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Family Process
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Family Process Heft 3/2010
1/2010 - 2/2010 - 3/2010 - 4/2010 - Überblick

Imber-Black, Evan (2010): Couple and Family Therapy Theory and Practice: Innovations in 2010. In: Family Process 49 (3): S. 265-267

Lev, Arlene Istar (2010): How Queer!-The Development of Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation in LGBTQ-Headed Families. In: Family Process 49 (3): S. 268-290.

abstract: This paper focuses on the impact of heteronormativity on research and clinical theory, utilizing the case of a lesbian couple with a young gender dysphoric child as a backdrop to discuss the contextual unfolding of gender development within a lesbian parented family. The extant research on LGBTQ-headed families has minimized the complexity of children‘s developing gender identity and sexual orientation living in queer families, and has been guided by heteronormative assumptions that presume a less optimal outcome if the children of LGBTQ parents are gay or transgender themselves. This article challenges family therapists to recognize the enormous societal pressure on LGBTQ parents to produce heterosexual, gender-normative children, and the expectations on their children, especially those questioning their own sex or gender identities.

Iasenza, Suzanne (2010): What is Queer About Sex?: Expanding Sexual Frames in Theory and Practice. In: Family Process 49 (3): S. 291-308.

abstract: Psychotherapists often believe if couples improve their communication and emotional dynamics, good sex follows. In practice we often find otherwise and have many questions about how to proceed to work with sexuality issues more directly. This paper presents the many challenges working with sex including the following: the fluidity and multidimensionality of sex and gender, the incongruities and paradoxes in sexual behavior, thoughts, attractions, feelings, and sensations, and the powerful feelings, impasses, surprises, and confusion therapists often experience doing the work. In essence, what is queer about sex? Using the couple as client, expansive ways of thinking and working with sexuality are presented including the development of inclusive models of sex, gender, and sexual response, as well as new approaches to standard sex therapy techniques such as sexual history-taking, redefining sex, and sensate focus. Techniques are presented with an emphasis on the therapist‘s use of self as sexual change agent including integrating multiple theoretical perspectives (psychodynamic, systemic, and cognitive-behavioral), co-creating a safe treatment frame, and how to intervene within the cognitive, affective, behavioral, somatic, and discursive realms.

Falicov, Celia Jaes (2010): Changing Constructions of Machismo for Latino Men in Therapy: ‚The Devil Never Sleeps‘. In: Family Process 49 (3): S. 309-329.

abstract: This paper presents current narratives about masculinity that question simplistic negative stereotypes of machismo for Latino heterosexual men. Various models of masculinity within Latino cultures are described using evidence from ethnographic studies, research data, and clinical observation. Therapeutic advantages of including positive cultural masculine traits such as respect and dignity are illustrated with an extensive case study. The case highlights contradictions in the coexistence of constructions of masculinity and traces progressive stages for transforming these constructions. In this strength-based approach, attention is directed to elements of cultural memory that reclaim a strong relational ethic present in the indigenous cultures. ‚Within the culture‘ definitions of masculinity contribute alternative constructions toward a more empowering cultural narrative for Latino men than the usual negative stereotypes.

Walsh, Froma (2010): Spiritual Diversity: Multifaith Perspectives in Family Therapy. In: Family Process 49 (3): S. 330-348.

abstract: This paper addresses the growing diversity and complexity of spirituality in society and within families. This requires a broadly inclusive, multifaith approach in clinical training and practice. Increasingly, individuals, couples, and families seek, combine, and reshape spiritual beliefs and practices-within and among faiths and outside organized religion-to fit their lives and relationships. With rising faith conversion and interfaith marriages, the paper examines challenges in multifaith families, particularly with marriage, childrearing, and the death of a loved one. Clinical guidelines, cautions, and case examples are offered to explore the role and significance of spiritual beliefs and practices in couple and family relationships; to identify spiritual sources of distress and relational conflict; and to draw potential spiritual resources for healing, well-being, and resilience, fitting client values and preferences.

