Family therapy trainees are inundated with a multitude of family therapy theories. They also have difficulty shifting from an individualistic view to one of seeing interactions and systems. How do therapists hone their own methods with all of these choices? And how do they learn how to best treat families with all of the focus being taken away from their clients and redirected instead on processes? Perhaps most importantly, how can they learn through an inductive process of exploring what has occurred during the therapeutic session?
Veteran therapist and founder of Structural Family Therapy, Salvador Minuchin, goes back to basics with his two co-authors Michael D. Reiter and Charmaine Borda in The Craft of Family Therapy. In this book they teach readers basic communication and family therapy skills using some of Dr. Minuchin’s most interesting and illuminating cases. Not only do readers re-learn basic techniques, such as reframing and joining, but they are treated to an in-depth commentary on each case, with Dr. Minuchin emphasizing the techniques he uses that allow him to refocus attention from the Identified Patient to the family as a whole. The book ends with three supervision transcripts from Dr. Minuchin’s students, whose commentary illuminates the struggles, fears, and insecurities that new family therapists face and how they can overcome them. Each of these chapters ends with a consultation interview that Dr. Minuchin conducted with each supervisee’s case family.