chapter  Chapter 9
11 Pages

Therapist’s Actions

ByBill McHenry, Jim McHenry

While totally committed to helping the client develop insight into her behaviors, the therapist must still make conscious choices regarding how the individual or group process is developing. The purpose of joining family members is to couple up with the client or clients in an attempt to form a “team” to defeat the problem. In individual therapy, this is similar to developing rapport. In couples or family therapy, the therapist has the choice to join one member, several family members, or the entire system. The therapist maintains the safety of the client by diverting attention, changing the subject, refocusing the group attention, or removing the client from the hot seat. The purpose of shifting the focus during therapy is to move the topic to something that might be more productive or therapeutic for the client. It is used when the client seems to be rambling on about something or avoiding something.