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Family Process Heft 3/2009
1/2009 - 2/2009 - 3/2009 - 4/2009 - Überblick


Imber-Black, Evan (2009): Editorial: 'Every Rung a Generation, Every New One, Higher, Higher'. In: Family Process 48(3): S. 311-314


Dickerson, Victoria C. (2009): Introduction to the Special Section—Continuing Narrative Ideas and Practices: Drawing Inspiration from the Legacy of Michael White. In: Family Process 48(3): S. 315-318.

abstract: In late March 2008, I learned that Michael White had collapsed after a day of teaching in southern California. Shortly thereafter, I heard a colleague murmur words to the effect that Michael's passing would mark the end of narrative therapy. I was astounded. I had always believed narrative ideas were so much more than Michael, no doubt because he had said as much to me over 10 years ago. Michael continued to explore fresh metaphors to turn into understandings and practices that would enrich narrative work, moving from Bateson's (1972) restraints to Bruner's (1990) landscapes to Foucault's (1980) discourses to Vygotsky's (1986) scaffolding to Derrida's (1978) absent but implicit. He was able to enact what David Epston calls a "remarkable but gracious ease … (of moving) between the large ideas of scholarship and the intimate and particular ideas of practice" (Epston, 2008, p. 3). These developments would continue to enhance a therapist's ability to enter into the world of the client and to collaborate in ways that could allow the client to make a shift toward preferred identities.


Carey, Maggie, Sarah Walther & Shona Russel (2009): The Absent but Implicit: A Map to Support Therapeutic Enquiry. In: Family Process 48(3): S. 319-331.

abstract: This paper describes recent developments in the use of the "absent but implicit" in narrative therapy. Michael White used the term "absent but implicit" to convey the understanding that in the expression of any experience of life, there is a discernment we make between the expressed experience and other experiences that have already been given meaning and provide a contrasting backdrop, which "shapes" the expression being foregrounded. In therapeutic conversations, we can use the concept of the "absent but implicit" to enquire into the stories of self that lie beyond the problem story. We review as a foundation for appreciating this particular practice the ways in which narrative therapy supports an exploration of the accounts of life that lie "outside of" the problem story. We follow this by a more specific description of how the concept and practice of the "absent but implicit" offer further possibilities for bringing forward these often neglected territories of life. This description includes the presentation of an "absent but implicit" map of narrative practice, which reflects the authors' shared understandings of Michael White's most recent explorations and teachings.


Winslade, John (2009): Tracing Lines of Flight: Implications of the Work of Gilles Deleuze for Narrative. In: Family Process 48(3): S. 332-346.

abstract: The philosophical groundwork of Gilles Deleuze is examined for its relevance for narrative practice in therapy and conflict resolution. Deleuze builds particularly on Foucault's analytics of power as "actions upon actions" and represents power relations diagrammatically in terms of lines of power. He also conceptualizes lines of flight through which people become other. These concepts are explored in relation to a conversation with a couple about a crisis in their relationship. Tracing lines of power and lines of flight are promoted as fresh descriptions of professional practice that fit well with the goals of narrative practice.


Freedman, Jill & Gene Combs (2009): Narrative Ideas for Consulting with Communities and Organizations: Ripples from the Gatherings. In: Family Process 48(3): S. 347-362.

abstract: This paper reviews Michael White's early work with communities and extends ideas and practices from that work into the realm of consulting with organizations. We draw on Michael's writing and the records of two specific projects, as well as the recollections of team members in those projects, to describe how ideas and practices that were originally developed in working with individuals and families came to be applied in community settings. Specifically, we show how the central intention of the work is to use narrative ideas and practices in ways that allow communities to articulate, appreciate, document, utilize, and share their own knowledges of life and skills of living. We discuss the basic narrative ideas of stories, double listening, telling and retelling, making documents, and linking lives through shared purposes. For these projects, the teams developed structures that made it possible to use the basic idea with whole communities. We show how this work with communities has offered inspiration and ideas for our work in consulting to organizations. Finally, we describe and illustrate a particular way of working with organizations that carries the spirit of Michael's community work into situations requiring shorter blocks of time and more limited commitments than the original community contexts.


