Family Therapy Essay

2378 Words10 Pages
The evolution of family therapy originated around the 1940’s and the early 1950’s with the founding in1942 of the American Association of Marriage Counselors, and through the work of various independent clinicians and groups; John Bowlby at the Tavistock Clinic in England , John Bell, Nathan Ackerman, Christian Midelfort, Theodore Lidz, Lyman Wynne, Murray Bowen, Carl Whitaker, Virginia Satir in the United States, D.L.P. Liebermann in Hungary. These clinicians began seeing family members together for observation or therapy sessions. Initially, there was a strong influence from psychoanalysis and social psychiatry, and later from learning theory and behavior therapy. These clinicians began to develop a variety of theories about the nature and functioning of a family. Family therapy began with the concept of treating the entire family unit for psychological problems instead of just the individual. The earliest attempts at modifying basic practices begin with the idea that the best way to treat an individual was through the success of the patient-therapist relationship. Early therapists such as Sigmund Freud and Carl Rogers believed that client’s family life does influence the client’s personality and therefore remains an integral part of the therapeutic process. The beliefs taught within this family unit remain one of the most influential forces that shape and control human behavior. The importance of the family role is a familiar concept that was introduced by the mother of family therapy, Virginia Satir. This concept of the family role detailed the importance of communication and interaction within the family unit. This positive interaction was the key to the success or failure of the family relationship and the road to the client’s healing process. Within the family roles concept, certain roles are created that can negatively affect the family
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