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By Christine Lister-Ford

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Sample text

As the psychotherapy is essentially viewed as a collaborative venture in which the client is in the driving seat, the development of a bond between practitioner and client is considered as an essential ingredient for this type of psychotherapy to be effective. Jason hoped that the therapist would ‘cure’ him of his depression. He acted passively, waiting for the therapist to ‘do something’. The therapist was very conscious of the need to tolerate Jason’s expectations of the therapy while also wanting to educate Jason into the world of psychotherapy where it is the responsibility of the client to initiate his own growth and development.

Moreno was drawing on existential ideas of personal responsibility in his use of drama techniques in psychotherapeutic groups to enable patients to process early family difficulties and conflicts (Clarkson, 1992). qxd 26 5/2/2007 7:52 PM Page 26 A SHORT INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOTHERAPY psychotherapy. Another significant contribution came from Viktor Frankl, who from his experience in the Nazi concentration camps developed ‘logotherapy’ (Frankl, 1946/2004), an existentially based psychotherapeutic approach focusing on the ‘search for meaning’ as the key to psychological survival and well-being.

A complex system of rules will operate within the family designed to maintain the system the family has created through maintenance of roles within that system. There will be hierarchies and structures that help to sustain the roles and rules within the family. The mother is always the ‘caregiver’, the son the ‘rebel’ and the father the ‘punisher’, for example. Family therapists distinguish between process and content. The process will be the activities used by the family members to maintain the family system.

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