Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952668 | Print ISBN: 9781412909488 | Online ISBN: 9781412952668| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
MaryAnna Domokos-Cheng Ham & Gonzalo Bacigalupe
Over more than a half century, as the family therapy field has evolved into a viable model within mental health care, family therapy has based its theory and functionality on assumptions divergent from models used for individual mental health treatment. The prevailing mental health treatment frameworks have been rooted in a Western tradition based on a belief in linear causality and particular theories of individual motivation. From this Western tradition come certain assumptions: problems are solvable if we can identify their cause; reality is considered to be external to us, to exist outside our minds; the meaning of reality comes from external experience and we are the recipients; the world operates according to law-like principles that will reveal some absolute truths about reality. In contrast, family therapy has developed from assumptions drawn from systems theory and has sometimes been characterized as an epistemological revolution. In family therapy, a clinician's attention ...