1950s Traditional Family

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MARRIAGE AND FAMILIES TODAY ANN HARRIS LIBERTY UNIVERSITY Abstract Just a few decades ago, the term “family” held a different meaning than today. There was a father, mother and children together in one household. Divorce and single parenthood were practically taboo. Single parents, mainly unwed mothers, were sent away and shunned from society. The changes in therapy in the 1950s and social changes in the 1960s changed the way society viewed family. The family unit began to change, and new types of family emerged over the next several generations. With these new families came a variety of challenges. New techniques to help counselors assist the changing families also came to light. Marriage and family have roots as far back as…show more content…
This idea spread into the United States and gained footing during the 1950s. The focus though was less on eugenics and more on the making of a strong family unit. Eugenics is the idea of breeding out those of lesser intelligence or class. However, after World War II, people shied away from the idea of creating a “perfect race.” But there was still a concept of creating a strong, nuclear family consisting of father, mother, and children (Jurczak, 2012, p. 3). Paul Popenoe, a eugenicist, opened the first marriage-counseling center in the United States. The American Institute of Family Relations opened in 1930. Popenoe’s ideas on eugenics were not as staunch as in previous years. He still believed in sterilization for those classified as “unfit,” mentally incapacitated, or even those living in poor conditions. But his marriage center focused on the needs of bringing together people of strong physical and mental backgrounds to help them build strong, healthy families. Popenoe had no formal training in counseling but his willingness to speak and give advice convinced people of his knowledge (Jurczak, p.…show more content…
Rogers’ “person centered therapy” became the platform for the type of therapy most counselors use today. Rogers believed “we are the best experts on ourselves” and noticed that most people tended to use the phrases “I feel” and “I don’t understand what’s happening” (McLeod, 2008, p.1). Taking a more humanistic approach allows the client more freedom to guide his or her sessions and be more open with his or her therapist. Rogers believed therapists needed a warmer approach. The therapist shows authentic expression (or congruence) to his or her client and does not maintain a “blank slate” expression. Rogers also believed in the importance of empathy toward the client and showing and having genuine concern for the client (unconditional positive regard). The therapist does not need to approve of his or her clients actions, but it was important, according to Rogers, that clients not feel judged (Rogers, p.
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