Beels, C. Christian (2009): Some Historical Conditions of Narrative Work. In: Family Process 48(3): S. 363-378.

abstract: Written to honor the immense contribution of Michael White as a leader in the development of narrative therapy, this historical essay contrasts the origins of psychoanalysis, family therapy and narrative therapy. Changes in the understanding of therapeutic strategies, methods of training and supervision, styles of leadership, the involvement of audiences in the therapeutic and training processes, and conceptions of the nature of the mind are described. A style of direct demonstration of methods, especially of the formulation of questions, is important in narrative work. The central master-role of the therapist in analysis and family therapy is replaced in narrative work by eliciting local knowledge, and the recruitment of audiences to the work. This is consistent with narrative therapy's "de-centered" image of the therapist.


Bulow, Shoshana (2009): Integrating Sex and Couples Therapy: A Multifaceted Case History. In: Family Process 48(3): S. 379-389.

abstract: Traditionally, sexuality has not been a focus in couples therapy training, research, or practice, although it is an important, often complex issue for many couples. This article tells the story of a couple presenting for sex therapy due to their unconsummated marriage, and is told to exemplify how sex therapy and couples therapy can be integrated in order to best meet the needs of couples. As the story unfolds, the multilayered facets of the presenting issue are revealed. The therapy incorporates and weaves together family of origin history, intrapsychic and cognitive issues, relational dynamics, patterns of interaction, and physiological/medical concerns into a postmodern couples therapy with behavioral interventions. This combined approach recognizes the value of each method on its own and their greater usefulness when blended together.


Hollander-Goldfein, Bea (2009): Facilitating Our Clients' Right to Choose: A Commentary on the Work of Shoshana Bulow. In: Family Process 48(3): S. 390-394.

abstract: It was gratifying to read of the success of the therapy discussed in Shoshana Bulow's case study. The problem seemed untreatable, and the couple's ambivalence about therapy could have led to premature termination at any point. But the therapist skillfully engaged them and they changed in ways that did not, at first, seem possible. I realize that the couple did not ride off into the sunset in a state of bliss, but they have each grown in important ways that will serve them throughout their marriage and they have grown closer to each other in ways that they had never before experienced. They were helped to bridge the divide of their silence and their private shame and were able to experience honest sharing and acceptance—a gift of immeasurable value. This might have been another short-term failed attempt at therapy in a string of failed therapies. It could have been their last attempt before resigning themselves to a fate of resentment and frustration. Instead, it was a transformative experience. The therapeutic relationship was facilitated by Bulow's ability to enter the couple's frame of reference from a position of "not knowing" and to test cautiously their tolerance for engagement. The therapist realized that it would not be therapeutic to address their sexual relationship without first facilitating communication and helping the couple experience a basic level of trust. At its core, the therapy fostered connection between two vulnerable human beings caught in a cycle of resentment, guilt, need, frustration, and shame. After helping the couple communicate about relationship issues, the therapist facilitated an emotional environment where they could risk being honest with each other about their most shameful aspects of self and they were able to experience acceptance and compassionate understanding for the first time in their lives. This created the possibility for the changes that were yet to come.


Lee, Mo Yee, Gilbert J. Greene, Kai Shyang Hsu, Andy Solovey, David Grove, Scott Fraser, Phil Washburn & Barbara Teater (2009): Utilizing Family Strengths and Resilience: Integrative Family and Systems Treatment with Children and Adolescents with Severe Emotional and Behavioral Problems. In: Family Process 48(3): S. 395-416.

