Issue 4 of “Systemic Thinking & Psychotherapy” could come under the general heading of “Co-evolution”. Αs the reader can ascertain, it is about co-evolution in human (including therapeutic) relationships, in theoretical approaches, in value systems.
This paper examines selected concepts of time from philosophical and anthropological points of view and their relevance to psychotherapy, with reference to Freud and Palazzoli’s work. It comes from a much longer work (Jenkins, 2013) and can only present certain ideas that have been found useful.
I will describe the Philoctetes tragedy as a type of systemic therapy process. The tragedy begins with Odysseus’ and Neoptolemus’ attempt to defraud Philoctetes in order to persuade him to go to Troy and help to end the Trojan War.
Space is a dimension that cannot be overlooked either by a family or by an institution. Both entities can obtain a place in reality only through normative architectural and spatial arrangements. These arrangements are not neutral or just referring to spatial configurations. They represent, for the members of the systems, spatial parts where emotional bonding and identity issues are put at risk.
Death and the pain that follows is an inherent life experience that everyone eventually has to face. The process of grief entails experiencing and managing the pain that follows the loss of a loved one and the effort to weave again the meaning of our life, after being shaken from bereavement, by reassessing our goals and priorities in life. Accepting and adjusting to loss is a long-term and active process that happens through complex and interrelated interactions with the important people in our families and communities.
In families we see interpersonal and intrapersonal levels as intertwined. Thus emerges the need to address both. Quite often, when working with families and couples we have come across areas where systemic and psychoanalytic theories interconnect. In this paper we identify some of these issues: that of emotional experience and of therapeutic relationship.
The importance of establishing culturally-informed treatments is highlighted by the substantial number of young immigrants who need help and by the severity of symptoms that have been documented in this population. This article focuses on how the varied issues with regard to immigration stressors, integration processes, value clashes, sense of belonging to the community, and discrimination can be more effectively addressed by a culturally informed treatment.
Dr Mary Joan Gerson is Adjunct Clinical Professor, Consultant in Psychoanalysis and Director of the Advanced Specialization in Couple and Family Therapy at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. As she explains in her prologue, this book was written in order to help psychoanalysts who have an urge to work with couples and families, by familiarizing them with the systemic approach to couples and family therapy.