WHEN A FAMILY NEEDS THERAPY by Gina & Anne Zevin Ogden


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Although written for ""people in the helping professions""--teachers, probation officers, social workers--this is a hard book to classify. In presenting a highly structured sequence of exercises designed to flush out family problems, it assumes that the interviewer has little acquaintance with psychodynamics yet can act as lay therapist for a troubled family. The method involves a complicated, time-consuming process based on several group sessions and line-by-line analysis of tape-recorded replays, assigning numerical values to different kinds of statements and ""scoring"" the family's interactions. The exercises themselves do have potential for uncovering tensions, conflicts, even those well-guarded secrets, but a trained therapist could proceed more efficiently and move beyond the diagnosis. The authors include a few paragraphs warning the interviewer to be aware of his/her own biases and endorse intervention by the untrained in less serious cases; more significant problems should, of course, be referred to professionals. Based on the authors' work with seven white middle-class suburban families, this is a dubious procedure for their purported audience, and seems more appropriate for beginning therapists who could modify the technique and use the excellent bibliography.

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 1976
Publisher: Beacon