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Another systems/psychoanalytic relatives treatment booklet.
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Extra info for Family-Of-Origin Therapy: An Intergenerational Approach
40 2 Early Stages of Family-of-Origin Therapy • relating current issues in therapy to family-of-origin issues; dealing with resistances INTRODUCING THE IDEA OF BRINGING IN FAMILY OF ORIGIN Early Resistances in Couples to Bringing in Family of Origin In the earlier years I used to tell couples during the first interview of my intention to involve family of origin in the therapy. Further experience indicates that, with some exceptions, it is advisable to wait until a relationship is established with the couple.
To be sure, a rationale exists behind the decision of individual therapists to involve themselves as little as possible with family members of clients. While to some extent this policy, which was based largely on Freud's pronouncements regarding avoidance of family, was unrealistically rigid at times, it made sense, given the 33 basic premises of individual therapy. The reasons given by psychoanalysts, for example, for keeping family out are well known: the transference field would be contaminated; the focus of interest is on the intrapsychic realities of the patient rather than the external realities of his family life.
When the client says, “My parents will never change, it wouldn't do any good,” I state something like, “Do not have this session to change your parents. You can't do that; you will be disappointed if you try. You should do this for yourself. You need to state your own perceptions and positions. You won't have to feel phoney anymore; you won't have to play the game of only telling your parents what you think they want to hear. ” I do caution, however, that parents should not be verbally assaulted or blamed, or that all truths need to be told; instead, the clients are encouraged to state their views without indictment or condemnation.