One important clinical task in family therapy involves transforming the client's construction of the presenting problem from an individual, intrapersonal view to an interpersonal, relational, or systemic one (Sluzki, 1992). To study the transformation process in initial sessions, we sampled 8 families in which the referring parent requested help for a child's problem. The 8 therapists, trained and experienced in Sluzki's (1992) narrative approach, attempted to facilitate a transformation in the parents' initial construction of the problem. In 4 sessions, the transformation was independently judged to be successful by the therapist and observers, while in 4 other sessions the transformation was judged to be unsuccessful. Videotapes of the 8 interviews were analyzed qualitatively, and the parents' verbatim descriptions of the problem were coded using the Cognitive Constructions Coding System (Friedlander, 1995). We compared the successful and the unsuccessful sessions and developed a conceptual model of the successful transformation process that included client performances as well as therapist operations (Greenberg, 1986). While many elements in the model were consistent with Sluzki's (1992) "blue-print" transformation, several new elements were added. Practical implications are described, along with limitations and recommendations for future research.
|Name||Journal of Scientific Exploration|