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Destructive Myths in Family Therapy: How to Overcome Barriers to Communication by Seeing and Saying -- A Humanistic Perspective

ISBN: 978-0-470-66700-2
216 pages
April 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
Destructive Myths in Family Therapy: How to Overcome Barriers to Communication by Seeing and Saying -- A Humanistic Perspective (0470667001) cover image
Exposes destructive patterns of communication within family cultures and provides strategies for promoting more open dialogue among family members. 

  • Equips family therapists to help clients see the barriers they place in the way of healthy communication, and adopt more constructive alternatives
  • Provides activities designed to spark open dialogue between therapist and clients, strengthening the therapeutic relationship and facilitating family interaction
  • Includes communication strategies for reversing disengagement, defusing power struggles, overcoming sibling rivalry, disentangling marital problems and more
  • Offers a new understanding of family dynamics, an area in which many family therapists want to improve their skills but have struggled to find a text to guide them in doing so
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Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

Part I Seeing – The Choices weMake 1

1. Blindness, orWith EyesWide Shut 5

Dangers, Taboos, and Punishments 8

Identified Patients 9

A Continuum of Blindness 10

Total blindness 11

Tunnel vision 11

Partial vision 12

Broad vistas 12

Clear vision 12

Surprise, Surprise! 13

The Irreversibility of Seeing 14

Activities 15

1 Pin the tail 15

2 Blind walk 15

3 Blind spots 16

4 Train ride 16

5 Picture gallery 17

6 To see ourselves as others see us 17

2. Distortions, or It’s All for the Best! 18

A Few Ego Defense Mechanisms 20

Family Defense Mechanisms 21

Activities 30

1 Family map 1 30

2 Family map 2 31

3 Family gossip 31

4What do the neighbors think about us? 32

5 Masquerade 32

3. Insight through Therapy, or To See or Not To See 33

The Goals of Therapy 35

Stages of Therapy 37

Stage 1: Insightful recognition of PFPs 37

Stage 2: The implementation of change 40

Stage 3: Evaluation and conclusion 47

Activities 49

1 Family pain mapping 49

2 Genogram 49

3 Roles 50

4 A sack of stones 50

5 Conflict orWhat is this quarrel about? 51

6Windows 51

4. Making TherapyWork, or PracticeWhat You Preach 52

The Therapist as Client 53

Neutrality, Empathy, Authenticity, and Creativity 54

The Therapeutic Agreement 58

Types of Clients 61

Stopping and Reflecting 62

Implementing Change 63

Individual vs. Family Therapy 64

A FewWords on Group Psychotherapy 65

About the Activities 66

Multicultural Perspective 67

Activities 70

1 Agreement 70

2 Listen! 70

3 Good cop, bad cop 71

4 The four Fs 71

5 Empathy training 71

Part II Saying – The Power ofWords 73

5. Homeostatic Messages, or Don’t Rock the Boat! 77

Let’s not talk about it 82

Everyone has problems! 85

Count your blessings 86

Better the devil you know 88

Activities 90

1 A word to the wise 90

2 Action blockers 91

3 Time travel 91

4 A note to myself 92

5 Script writing 92

6. Lack of Authenticity, or Keep a Stiff Upper Lip 94

Four Conceptions of Authenticity 95

Authenticity as a Trait 100

Pseudo Living 101

And They LivedHappily Ever After 102

C’mon, Give Daddy a Smile! 103

Play Hard to Get 105

What Will the Neighbors Say? 106

Forgive and Forget! 107

Activities 108

1 A word to the wise 108

2 Hidden Agenda 1 108

3 Hidden Agenda 2 109

4 Objects 109

5 Dinner time 110

6 Packages 110

7. Inequality, orWhat Can You Expect From a Man? 111

The Status of Children 113

Spousal Equality 115

It’s for your own good! 116

Honor your father 119

I’m glad we had this little talk 120

It’s not the same thing 121

I told you so 122

Activities 123

1 A word to the wise 123

2 Line up 123

3 A piece of cake 123

4 Favoritism 124

5 Respect me! 124

6 Same or different? 125

8. Belittling, orWho Do You Think You Are? 126

Types of Belittling 128

Targets and Consequences 129

You are too young to understand 135

You’re just like your father/mother! 136

But at least you’ve got nice eyes 137

It’s all your fault 138

You’re oversensitive 138

Activities 140

1 A word to the wise 140

2 Little people 140

3 Pick a card 140

4 Family sculpture 141

5 Ruler 141

9. Bookkeeping, or Just YouWait 142

Individualism vs. Collectivism 144

Bookkeeping in the Family 145

You owe me! 146

I’ll never forgive you 147

But you yourself have said so! 149

It serves you right! 150

This is the last time I’m taking you on an outing! 151

Activities 153

1 A word to the wise 153

2 The black book 153

3 Rooms 153

4 Family secrets 154

5 Shopping list 154

10. Family Rivalry, or Divide and Conquer 155

Sibling Rivalry 159

Parental Rivalry 159

Let him have it! 160

OK –Who started it? 161

Why can’t you be more like your sister? 162

Who loves Mommy best? 164

Activities 166

1 A word to the wise 166

2 Once upon a time 166

3 Family scripts 166

4 It figures 167

5 Family garden 167

11. In Lieu of Conclusion: Myths in the Service of Psychopathology 169

Activities 173

1 A letter to myself 173

2 Family sculpture 173

3 I andWe 173

4 Temperature taking 174

5 The road taken 174

6 Closure 175

References 177

Index 191

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Daniela Kramer-Moore is currently a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, University of Warwick. A family therapist with many years' experience of working with high risk adolescents and their families, she now heads the post-graduate Psychotherapy Centre at Oranim Academic College, Kiryat Tiv'on, Israel, where she previously led the Masters program in Educational Counselling.

 

Michael Moore is currently a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, University of Warwick. He is a social psychologist with many scholarly publications in the field, and was until recently Head of the Department of Education in Technology and Science at Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.

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"Although the title might suggest a relatively narrow target audience of family therapists, I feel certain that the fascinating ideas addressed here, coupled with the accessible style, would also speak to the experienced therapist, the trainee and the lay reader alike. By focusing on what is actually said in spousal, sibling and parental relationships, the authors invite the reader to reflect on the powerful and often destructive myths, narratives, schemas – call them what you will – that underpin family systems." (Therapy Today, 1 September 2012)

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