Dickerson, Victoria C. (2010): Positioning Oneself Within an Epistemology: Refining Our Thinking About Integrative Approaches. In: Family Process 49 (3): S. 349-368.

abstract: Integrative approaches seem to be paramount in the current climate of family therapy and other psychotherapies. However, integration between and among theories and practices can only occur within a specific epistemology. This article makes a distinction between three different epistemologies: individualizing, systems, and poststructural. It then makes the argument that one can integrate theories within epistemologies and one can adopt practices and some theoretical concepts across theories and across epistemologies, but that it is impossible to integrate theories across epistemologies. It further states that although social constructionism has influenced much of contemporary psychological thinking, because of the divergence between a structural and a poststructural approach, constructionism looks different depending upon one‘s epistemological stance. Examples of integration within epistemologies and of what looks like integration across epistemologies (but is not) further illustrate these important distinctions. The conclusions reached here are crucial to our philosophical considerations, our pedagogical assumptions, and implications for both research and a reflexive clinical practice.

Knudson-Martin, Carmen & Douglas Huenergardt (2010): A Socio-Emotional Approach to Couple Therapy: Linking Social Context and Couple Interaction. In: Family Process 49 (3): S. 369-384.

abstract: This paper introduces Socio-Emotional Relationship Therapy (SERT), an approach designed to intervene in socio-cultural processes that limit couples‘ ability to develop mutually supportive relationships, especially within heterosexual relationships. SERT integrates recent advances in neurobiology and the social context of emotion with social constructionist assumptions regarding the fluid and contextual nature of gender, culture, personal identities, and relationship patterns. It advances social constructionist practice through in-session experiential work focused on 4 conditions foundational to mutual support-mutual influence, shared vulnerability, shared relationship responsibility, and mutual attunement. In contrast to couple therapy models that mask power issues, therapist neutrality is not considered possible or desirable. Instead, therapists position themselves to counteract social inequalities. The paper illustrates how empathic engagement of a socio-culturally attuned therapist sets the stage for new socio-cultural experience as it is embodied neurologically and physically in the relationship and discusses therapy as societal intervention.

Roberts, Janine (2010): Teaching and Learning with Therapists Who Work with Street Children and Their Families. In: Family Process 49 (3): S. 385-404.

abstract: Providing training for people working with some of the most marginalized families in Guatemala and Peru meant establishing credibility as a facilitator; entering organizations as a learner; cocreating training agendas; and working in a format that paralleled a strength-based, resilience focus in therapy. Strategies used for different phases of the work are detailed: multiple ways to gather information, shadowing staff, delivering topics on demand, and creating learning environments with a focus on families as teachers. Key processes included moving in and out of the role of facilitator and participant, entering into the trainings from different vantage points within the organizations, and designing activities with an eye to how they would impact work relationships of staff and clients.

Watts-Jones, Thandiwe Dee (2010): Location of Self: Opening the Door to Dialogue on Intersectionality in the Therapy Process. In: Family Process 49 (3): S. 405-420.

abstract: All abstracts are available in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese on Wiley Online Library ( Please pass this information on to your international colleagues and students. This article describes the evolution and current practice of a model of location of self, a process in which the therapist self-discloses her or his social locations and invites a conversation about how the intersection of the identities held by the therapist and family may be beneficial and/or limiting. It invites thoughtfulness and dialogue in recognizing and addressing explicit and implicit ways that experience, with its associated privilege or subjugation in the world, can operate in the therapy room. It signifies that the therapist is open to exploring how these issues influence clients‘ lives outside of therapy as well. The conceptual foundations for location of self, along with its clinical development, are discussed, including the social justice perspective in which it is firmly embedded. Clinical benefits and challenges in its use are also noted.

Ungar, Michael (2010): Families as Navigators and Negotiators: Facilitating Culturally and Contextually Specific Expressions of Resilience. In: Family Process 49 (3): S. 421-435.

abstract: A social ecological model of resilience is used to show that resilience is dependent on a family‘s ability to both access available resources that sustain individual and collective well-being, as well as participate effectively in the social discourse that defines which resources are culturally and contextually meaningful. In this paper both clinical evidence and a review of the research inform an integrated social ecological model of practice that is focused on advocating for the mental health resources necessary to nurture resilience, including the individual and family processes of coconstruction of meaning. Family therapists can help marginalized families living in challenging contexts develop skills as both navigators who access resources, as well as negotiators who are able to convince therapists and other service providers of what are culturally and contextually meaningful sources of support. A case study of an African-Canadian youth and his family will be presented. The implications of this approach to assessing therapeutic outcomes will also be discussed.

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