The family therapy movement had from its earliest days been marked by a surge of creativity and by the energy of the new ideas it generated. Originally published in 1979, the authors of the original essays collected together in this book felt that the time had come to take stock and to scrutinise more carefully the meaning and effectiveness of this new psychotherapeutic method within the particular conditions prevailing Britain at the time.
The book focuses on issues relating to theory, research and practice and, while concentrating on three sub-specialities of family therapy – family group therapy, marital therapy and network therapy – the papers cover a wide variety of topics. In addition to papers by practitioners and teachers of family therapy, two contributions are included from the field of academic psychology.
Before this, much of the family therapy literature had been presented in the form of an uncritical eulogy of the method. The special interest of this book lies in its attempt to bring a critical perspective to bear upon family therapy and its application. Moreover, in contrast with much that had been previously written, the authors sought to make a distinctive contribution to the development of family therapy through their effort to integrate, rather than to polarise, what is valuable within a variety of different theoretical and empirical approaches.