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The Origins of Family Psychotherapy: The NIMH Family Study Project (Hardback)
  • The Origins of Family Psychotherapy: The NIMH Family Study Project (Hardback)
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The Origins of Family Psychotherapy: The NIMH Family Study Project (Hardback)

(author), (editor)
£49.95
Hardback 186 Pages / Published: 28/03/2013
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Family therapy has become a well-established treatment modality across many mental health disciplines including clinical social work, psychology, psychiatry, nursing, and counseling. This book tells the story of how family therapy began based on the work of one of the pioneers of family theory and therapy, Murray Bowen, M.D. Bowen's psychiatric training began at the Menninger Foundation in 1946. It was during the later part of his eight years at Menninger's that he began his transition away from conventional psychoanalytic theory and practice. Bowen left Menninger's in 1954 and began a historic family research program at the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Maryland. This program, called the Family Study Program, involved hospitalizing entire families on a specialized research ward. He was interested in families with a child diagnosed with schizophrenia. There were two central findings of Bowen's four year project. The first was the concept that the family could be conceptualized and treated as an emotional unit. The second, was family psychotherapy, which began as staff-family daily meetings on the inpatient unit. The findings of Bowen's project remain part of mainstream mental health practice today. From that project, Bowen went on to develop his well known eight interlocking theoretical concepts that continue to be highly influential both in mental health and business. Bowen's project also significantly transformed the therapeutic relationship. The psychotherapist tried to achieve a balance when working with the families by making emotional connections while staying out of intense emotional reactions. They also worked diligently to avoid psychologically replacing parents. This book details the story of how these transformative changes came about by highlighting the original papers of the project.

Publisher: Jason Aronson Inc. Publishers
ISBN: 9780765709745
Number of pages: 186
Weight: 399 g
Dimensions: 236 x 158 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
The Origins of Family Psychotherapy: The NIMH Family Study Project by Murray Bowen provides an intimate and detailed picture of Bowen's early thoughts on systems theory. . .Bowen's original works provide an interesting and informative read. * PsycCRITIQUES *
"Dr. John Butler's commentary on original papers takes the reader on to the research ward of Bowen's NIMH project and into the staff discussions and observations. How the research operated, difficulties encountered, and how the ideas were presented within NIMH and within the field of psychiatry can be found in these papers. Discovery awaits the reader in matching the observations and understandings with the first seven concepts of Bowen's theory. Using Dr. Bowen's own words, this book fills the knowledge gap that prompts the question `Where is the research?' It is here thanks to Dr. Butler's quest." -- Catherine Rakow, MSW, Western Pennsylvania Family Center
"Dr. Jack Butler's collection of original writings of Dr. Murray Bowen from 1954 to 1959 is a goldmine for undergraduate and graduate students, clinicians, researchers, and serious students of Bowen family systems theory. Through compiling Dr. Bowen's papers, Dr. Butler illustrates how the development of family systems theory was influenced through research in hospitalizing families of schizophrenics in The Family Study Project at NIMH. Particularly significant from this period is the groundbreaking idea of the family as an emotional unit, the development of family psychotherapy, and the emergence of a new role for the therapist. These writings provide a fascinating look at a new paradigm about human functioning which was divergent from traditional psychoanalytic ideas. This book is well worth the read to track a period of immense creativity in family theory, to observe how new ideas develop, and to learn more about the foundations of Bowen family systems theory." -- Anne McKnight
"Dr. Butler's compilation of seminal papers from Dr. Bowen's family study project at the NIMH represents a major contribution to the literature available on the origins of family psychotherapy, and specifically on the origins of the Bowen theory. The clinician may find the theoretical explanations of the family as a unit or single organism linked to specific descriptions of the goals and behavior of the clinician helpful. The description of functional helplessness and the shifting patterns of strength and weakness in family relationships conveys familial struggles far more accurately and efficiently than the more conventional diagnostic schema still currently employed. This volume conveys to the contemporary the excitement of discovery and of new approaches that energized Bowen's research effort, highlights the value of observational research for the clinician, and provides theoretical challenges to the modern clinician to expand thinking and to consider the family as the unit of treatment." -- Dan Papero, PhD, the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family

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