Friday, December 5, 2008

Metaframeworks and Family Therapy

I'm almost positive that nothing this complicated could possibly be on the test, but I wanted to make a note for anyone interested in family social work that there is a book I have used that will BLOW YOUR MIND. Seriously. I had an entire class on this book and I still can't get my head around it completely. It's called "Metaframeworks: Transcending the Models of Family Therapy" by Breulin, Schawartz, and Kune-Karrer. The book opens with a chapter on reality. Is there an unquestionable reality? Is reality subjective? Is reality something that doesn't exist at all? And if any of these are true, what does it mean for therapy?

It then progresses to break family dynamics and behavior down into hard science. Charts, graphs, sequences... it's like reading a biology book. They make arguments that there are four overarching patterns in our lives that all occur at different times and last different lengths of time. They range from face to face short occurrences (Class 1) to intergenerational patterns that transcend decades (class 4). All four patterns are related.

My favorite chapter is on gender. The authors point out five "gender evolution positions". In the first, traditional, "women may experience some oppressed and angry parts." (p. 250). (I should mention here that 'parts' of people are HUGE in this book. Angry parts, sad parts, abandoned parts, child parts... it's awesome.) The polarized part of the evolution has very angry women parts and very defensive and guilty man parts. The gender evolution isn't what is so awesome about this chapter. The awesome part is the discussion on how gender affects therapy. If the stage of gender evolution is seemingly causing problems, or if gender is part of a maladaptive sequence (pattern), how does a therapist begin to challenge the way gender is expressed in a family? How does culture affect gender patterns, and should culture be challenged if it is part of a distressful pattern? Strategies to move families through the next stage of the evolution are included.

Now, this short blurb is not displaying the true awesomeness that it is. I can't describe it well because I have a hard time understanding it myself. But you you're into family therapy and really stretching your brain, seriously, get this book. It's not an expensive textbook. I think I bought it for $12.

3 comments:

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My parents were attending a family therapy and it was very useful to them because I see and feel the difference at home!

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Well i guess that for some families this is very important and other ones that just don't need it, I just said that if a family doesn't have communication,it's going down.

Layne Adams said...

Great post! Most people think of therapy as involving a one-to-one relationship with a therapist. However, there are times when it is more appropriate for family therapy and marital counseling either instead of or in addition to individual therapy.
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