39 Slices
Medium 9781855753655

8. Sticky situations, therapy mess: on impasse and the therapist s position

Carmel Flaskas Karnac Books ePub

Carmel Flaskas


Let me begin this discussion of impasse with two descriptions of practice already published within the family therapy literature.

Peter Rober (1999)1 writes about a first session with a family with a rebellious teenage son, a mother, and father. The mother begins to cry before she even opens her mouth, and the father is bristly and abrupt in his first interactions with the therapist. The therapist continues to try to engage the father, becoming more irritated with him as the session goes on, as the father becomes more rigid and blaming of the son, and more adversarial towars the therapist. Later, when talking with one of his colleagues, Peter explodes in an angry outburst against the father, and when he hears himself doing this, he is struck by the proportions of his rage towards the father.

I have written before about my work with a couple, whom I had already seen with their children as part of a piece of work focusing on one of the mother’s daughters (Flaskas, 2002).2 It is a blended family, and following the successful conclusion of the family therapy, we embark on couple work focusing on some of the parental differences that had been raised in the family sessions. In the privacy of the couple work, the therapeutic net widens, and the wife’s unhappiness and disappointment with her husband, and his anger about this, very quickly come to be placed on the table.

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Medium 9781855752801

6. Some reflections on process, relationship, and personal development in supervision Comments

David Campbell Karnac Books ePub

Jeff Faris

The term “supervision” is used to cover a broad range of activities, including quality assurance of practice, management of service delivery, and case supervision. The term “clinical supervision” is not that much more specific, as it may refer to case management where the supervisor has clinical responsibility. It could also refer to case consultation as part of a therapist’s ongoing professional development, or it could refer to live supervision of clinical practice as part of clinical training. These activities are not mutually exclusive, and there is a degree of overlap between them. It may be useful to distinguish between these activities, and in this chapter I refer mainly to “supervision” within the context of teaching systemic psychotherapy.

In this chapter, personal development as an aspect of supervision in a psychotherapy training context is the focus for some personal reflections. What follows includes a personal narrative or a version of my own experience of supervision. As much for the sheer narcissistic pleasure of indulging in my own reflections, I have also maintained a personal view in keeping with a typical exercise that may be required of a trainee therapist. Such an exercise would invite a trainee to recall past experience of supervision and reflect upon how this experience influences his or her current perspectives as a practitioner in supervision. If an exercise is considered useful for trainees’ experience, could not a similar exercise be of benefit to a supervisor? As I have a keen interest in getting to grips with process, which proves to be highly elusive, I thought it would be useful to write this chapter on process and supervision as a reflective narrative and find out what the experience would bring forth. I would also find out what I would be willing to record and what I would prefer to keep to myself. The relationship between the personal epistemology embodied in therapists’ practice and the discourses of espoused theory about therapy seems central to this process (Schon, 1983).

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Medium 9781855753655

9. Systems of the heart: evoking the feeling self in family therapy

Carmel Flaskas Karnac Books ePub

David Pocock

“TW “T” ear the end of the first year of a psychoanalytic individual I ^k I therapy, a male patient, ill for most of his adult life with N depression, anxiety, and bodily pains, explains that he really doesn’t mind the forthcoming holiday break. Instead, it is in his words “a perfect arrangement”, since he can spend more time with his children. A few moments later he draws his knees up to his chest to cope with intense pains in his abdomen. He feels that the most comfortable position for easing the pain would be to curl up on the couch on his left side, which would mean turning his back to me. This feels impossible to carry out since he fears I would feel so rejected that I would never forgive him and our relationship would be permanently damaged. A year later, he is still unaware of any difficult feelings when this break comes round but is less physically affected. Instead, I find myself feeling tetchy and needled. Exactly two years further on, the patient—by then mostly free for several months from physical pain—is so enraged at the prospect of me leaving him that merely the sound of my breathing triggers his intense irritation.

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Medium 9781855753655

12. Adopting a research lens in family therapy: a means to therapeutic collaboration

Carmel Flaskas Karnac Books ePub

Amaryll Perlesz and Rhonda Brown


Collaborative approaches have become widely popular, in theory and practice, within the family systemic and narrative therapies. In this paper we revisit the ideal of collaboration and explore how it fits best with different research and therapy conceptual frameworks. We propose that the participatory, cooperative research inquiry paradigm may be more synchronous with the idea of collaboration than other frameworks, such as the social constructionist therapies that are founded on a basic assumption that the co-creation of meanings in therapy is an automatically collaborative process. We explore the process of collaboration, or lack thereof, in different knowledge generation and therapeutic interview contexts: a grounded theory, research family interview; an anthropological, ethnographic research project; and a family therapy interview.

In examining the implications of adopting a “cooperative/ participatory researcher lens” in family therapy, we discuss the concept of “co-research” created by David Epston and explore the relationship of “co-research” to the collaborative, participatory paradigm. Knowledge generation is examined at the different levels of local and archival knowledge and experience, with implications for the therapeutic/research relationship.

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Medium 9781855752900

1: “Race “, ethnicity, and child welfare

Barry Mason Karnac Books ePub

Ravinder Barn

Tlhe racial and cultural heterogeneity of Britain remains the subject of much debate and discussion. Terms such as multiracial and multicultural are employed without any consensual framework about the ways in which diversity could or should be sustained and developed. Moreover, the contested nature of concepts such as multiculturalism and ethnicity ensures fragmented thinking. The corollary of this is that within public and social policy, such fragmentation leads to disparate, often weak, strategies and approaches in meeting the needs of minority ethnic groups.

Minority ethnic groups, according to the last census in 1991, constituted 5.5% of the total population in Britain. Minority ethnic children constituted about 9% of the total child population. Overall, there are about a million children from a minority ethnic background in Britain. While many of the minority ethnic children will grow up to lead emotionally secure and healthy lives, a certain proportion will come to the attention of health and social services as a result of ill-health, poverty, poor housing/homelessness, racial discrimination and disadvantage, and family dysfunction-ality. This chapter focuses on the disadvantaged and vulnerable children who come to the attention of social and mental health services.

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