This volume applies critical social theories to family therapy practice, using sociopolitical context for a clearer focus on the power dynamics of couple and family relationships. Its decolonizing approach to therapy is shown countering the pervasive cultural themes that grant privilege to specific groups over others, feeding unequal and oppressive relationships that bring families and couples to treatment. Therapy is shown here as a layered and nuanced process, with practitioners developing an ethical human rights perspective toward their work as they aid clients in negotiating for greater justice and equity in their relationships. The book bridges theory and practice by giving readers these essential tools:
Strategies for asking clients about social class.
A framework for understanding gender issues within the larger patriarchy.
Guidelines for relating concepts of race and class in therapy.
Structure for creating the family cartography.
Ways to utilize a queer perspective in therapy.
Illustrative case examples throughout.
Breaking new ground in family therapy, Applying Critical Social Theories to Family Therapy Practice challenges social workers, social work researchers, therapists, and psychologists to push beyond current ideas of social awareness and cultural competence toward truly liberatory client-centered practice.
About the Author
Teresa McDowell, Ed.D. is a professor of marriage and family therapy and Chair of the Department of Counseling Psychology at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling in Portland, Oregon, USA. Dr. McDowell has contributed over 25 articles and chapters to professional literature on critical multiculturalism, social class, race and white privilege, gender/sexual orientation, de-colonization and global equity. Critical social theory is threaded throughout her work as a researcher, scholar and family therapy educator.