Woolfe, R., Strawbridge, S., Douglas, B. & Dryden, W. (2009). Handbook of Counselling Psychology, 3.ed. London: SAGE. Del I, II og IV.
Systemic therapy is working systematically with a group, like a family, but on individual level. This approach has the subjective experience as its focus.
In the work with families, it can be difficult to reframe the perception that the family has of the problem. Often the problem is presented as a simple individual.
Family or systemic approach has a long and complicated history that contains a lot of different approaches. They focuses on common factors between approaches and is a family sensitive practice which means that it is family and system inclusive, it invites as many members of the family into the practice, it respects all members despite culture, sex ect., it is open and honest, confidentiality and consent is clarified from the beginning, a contract with the family is being made, it enhances the family members developmental, physical and intellectual abilities through collaboration and empowerment. It understands the subjective experience, has the client in focus and encourage client-led work, where the client understands oneself without being told) and this includes a not-knowing stance from the therapist – but this should not be understand as withholding information. There is a focus on the relation between the client and the therapist and this means that research not directly can be transferred to practice. It is an integrative psychological approach with focus on solving the problem in the family rather than to have a special approach.
Assessment is a process that goes as follows; firstly the problem is faced, the history of it, the intensity, the past solutions that is tried and the clients motivation to solve the problem. Then the focus is on the family organization, the membership, the cultural influences, the socioeconomic status ect.. It then approaches the family functioning, the norms and rules, roles and problem resolutions and the skills and goals. And it ends with a focus on the family’s strength and resources as well as the goals for therapy and change.
A genogram is a clinical tool that is used to reinforce the assessment-process. It is a pictorial representation like a family tree that uses symbols and simple notes to represent persons, relations, life cycle events and patterns created in the family. It can consist of unconscious factors that the family can investigate.
An attempt has been made to make a standardised system with standard symbols to the creation of the genogram.