"This is tense work indeed, but it is better than having the powerful drama take place covertly."
The Family Crucible by Napier & Whitaker
"This is tense work indeed, but it is better than having the powerful drama take place covertly."
"The results of the experiment demonstrate that the mere act of writing about basic thoughts and feelings about coming to college reduces the number of health center illness visits for college freshmen over the following 4-5 months relative to students who write about superficial topics. Equally important, the lack of any meaningful wave effects indicates that whenever individuals confront their thoughts and feelings about college, positive health effects follow (p. 535)."
"In individuals with PTSD, worst moments contained more unfinished thoughts and fewer words indicating cognitive processing than the remainder of the narrative, which was not the case for individuals without PTSD. A number of theorists have argued that the disorganization of the trauma memory is involved in the development of PTSD, especially intrusive memories moments of PTSD participants (p.684)."
"Women have always been buried in families, and as long as gender remains an invisible category in our clinical work, they will remain submerged. But if therapy is about confronting what is unspoken, we must ask ourselves how we can get people to talk about issues so fundamental and so inflammatory that they threaten the structure not only of the family as we know it but of the whole society as well (p. 9)."
"...and the humor. Families in difficult situations are likely to become very grim, morbidly dedicated to their issues and positions (p.112)."
"Humor is one means the therapist can use to try to break this grim mood, hoping to wake the family out of the hypnotic trance where all is desperation and struggle...We can encourage them to change their mood by getting them to begin to laugh at themselves - just a little, anyway."
"College students and adults who reported having experienced one of several types of childhood traumatic events (e.g., sexual or physical abuse, death or divorce of parents) were more likely to report current health problems if they had not disclosed the trauma to others than if they had divulged it."
"...a fundamental assumption of Multi-System Therapy (MST) is that the youth's family or caregiver is the key to favorable long-term outcomes, even if that caregiver presents serious clinical challenges."
"Writing about earlier traumatic experience was associated with both short-term increases in physiological arousal and long-term decreases in health problems."
"They cannot expose their problems until they have achieved enough sense of security to think that they may be able to survive going it alone (p. 157)."
"The use of such purposeful and goal-oriented questions in group practice convey to all its participants a meaning of being 'stuck' and not 'sick,' and the likelihood of 'change' instead of 'stagnation' (p. 337)."
"Generally, the larger, more complex systems tend to exert control over the smaller and less complex systems. But influence moves up and down the entire chain, and if we are to understand human behavior, we must integrate knowledge from different levels. (p.50)"
"Solutions are changes in perceptions and interactions, which are not to be solved by the practitioner but rather co-constructed with the client."
"The central hypothesis of this group was that the client's impressions of the therapist as expert, trustworthy, and attractive provides the helper with leverage (social influence) to promote change."
"Resistance [is] defined as stemming from a number of forces, including a system's natural efforts to maintain stability, most people's somewhat irrational fear to change, and their reluctance to give up control over their lives."
"If we had continued in the same vein before - questioning, probing, interpreting - we would have set a dangerous precedent by implying that we were assuming the responsibility for pushing for change...they had to know, early in the process, that their initiative, their will to fight and struggle and push and try, was essential to a successful outcome..."
"...one if the most important principles of groups is that the group is a miniature world - whatever environment we create in the group reflects the way we have chosen to live..."
"...clients can actually be in any stage of change when presenting for counseling and still be stuck. Using specific techniques employed in the SFBT model, therapists can assist the client through the processes of change which will ultimately result in them entering the next stage of change."
"But for Claudia, the experience was different. Since we have moved away from her and her problems, she looked different: more alert, more curious, and relieved. She was quickly composing herself and hearing every word."
"I'm pretty clear on what's going on with Claudia and I'd like to get away from her for a while. Can you talk about the family as a whole?"
Rogers asserted that the therapist ability to be empathic and congruent and to accept the clients unconditionally were not only essential but sufficient conditions for therapeutic gains.
