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This paper is the second part of a previous publication in this journal and is based on a plenary address at the 30th Australian Family Therapy Conference in 2009. It develops the idea of ethical practice in therapy for men and boys with a history of significant violence and abuse. This fosters a connection with resilience that resists or refuses to participate in historical narratives that support violence and its effects. In the paper, I provide several therapeutic examples of working with narratives of violence and present a theory of resilience and ethical practice drawing on the ideas of Deleuze. This helps to understand resilience as a process of ethical agency, creative renewal, and the production of expansive difference.
When multidisciplinary teams review their work, it is common for clinicians to hypothesise about their clients from the perspective of their role or theoretical model. The outcome of this review process may depend on the team's views. Here the epistemological position taken by team members about reality and objectivity can lead to starkly different pathways. There can either be a dialogue about different hypotheses, with the team jointly constructing new meanings; or, conversely, there can be a monologic exchange based on competition between different hypotheses. This paper explores why teams may struggle with coordinating different theoretical approaches and models. It suggests the dialogic nature of a reflecting team process offers one approach for helping teams to find ways of ‘putting their differences to work’. Ideas for implementing this process within multidisciplinary teams are illustrated with comments provided by teams who have begun to experiment with this approach.
This paper reviews the diversity in parenting values and practices amongst Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders. First, issues arising from the historical traumatic disruption of families' attachments are discussed. Then the contribution Indigenous parenting makes to the development of healthy and vulnerable individuals becomes the central focus. Family therapists can draw from a broad understanding of the diversity of parenting values and practices in the context of a strength-based approach.
This article is an exploration of family therapy in France by an Australian social worker and family therapist. It also reports on the 2010 European Family Therapy Conference and includes an interview with Dr Mony Elkaïm that provides an overview of his work. All this is discussed in terms of its relevance for family therapists in Australia. It is followed by a brief response from Dr Elkaïm.
This paper discusses how the concepts of hope and hopelessness can affect therapeutic interventions when working with people affected by cancer. The concepts of hope and hopelessness are considered within the therapeutic relationship and the biomedical model. This explores whether there is a difference between hope and denial and considers how culture, religion, and spirituality influence an individual's interpretation of hope. For some people living with a cancer diagnosis, the word ‘hope’ can become a burden. They can feel a pressure to present as strong, positive, and hopeful in the face of extremely confronting situations. Therapists need to give patients time and space to explore their feelings of hopelessness without rushing them to a place of hope for which they are not ready. Case examples are provided and the author reflects upon her own family therapy practice working in an acute health care facility. This stresses the importance of critical reflection, supervision, and peer support.
Family therapy understands the benefits of therapeutically supported dialogue amongst family members when there are challenging themes and topics that need to be discussed. This paper is an attempt to explore ways that family therapists can work with family members who are thrust into therapy rather than ‘voluntarily’ signing up for it. It applies ideas from the drug and alcohol field such as Stages of Change theory and Motivational Interviewing. The paper explores how these ideas and approaches might help family therapists to formulate a concept of resistance and to make helpful dialogue more likely. They are applied to families experiencing sibling sexual assault, where they become involved with a legal response that necessitates a therapeutic intervention.