A user-friendly family therapist who is planning to start work with a new family needs to face these delicate issues early on if she is to be able to form a sensitive therapeutic alliance with the family. There is also, of course, a question of anti-discriminatory practice. If a therapist’s assumptions about the ‘family’ are too limited (perhaps by being determined by a professional middle-class point of view), she may impose a practice which undermines the confidence of already vulnerable people, and which may be insensitive to the values of the family’s wider community.