As a result of interviewing the mothers of the children in the study, Main found a strong correlation between how a mother describes her relationships with her parents during her childhood and the pattern of attachment her child now has with her. Whereas the mother of a secure infant is able to talk freely and with feeling about her childhood, the mother of an insecure infant is not.
In this part of the study an interviewer asks the mother for a description of her early relationships and attachment-related events and for her sense of the way these relationships and events affected her personality. In considering results, as much or more attention is paid to the way a mother tells her story and deals with probing questions about it as to the historical material she describes.
At the simplest level, it was found that a mother of a secure infant is likely to report having had a reasonably happy childhood and to show herself able to talk about it readily and in detail, giving due place to such unhappy events as may have occurred as well as to the happy ones.
By contrast, a mother of an insecure infant is likely to respond to the enquiry in one of two different ways. One, shown by mothers of anxious resistant children, is to describe a difficult unhappy relationship with her own mother about which she is still clearly disturbed and in which she is still entangled mentally, and, should her mother be still alive, it is evident that she is entangled with her in reality as well. The other, shown by mothers of anxious avoidant children, is to claim in a generalized matter-of-fact way that she had a happy childhood, but not only is she unable to give any supporting detail but may refer to episodes pointing in an opposite direction. Frequently such a mother will insist that she can remember nothing about her childhood nor how she was treated. Thus the strong impression of clinicians, that a mother who had a happy childhood is likely to have a child who shows a secure attachment to her, and that an unhappy childhood, more or less cloaked by an inability to recall, makes for difficulties, is clearly supported.
Nevertheless a second finding, no less interesting and one of especial relevance here, arises from a study of the exceptions to the rule. These are the mothers who describe having had a very unhappy childhood but who nonetheless have children showing secure attachment to them. A characteristic of each of these mothers, which distinguishes them from mothers of insecure infants, is that despite describing much rejection and unhappiness during childhood, and perhaps tearful whilst doing so, each is able to tell her story in a fluent and coherent way, in which such positive aspects of her experiences as there were are given a due place and appear to have been integrated with all the negative ones. In their capacity for balance they resemble the other mothers of secure infants. It seemed to the interviewers and those assessing the transcripts that these exceptional mothers had thought much about their unhappy earlier experiences and how it had affected them in the long term, and also about why their parents might have treated them as they had. In fact, they seemed to have come to terms with their experience.
By contrast, the mothers of children whose pattern of attachment to them was insecure and who also described an unhappy childhood did so with neither fluency nor coherence: contradictions abounded and went unnoticed. Moreover, it was a mother who claimed an inability to recall her childhood and who did so both repeatedly and strongly who was a mother whose child was insecure in his relation to her. In further examination of the data it has been found that all these correlations also hold true for fathers.
In light of these findings Main and her colleagues conclude that free access to, and the coherent organization of information relevant to attachment play a determining role in the development of a secure personality in adult life. For someone who had a happy childhood no obstacles are likely to prevent free access to both the emotional and the cognitive aspects of such information. For someone who suffered much unhappiness or whose parents forbade him or her to notice or to remember adverse events, access is painful and difficult, and without help may indeed be impossible. Nevertheless, however she may accomplish it, when a woman manages either to retain or to regain access to such unhappy memories and reprocess them in such a way that she can come to terms with them, she is found to be no less able to respond to her child's attachment behaviour so that he develops a secure attachment to her than a woman whose childhood was a happy one. This is a finding to give great encouragement to the many therapists who for long have sought to help mothers in just this kind of way.
Because a family comes into the therapy with such a sense of failure, it is important to show that they are unconsciously 'up to something' that is basically constructive.
We try to keep the right balance of pushing and waiting, and sometimes we err in one direction or another.
Good old transferences...we therapists being stupid about it, flattering ourselves that the patient is really reacting in the beginning to us...but we are deluding ourselves if we think that the patient isn't always struggling with subtle and largely invisible ghosts and images out of the past.
She felt pressured by her parents, and the [individual] therapy felt like more pressure.
There is another maxim: the therapist will project his own family system onto the family he is treating.