refocus attention from the Identified Patient to the family as a whole. The book ends with three supervision transcripts from Dr. Minuchin’s students, whose commentary illuminates the struggles, fears, and insecurities that new family therapists face and how they can overcome them. Each of these chapters ends with a consultation interview that Dr. Minuchin conducted with each supervisee’s case family.
"This is the best book I've ever read about teaching and learning family therapy. There are other fine books that present theories and illustrate practice, but this wonderful guide is far more useful in directly addressing the process of learning the fine art of family therapy." - Michael P. Nichols, Author of Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods
“Family therapy today is most often taught deductively, with course textbooks surveying an array of practice models. In this valuable casebook, the preeminent family therapist Salvador Minuchin and his coauthors bring readers into the therapy room, demonstrating the effectiveness of the inductive learning approach at the heart of family therapy training since its beginning. Through session transcripts and commentary, they illuminate systemic patterns; show their own ways of working; and, learning from mistakes; explore the self of the therapist. Above all, they highlight ways to activate the family’s own healing potential. A masterful contribution and indispensable resource for teachers and students of family therapy!” - Froma Walsh, PhD, Co-Founder & Co-Director, Chicago Center for Family Health; Mose & Sylvia Firestone Professor Emerita, The University of Chicago
“Dr. Salvador Minuchin and his groundbreaking clinical work with families are inseparable from the creation and advancement of our field and, with the publication of The Craft of Family Therapy, his sage guidance will be felt by family therapists for generations to come. He and his team question the traditional divides between 'student' and 'teacher' and between 'client' and 'therapist' in order to help readers weave their evolving sense of self together with a developing cache of clinical skills that enact positive change. By sharing the wisdom of a lifetime, The Craft of Family Therapy is a work 50 years in the making, but well worth the wait!” - Ronald J. Chenail, PhD, Professor of Family Therapy, Nova Southeastern University, Florida
Prologue. Part 1 1. The Craft of Family Therapy 2. Symptoms: Challenge to the Concept that the Symptom is Located in One Family Member 3. Unwrapping Family Member Identities 4. Deconstructing Family Member Organization: Exploring Subsystems 5: The Therapist's Style 6. Utilizing the Family Therapist's Pouch Part 2 7. Angela and the Way to Ask Questions 8. Olivia and Becoming a Supernanny 9. Sarah Walker: Learning from My Mistakes 10. Roseann Pascale: Too Close for Comfort 11. Helen Reynolds: Six Lessons from Doctor Minuchin 12. Minuchin and the Wilsons 13. Final Thoughts
Salvador Minuchin, MD, is a family therapist, author, and teacher. He is the developer of Structural Family Therapy and is considered one of the founders of family therapy.
Michael D. Reiter, PhD, LMFT, is Professor of Family Therapy in the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Nova Southeastern University. He is the author of two previous books, Therapeutic Interviewing and Case Conceptualization in Family Therapy.
Charmaine Borda, PhD, LMFT, LMHC, is the Founder and Director of The Blue Couch, Inc., a private practice in Plantation, Florida.