Compare & Contrast Attachment And Narrative Family Therapy Family & Couples Counselling Essay

4193 words - 17 pages

Page 19
Attachment and Narrative Family Therapy:
A Comparison
Families and Couples Counselling
Word count: 2,976 words
Family therapy evolved in the 1950s in a revolt against psychoanalysis. It has been characterized by several distinct schools of practice; however the trend today is for integration. This paper compares and contrasts two models: attachment therapy that has evolved since the 1930s, and post modern narrative therapy developed in the 1980s. Areas examined include the theoretical perspective, personality development, problem development, the therapist’s role, and intervention techniques. It would appear that attachment theory and narrative theory have been integrated into the continuing evolution; as advances in neuroscience reveal that it is through communication of emotion that attachment experiences organize the brain, which in turn shapes how the mind constructs reality and adapts to psychological stressors.
Keywords: attachment theory, narrative theory, systemic theory
Attachment and Narrative Family Therapy:
A Comparison
Family therapy was originally characterised by numerous distinct schools of practice, each with a unique set of techniques. However, the past decade has seen a move toward integration as the boundaries between schools became blurred and practitioners ‘borrowed’ techniques from other schools (Nichols, 2011). The evolution of family therapy began in the 1950s in a revolt against the psychoanalytic view that proposed a person’s problems were inherent in the individual. This era was followed by a domination of behavioural models during the 1960s and 1970s, and cognitive models in the 1980s and 1990s. With the advent of the post modern era and social constructionism the focus of family therapy shifted from action to cognition in the form of narrative therapy (Nichols, 2011). While experiential family therapy became marginalised with the advent of cognitive models, it has since seen a resurgence with the advances in neuroscience. The original form had little appreciation of the role relationships played in emotional regulation, however experiential therapies now emphasise affect as well as psychobiological processes. Fosha and colleagues (2009) propose these experiential or ‘bottom up’ therapies consider insight to be the result rather than the means of therapeutic change, as opposed to cognitive ‘top down’ interventions.
The focus of this paper is to compare and contrast two family therapy models within this evolutionary spectrum; attachment theory developed in the 1950s, and post modern narrative theory developed in the 1980s. Areas examined in relation to each orientation include: theoretical perspectives, personality development, problem development, the therapist’s role, and intervention techniques.
Theoretical Perspective
John Bowlby originally developed attachment theory in the late 1950s in response to what he viewed as shortcomings in psychoanalytic theory, however his works...


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