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Family Therapy

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By twhaley
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Family therapy is a type of psychological counseling that helps family members improve communication and resolve conflicts. Family therapy is usually provided by a psychologist, clinical social worker or licensed therapist. With family therapy it may include all of the family members and anyone that is willing to participate. It caters to your specific therapy plan and often short term. Family therapy sessions will deepen the family connections by teaching all the family members skills to get through the stressful times, even after completing therapy. In this research paper this articles presents and illustrates historical underpinnings, key concepts therapeutic process of treatment, multicultural perspective and criticisms of evidence based treatment of family therapy.
Family therapy was formed in the 1950’s due the clinicians and Theoretician who were in the lead of those experimenting with the treating family members conjointly were motivated by several factors according to Florence w. Kaslow. PhD is in Inependent Practice as a Life & Executive coach. Kaslow states that the first factor was because the leaders of experiment were disconnected by the slow progress made when doing individual psychoanalysis or psychotherapy. She states the second factor is that they recognized that the changes in the patient and his/her attitudes and behaviors could have a strong impact on other family members, and that if significant others had no one with whom to explore what was transpiring and their reactions, they might sabotage treatment secretly. However, they thought it would be better if these important others were also involved in the process.
Thirdly, Kaslow states that there were huge waiting lists at agencies post World war 11, so seeing couples or families together seemed a viable way to decrease the patent backlog and the waiting time for therapy. (Kaslow, 1982)

Family therapy is not perceived widely as a major treatment of choice, and is at risk of being supplanted by other evidence-based protocols and techniques (Larner, 2003) While there is a wealth of outcome research showing that family therapy works, it remains on the margin of mainstream therapy and mental health practice. Larner states the politics here concerns what is ‘evidence’, who defines it and the limitations of a scientist-practitioner model. Family therapists today are under increasing challenge from public and private mental health funding bodies to demonstrate an evidence base. According to Larner, in scientific terms, family therapy so far lacks the experimental accuracy required of an evidence-based treatment, which has to satisfy three criteria: (1) The approach has been shown to work using double-blind treatment and control groups with replication by at least two independent studies. (2) It has been translated into a treatment manual. (3) The treatment has been applied with specific client populations and problems, for example, depressed adolescents (Larner, 2003).
According to criterion 1 there is partial compliance with a substantial body of empirical evidence demonstrating that family therapy works. (Larner 2003). According to Shadish et al.’s (1993, 1995) meta-analysis of 163 randomized trial studies clearly shows it to be more effective than no treatment, but recently the criteria of a procedural manual for systemic family therapy (Pote et al., 2003) and replication by independent investigators, which goes together, have been more difficult to satisfy for a number of reasons.
According to Larner, a major critique by family therapists, also voiced recently within medicine, clinical psychology and psychiatry, is a lack of evidence for the scientist-practitioner model itself. As the medical bioethicist Kenneth Goodman (2003 p.3) says: ‘At its core, evidence-based practice rests on a supposition which, while probably true, itself has unclear evidentiary support’. However, a respected clinical psychology researcher Alan Kazdin (2003, p. 259) he states the extent to which findings can be applied to work in clinical settings can be challenged. The extent to which results from research extend to clinical work is very much an open question with sparse evidence on the matter and different conclusions by different reviewers.

1. Breunlin, D. C., Pinsof, W., Russell, W. P., & Lebow, J. (2011). Integrative problem‐centered metaframeworks therapy I: Core concepts and hypothesizing. Family Process, 50(3), 293-313. doi:10.1111/j.1545-5300.2011.01362.x
2. Kaslow, F. W. (1982). History of family therapy in the United States: A kaleidoscopic overview. In F. W. Kaslow (Ed.), The international book of family therapy (pp.5–40). New York: Brunner/Mazel
3. Larner G. Family therapy and the politics of evidence. Journal Of Family Therapy [serial online]. February 2004;26(1):17-39. Available from: PsycINFO, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 23, 2016.
4. Sexton, T. L., & Datchi, C. (2014). The development and evolution of family therapy research: Its impact on practice, current status, and future directions. Family Process, 53(3), 415-433. doi:10.1111/famp.12084
5. Strong, T., & Busch, R. (2013). DSM‐5 and evidence‐based family therapy?. Australian And New Zealand Journal Of Family Therapy, 34(2), 90-103. doi:10.1002/anzf.1009

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