Foreword [chapter]

1995 How Good is Family Therapy? A Reassessment  
The practice of psychotherapy seems to be capable of generating an unusually high degree of enthusiasm and even blind faith among those in the field. Perhaps this phenomenon is necessary in order to attract and keep people working in this most difficult of endeavours -that of attempting to bring about change in human behaviour. The practice of family therapy is no exception. As one of the earliest workers in family therapy I can attest to the tremendous enthusiasm and excitement and the high
more » ... ent and the high level of commitment generated by the work carried out when the field was in its infancy. We all felt like pioneers discovering a new world or like revolutionaries about to succeed in overturning the old order, having found the ultimate solution to human behaviour problems. Indeed, some of the early workers began to talk seriously about solving such problems as war, poverty, racism -you name it -by the application of family therapy techniques. As the field has matured there has been a trend towards objective self-examination, which has resulted in therapy outcome research and in multiple reviews of work in the field. This book is a very welcome example of this trend. Ranjan Roy and Harvy Frankel, committed scholars, teachers, and practitioners of family therapy, present here a prodigiously exhaustive critical review of the literature. Their approach is one of scientific detachment in reporting their findings, yet at the same time they maintain their strong commitment to the field. They are very knowledgeable and skilled teachers who are interested in the development of the field of family therapy, rather than in perpetuating the mythologies that have accumulated over the years. The message of the book is sobering with regard to family therapy. Although the authors state that good outcome literature does exist,
doi:10.3138/9781487580377-001 fatcat:a3e7qfh5srd2nbfbd72s3hzjbe