Item description for The Family Crucible: The Intense Experience of Family Therapy by Augustus Y. Napier, PhD & M. D. Carl A. Whitaker...
Overview The philosophy and methods of family therapy are revealed in an in-depth case study of a family whose daughter's deep depression resulted from her parents' troubled marriage
This extraordinary book presents scenarios of one family's therapy experience and explains what underlies each encounter. You will discover the general patterns that are common to all families-stress, polarization and escalation, scapegoating, triangulation, blaming, and the diffusion of identity--and you will gain a vivid understanding of the intriguing field of family therapy.
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Studio: Harper Paperbacks
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.97" Width: 5.43" Height: 0.79" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date Jun 14, 1988
Publisher Harper Paperbacks
ISBN 0060914890 ISBN13 9780060914899 UPC 099455008952
Availability 0 units.
More About Augustus Y. Napier, PhD & M. D. Carl A. Whitaker
Reviews - What do customers think about The Family Crucible: The Intense Experience of Family Therapy?
There will never be another Carl Whitaker... Oct 18, 2007
or anything even close and along with Whitaker's Dancing with the Family, this is a brilliantly written book. More than any other book on working with families and learning about the dynamics of our own, this book has by far stayed with me the very most and left the deepest imprint and the most valuable learning. Its a book to read again and again and I am truly grateful that Napier took the time to write this book. I wish it was required reading for all us human beanies.
A New Paradigm for Me Jun 6, 2007
This book was recommended to me by a psychologist as a new way to look at how we each develop in a system (in particular family relationships), and that system must be taken into account. It did just that. Through the story of a family in crisis, alternated with chapters of description and consideration of why the crisis develops, the reader is invited to understand how we can view their issues as part of a whole. For me some of the more important points included:
* How we behave and what we feel is greatly influenced by the family we are in and the dynamics of that family. For example, a daughter in the family "is elected" to become a problem because the parents need something to draw their attention away from the problems of their marriage. * How we behave and what we feel actually can start way before we're born in grandparents and great-grandparents family dynamics. * That communication and agreements can happen within the family even without the knowledge it's happened. * Not to underestimate the need in healthy family dynamics for conflict. * That healthy dynamics require honest communication of emotions we are feeling. * Exercise of our respective authorities (parents for instance having more experience than kids so show it) are needed in healthy families. * many more things I did find some of the descriptions of behavior felt dated such as Freud framing more of the discussion than I currently hear in the field (both for his contributions and failures)and I believe we'd currently put different emphasis on some theories. For this I dropped a star off the rating. Nevertheless it opened my eyes to a wider understanding of myself and the dynamics of intimate human relationships around me, that become part of who I am.
Looking at the family as a whole, not the sum of parts Oct 10, 2006
I first read this gem many years ago, long before I became a therapist myself. What an eye opener! Even reading the first Chapter (it's all of 11 pages) is enough to get you thinking in a fresh way about family problems. It certainly worked that way for me.
The book really is about Carl Whitaker, M.D. Augustus Napier was his understudy. Whitaker worked within the idea of family-as-a-system without limiting himself too much with theory. This allowed his methods to evolve as he treated more and more families. And it allowed a book like this to be written: lucid because it makes so much sense, dramatic because so much happens in the family whose treatment it describes, hopeful because it shows how much impact family therapy can have.
It wasn't that he didn't know theory. It's that as person he was intuitive, following his gut time and again, and eventually coming out with some guidelines for other family therapists, such as: -The therapist doesn't control the content of a family session, but she or he does control who will be there (this is dramatically dealt with in the first few chapters), -The therapist can cause change by stirring things up and getting family members to look at problems freshly, and -The therapist's job is to re-vision the problem as a communication that is somehow functional.
Typical is Whitaker's view that often the "identified patient" in the family is a stand-in for some other problem that the family cannot face without the help of a therapist.
Since this great book was written family therapy went through a boom time, was very popular. Then it became integrated into what is often called multi-modal therapy, in which family members sometimes come in individually, sometimes in small groups (ie the parents one time, the children another), sometimes as a whole. Still, it is necessary to understand family systems in order to work this way.
People looking into therapy will find this a great explanation of family issues that otherwise may seem baffling. It might also be a motivator to treatment.
Therapists trained individually will find this a fine introduction to working with families. They will also benefit from reading other luminaries in this field.
good resource for budding therapists Oct 24, 2005
Napier's self-reflections as well as his piecing together a fascinating case study makes this book an inspiring, if a little dated, read for those considering or heading into family and marriage therapy.
Family in Therapy Oct 2, 2005
Awesome book about family therapy. Am studying for Masters in Family Therapy so this is perfect vicarious way to look behind the scenes (inside the therapists heads) as they enter disjointed world of the subject family. They share what they are feeling, thinking and why they do what they do. An excellent example of whatworking with a co-counselor is supposed to be like. Dynamics of all the Relationships exposed in easy to follow honest terms.