33 Chapters
Medium 9781855752900

10: Risky business: the rewards and demands of cross-cultural working with colleagues

Karnac Books ePub

Liz Burns & Charmaine Kemps

This chapter is born out of our experience as colleagues attempting to work together across cultures on the subject of culture and ethnicity. We hope that our experience informs the working relationship between professionals and clients, but our main intention in this chapter is to address issues raised in peer-professional working partnerships. We have chosen to speak with our personal voices, sometimes separately and sometimes together, in the hope that this will convey what we think is the value of our experience. The liberty has also been taken of addressing the reader directly from time to time. It is our belief that directness is often an important part of crossing the barriers in transcultural working. Our hindsight learning is boxed up here in the form of recommendations for practice.

In the autumn of 1999 we heard of the conference “Exploring the Unsaid” and decided to present a workshop, expecting it to be along the lines of an intellectual and professional debate on “An invitation to explore institutionalized categories of ethnic and cultural identity with a view to releasing more creative and respectful possibilities”. We wanted to offer something on the cutting edge of practice but found ourselves instead on the dangerously sharp knife-edge of cross-cultural living. Our expectation was that we would have something interesting to say because we were taking a critical look at descriptive categories from two systemically informed, but ethnically distinct, viewpoints. We now think that the journey we undertook in our quest to be true to ourselves while planning the workshop reflects the title of the conference vividly enough to form the main focus of this chapter.

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Medium 9781855752801

7. Family therapy supervision in the context of an inpatient child and adolescent eating-disorders unit

Campbell, David; Mason, Barry Karnac Books ePub

Vivienne Gross

A systemic approach to supervision in the context of an inpatient treatment service for children and young people with serious eating disorders poses special and specific challenges.

This chapter describes one evolving example of trying to integrate the best of family therapy methods, supervisory systems, teamwork techniques, and psychological-medicine knowledge in addressing the complex difficulties that this client group and their families face.

Clinical vignettes are used to illustrate the ways in which the ideas are put into practice.

The author’s approach to systemic supervision

The author-supervisor has extensive experience of supervisory work both within multidisciplinary health and social services settings (mostly child guidance/child and family consultation service settings) and within family therapy training institutions. These experiences include using a variety of supervisory methods, from reported discussion of families to live supervision and videotaped retrospective supervision.

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Medium 9781855752801

5. The interlocking of therapy and supervision: the Athenian experience from the viewpoint of supervisors and supervisees

Campbell, David; Mason, Barry Karnac Books ePub

Vlassis Tomaras & Valeria Pomini

In their definition of supervision, all systemic therapists would include its interactional aspect. The development of supervision and/or training presupposes the creation of a co-evolving system between supervisors/trainers and supervisees/trainees (Campbell, Draper, & Huffington, 1988). Since the theoretical underpinning of family therapy supervision has been criticized as inadequate (Everett & Koerpel, 1986), some classificatory remarks on the supervision process, in general, could be adopted. Hawkins and Shohet (1989), for instance, have divided all supervisory activities into the therapy system (content, strategies, and therapeutic relationship) and the supervisory system (the therapist’s “transference”, the supervisor’s “countertransference”, and the here-and-now issues between them). It is stressed that patterns pertaining to these two systems are isomorphic (Haley, 1976; Liddle & Schwartz, 1983).

Apart from the conceptual framework of systemic supervision, its implementation embraces various methods and techniques that, to a great extent, depend on: (1) the theoretical orientation of the supervisors and (2) the context in which supervision is delivered. The term “supervision” is often used with different meanings, and for describing different activities in the systemic field. Supervision may denote, for instance, an external consultation to a depleted therapist (White, 1997), where the therapist uses the outsider to externalize his or her inner process (Rober, 1999); or, it may be addressed to a team of professionals/therapists who find themselves in uncertainty or in stressful situations (Shamai, 1998). In addition, supervision can be perceived as embedded in the framework of training (Boscolo, Cecchin, Hoffman, & Perm, 1987; De Bernart & Dobrowolski, 1996).

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Medium 9781855753655

13. Research on the therapeutic alliance in family therapy

Karnac Books ePub

Alan Carr

Introduction

The chapter opens with a brief description of therapeutic alliance assessment scales that may routinely be used in clinical practice and then discusses research that highlights the strong relationship between the therapeutic alliance and outcome in marital and family therapy. The remainder of the chapter is a selective review of process research which points to specific practices that therapists may incorporate into their own styles to improve the quality of therapeutic relationships.

In the integrative approach to practice that informs my clinical work (Carr, 2000) I assume that the formulations which emerge from talking with families about their problems and exceptions to these are social constructions. The primary frame of reference for this aspect of the work is observing systems. Since it is possible to co-construct multiple formulations to explain any problem or exception to it, it is important to have a criterion by which to judge the merit of any particular one. In my approach it is the usefulness of formulations in suggesting a variety of feasible solutions that are acceptable to families which is the sole criterion for judging the merit of one formulation over another. In deciding about the usefulness of formulations and interventions, I take account of the results of empirical research, such as those reviewed in this chapter, on the process and outcome of couples and family therapy. The primary frame of reference for such research is observed systems. Thus, the integrative approach I have developed attempts to bridge the frames of reference, often referred to within the field of family therapy, as observed and observing systems. A fine harvest may be reaped from both of these fields. This chapter is largely concerned with fruits from the field of observed systems. I have tried within the space constraints of the chapter to draw together empirical findings that may be useful to practitioners and which may have important implications for practice.

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Medium 9781855753655

11. Relational risk-taking and the therapeutic relationship

Karnac Books ePub

Barry Mason

Introduction

This chapter comprises three interlinked, mutually influencing elements.

1. I am writing from a view that there are problems in the field about risk-taking and the therapeutic relationship that come out of some of the more recent developments around the construction of collaborative practices. In particular, I wish to raise some of the associated issues related to the systemic therapist’s ownership of expertise and some of the disingenuous-ness that I think is still around in relation to this matter.

2. In particular, I wish to explore some of the thinking around the not-knowing position (Anderson & Goolishian, 1992b) and the preferred meanings that have been attached to this concept. While there has been an encouraging trend more recently (Anderson, 1997) to clarify the original thinking around the not-knowing position, I still believe that the concept can be misunderstood, not least in the very nature of the terminology itself. In this respect I suggest in this chapter another, additional way of looking at the nature of the therapeutic relationship (and this complements the work of Silver, 1991; Larner, 2000, and Flaskas, 2002). The not-knowing position will remain with us and I am not seeking here to expunge it from the literature. I wish to offer an alternative way of looking at how the therapist owns their own position and how this influences the nature of the therapeutic relationship. For some people this may not seem a risk at all, but for many I do think it involves the risk of thinking and practising in some different ways.

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