The Process of Change in Systemic Family Therapy

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By bhadmin February 2, 2021

This chapter provides a comprehensive review of the research on the processes of change in systemic family therapy (SFT). We begin by clearly defining SFT process research including what it fully entails: systemically oriented mechanisms and contexts of change. Our review of the research is uniquely organized according to our view of the evolution of SFT practice (a) beginning with an overview of process findings from the traditional schools of SFT, (b) followed by findings from empirically supported treatments in SFT, and then (c) finalized by an assessment of the research from an integrative perspective of SFT including common and unique change processes (systemic alliances, systemic engagement and retention, systemic reframing, and systemic enactments). Following this overview, we provide directions for future areas of research that will need to be explored in order to more fully articulate the pathways of change in SFT including the need to better clarify the contexts in which certain process are most important. Finally, several implications for SFT training and practice are articulated including how this review points to the need for a potential paradigm shift that squarely places systemically oriented principles of change and client systemÔÇÉcentered integration and at the heart of our work.

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