|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews| Maximizing Effectiveness in Dynamic Psychotherapy Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy101 Healing Stories101 Things I Wish I'd Known When I Started Using HypnosisA Primer for Beginning PsychotherapyA Therapist's Guide to Understanding Common Medical ProblemsACT With LoveAlready FreeAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionBad TherapyBefore ForgivingBeing a Brain-Wise TherapistBiofeedback for the BrainBody PsychotherapyBody SenseBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBrain Change TherapyBreaking ApartBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheChoosing an Online TherapistClinical Handbook of Psychological DisordersClinical Intuition in PsychotherapyClinical Pearls of WisdomCo-Creating ChangeCompassion and Healing in Medicine and SocietyConfessions of a Former ChildConfidential RelationshipsConfidentiality and Mental HealthConfidingContemplative Psychotherapy EssentialsCouch FictionCounseling with Choice TheoryCritical Issues in PsychotherapyCrucial Choices, Crucial ChangesDecoding the Ethics CodeDepression 101Depression in ContextDo-It-Yourself Eye Movement Techniques for Emotional HealingDoing CBTDoing ItE-TherapyEncountering the Sacred in PsychotherapyEnergy Psychology InteractiveEssays on Philosophical CounselingEthics in Psychotherapy and CounselingEveryday Mind ReadingExpressing EmotionFacing Human SufferingFairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical SettingFamily TherapyFavorite Counseling and Therapy Homework AssignmentsFlourishingFlying ColorsGod & TherapyHandbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for TherapistsHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHealing the Heart and Mind with MindfulnessHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHeinz KohutHow People ChangeHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Go to TherapyIf Only I Had KnownIn SessionIn Therapy We TrustIn Treatment: Season 1Incorporating Spirituality in Counseling and PsychotherapyIs Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Issues in Philosophical CounselingIt’s Your HourLearning from Our MistakesLetters to a Young TherapistLogotherapy and Existential AnalysisLove's ExecutionerMan's Search for MeaningMetaphoria: Metaphor and Guided Metaphor for Psychotherapy and HealingMindfulness and AcceptanceMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for DepressionMindworks: An Introduction to NLPMockingbird YearsMomma and the Meaning of LifeMotivational Interviewing: Preparing People For ChangeMulticulturalism and the Therapeutic ProcessOf Two MindsOn the CouchOne Nation Under TherapyOur Inner WorldOvercoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and BehaviorsPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical MidwiferyPhilosophical PracticePhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPlato, Not Prozac!Psychologists Defying the CrowdPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychosis in the FamilyPsychotherapyPsychotherapyPsychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy for Personality DisordersRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRationality and the Pursuit of HappinessRecovery OptionsRent Two Films and Let's Talk in the MorningSaving the Modern SoulSecond-order Change in PsychotherapySelf MattersSelf-Compassion in PsychotherapySelf-Determination Theory in the ClinicSexual Orientation and Psychodynamic PsychotherapyStrangers to OurselvesTaking America Off DrugsTales of PsychotherapyThe Art of HypnosisThe Case Formulation Approach to Cognitive-Behavior TherapyThe Crucible of ExperienceThe Education of Mrs. BemisThe Fall Of An IconThe Gift of TherapyThe Great Psychotherapy Debate: The Evidence for What Makes Psychotherapy Work The Husbands and Wives ClubThe Love CureThe Making of a TherapistThe Mummy at the Dining Room TableThe Neuroscience of PsychotherapyThe Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Healing the Social BrainThe New PsychoanalysisThe Philosopher's Autobiography The Portable CoachThe Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Problem with Cognitive Behavioural TherapyThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Psychotherapy Documentation PrimerThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Schopenhauer CureThe Talking CureThe Therapeutic "Aha!"The Therapist's Guide to Psychopharmacology, Revised EditionThe Therapist's Ultimate Solution BookThe UnsayableThe Wing of MadnessTheory and Practice of Brief TherapyTherapyTheraScribe 4.0Thinking about ThinkingThriveToward a Psychology of AwakeningTracking Mental Health OutcomesTreating Attachment DisordersWhat the Buddha FeltWhat Works for Whom? Second EditionWhy Psychoanalysis?Yoga Therapy
by Lynn Hoffman
W.W. Norton, 2001
Review by Patricia Ferguson, Psy.D. on Sep 24th 2003
and family therapist Lynn Hoffman traces her journey as a therapist from 1963
to the present. The theme of this 294-page book is how the different
transitional persuasions have determined her view of and role as a family
therapist. As she notes, the field of family therapy closely parallels the
historical models of therapy in general. Different models developed out of the
culture or milieu in which it was being practiced.
After briefly reviewing the
historical models the therapeutic field went through, Hoffman points out one
possibility for the therapist is to "set aside the models." (In my
opinion, experienced therapists use whatever works best for any given situation
with any given client, and I believe there was a study to prove that exact
statement several years ago, although I don’t have the reference handy).
talks about her experiences over the decades with more emphasis in the second
half of the book on what she believes is helpful to families and therapists.
For instance, she describes the "reflecting team," a group who is
involved in all intakes. A certain format is followed.
uses vignettes throughout the book to help describe the models she is talking
about, moving along a rather dry subject (models of therapy can only be
interesting for so long). Essentially, this is a book of the history of family
therapy, and more specifically, a personal journey. Her use of vignettes and
personal discussions of what goes on in the treatment makes what otherwise
might be a dry subject a more interesting one. The book takes the role of
therapist from one of an "instrumental...causal" to a more
"collaborative, communal one." Historically, the therapist’s role
went from "fixing a system in trouble" and defining the problem as
"maladaptive behavior" to "a dysfunctional family
structure." The therapist also changed perspective from being considered
outside the system and aloof and distancing, to various models where the
therapist is considered to be more than outside the system. Some more radical
models place the therapist within the family.
remember when I studied family therapy we focused more on Bowenian therapy, or
at least I did. I found Bowen’s theory matched my personal beliefs of what
would work best. When it came time to write up a pass/fail test in my last
year, I used the Bowenian model for a female client who was a victim of
domestic violence. I also incorporated feminist theory, and whatever else I
found necessary or helpful. After graduating, I found Harriet Goldhor-Lerner’s
books, which didn’t even come out until I had graduated. Amazingly, she had
translated Bowenian theory into much more readable format. In private practice,
I typically use a combination of whatever applies to the family’s problems,
although some models don’t even say the family has problems, even if they are
in therapy for what they think are problems.
think anyone who is currently practicing family therapy should read this book,
if for no other reason than to learn about new models, new ways of approaching
helping families, and to make sure that the best possible ways of helping
families are being used. Teachers might want to consider this "required
reading" for their graduate students. It is beyond the level of
undergraduate studies, but certainly well worth the time to teach several
approaches in a very understandable way. It is not a textbook, but that makes
it easier reading. The combination of her personal and professional information
along with the vignettes makes this book a very good one for keeping abreast of
the field of family therapy.
© 2003 Patricia Ferguson
Ferguson, PsyD is a licensed clinical psychologist, and freelance writer and
editor. She is Editor-in-Chief of Apolloslyre.com, and has most recently been
published in Girl Wars: 12 Strategies That End Female Bullying. She
specializes in women's issues and is a book reviewer for several venues.