Therapy guidelines focus on relationships, not individuals
Since the days of Freud, the practice of psychotherapy has revolved around the examination of the individual. A new study, appearing in Family Process, offers a new framework for therapy that conceptualizes an individual based on important relationships held with those around them. This may provide new opportunities for understanding mental health.
“Family therapy operates on the principle that relationships are central to human health,” says study author Carmen Knudson-Martin, PhD, professor of marriage and family therapy in the School of Science and Technology, “but while we have the vocabulary to talk about individuals, we lack the terminology to discuss relationships.”
According to Dr. Knudson-Martin, the relationship classification system proposed in the article provides some simple descriptions of basic relationship types. “This framework gives therapists the ability to discuss relationships using a common language that allows for differences in gender and culture,” says Dr. Knudson-Martin. “This will also help therapists to explain relationship dynamics clearly to their patients.”
Dr. Knudson-Martin is nationally recognized for her work regarding gender, marital equality, and relational health.
Family Process is a multidisciplinary international journal that publishes research, training, and theoretical contributions in the broad area of family therapy.