abstract: Community mental health agencies are consistently challenged to provide realistic and effective home-based family-centered treatment that meets local needs and can realistically fit within available budget and resource capabilities. Integrated Family and Systems Treatment (I-FAST) is developed based on existing evidence-based approaches for working with at-risk children, adolescents, and families and a strengths perspective. I-FAST identified 3 evidence-based, core treatment components and integrated them into a coherent treatment protocol; this is done in a way that builds on and is integrated with mental health agencies' existing expertise in home-based treatment. This is an intervention development study in which we conducted an initial feasibility trial of I-FAST for treating families with children at risk of out-of-home placement. The outcomes of the study provide initial empirical evidence that supports the effectiveness of I-FAST. Findings indicate that there were significant improvements in child behavior, significant increases in parental competency, and significant increases in the level of cohesion and adaptability in these families. All observed changes were significant from pre- to posttreatment with the families able to maintain these positive changes at 6-month follow-up. A more rigorous and robust research design, however, will be needed to establish definitive evidence of the effectiveness of I-FAST.


Ozerdem, Aysegul, Meral Oguz, David J. Miklowitz & Can Cimilli (2009): Family Focused Treatment for Patients with Bipolar Disorder in Turkey: A Case Series. In: Family Process 48(3): S. 417-428.

abstract: Family-focused therapy (FFT) is a 9-month, 21-session structured psychoeducational treatment for bipolar disorder. Several US-based studies have documented its efficacy as adjunctive to medication for depression stabilization and relapse prevention. However, FFT has never been applied outside of the United States. The objective of this case series is to explore the applicability of FFT in a non-Western culture. Ten patients with bipolar disorder and their family members attended the 9-month FFT as adjunctive to pharmacotherapy in an outpatient specialty clinic in Izmir, Turkey. Patients improved in Global Assessment of Functioning Scores and Clinical Global Impression Scores from pre- to posttreatment. Case studies are given, which illustrate the differences between Western and non-Western families coping with bipolar disorder. FFT was easily applied to a Turkish sample with few changes in format or focus. Adaptations included substitution of oral for written therapeutic tasks or homework assignments. Randomized controlled trials are needed to test the clinical effectiveness of FFT and other psychosocial interventions in non-Western cultures.


Yu, Myung-Yee & Woochan Shim (2009): Couples with Schizophrenia "Becoming like Others" in South Korea: Marriage as Part of a Recovery Process. In: Family Process 48(3): S. 429-440.

abstract: Very little is known about the married life of couples with schizophrenia. In this paper, authors report perceptions and experiences of 5 married couples with schizophrenia on their strategies in forming and maintaining healthy marriage. Our data reveal that participants had realistic expectations of marriage, and recognized benefits as well as obstacles in their marriages with respect to their recovery. This paper examines the importance of extended family members, mental health professionals, and the larger society's attitudes toward marriage as a factor in the recovery process for persons with schizophrenia. The authors identify implications for mental health professionals regarding the respect of client dignity and the applicability of a strengths perspective when working with couples with schizophrenia. The authors argue that mental health professionals' decisions regarding the balance between respecting a client's self-determination and protecting a client from risks associated with cohabitation and marriage should no longer be a dilemma for those working with people with mental illness.


Navara, Geoffrey S. & Susan Lollis (2009): How Adolescent Children of African Jamaican Immigrants Living in Canada Perceive and Negotiate their Roles within a Matrifocal Family. In: Family Process 48(3): S. 441-458.

abstract: This research project examined the adolescent/young adult-parent relationships of African Jamaican immigrants currently living in Canada. Specifically, we focused on the transmission of cultural values and beliefs within these relationships and how the adolescents navigated and negotiated potential changes in these values because of their acculturative experiences. An examination of various mundane family/cultural practices provided insight into perceived transmission attempts by parents and the adolescent/young adult interpretation of these attempts. Twenty in-depth interviews were conducted with adolescent/young adult members of African Jamaican immigrant families living in Canada. Using Grounded Theory methodology (Glaser & Strauss, 1967), several themes emerged during the analysis of the interviews—the most significant being the issue of matrifocality within the African Jamaican family. Issues of respect and adolescent agency are also discussed as they related to the manner in which the adolescent/young adult attempted to negotiate various roles within the family.



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