EXPERIENTIAL FAMILY THERAPY 4
Theauthor examines family therapy in a philosophical perspective byapplying the humanistic family therapy model. The articlesensationally states that, experiential family therapy is a meetingplace where multiple intervention strategies are applied. The authoris categorical that other theoretical perspectives applied in familytherapy disregard individual’s inner experiences and focus onquantifiable behaviors (Lester,2009).Humanistic model of therapy is based on honest and accurateself-expression of both the therapist and the client. Family therapyis supposed to be genuine and apply empathy during the therapeuticrelationship. Unlike other models, Lester observes that humanistictherapies should share and promote the value of self-actualizationand enhancing human potential. Family therapists should focus onaddressing the family system and refrain from seeing individuals inthe family as the cause of the problem. Under the humanistic therapy,therapists should address the emotional experiences of individualsand apply non-judgment and compassion to enable the family adapts tochanges. Lester is critical of other family therapy methods thatconcentrates on the behaviors of the system and fail to assistfamilies adjust to changes(Lester, 2009).
Unlikethe traditional therapies the humanistic model places emphasis onunderstanding family problems in the context of ‘whole’ and notin part of ‘individuals’ in the family. As such, family therapistshould be concerned about the general family system ‘whole’rather than addressing individual’s cognition and behaviors. Theauthors argument are valid individual’s behavior in the familycontext is on the basis of reciprocal causality patterns and as such,family therapist should focus on the whole family rather thanaddressing individuals in the family. The author further adds that,traditionally, family therapist associated family problems, as aresult, of pathology in individuals(Lester, 2009).However, the humanistic models see problems in families as arisingdue to relational patterns. Humans are good and can learn or grow newbehaviors. Therefore, family therapist should be open minded andtreat individuals in the family with full respect. Families exist asa group and individual’s behavior in the family is, as a result, ofrelational problems. Therefore, therapists should not treatindividuals as ‘black boxes’ or ‘cogs’ in the family systemstherapy but rather recognize the uniqueness and lovable-ness of eachperson. The overall result will be changing therapeutic perceptionand reframing their compassion to act as a catalyst in promotingpositive change in the family(Lester, 2009).
LesterNathen B., November 2009, ‘ExperientialFamily Therapy: The Humanistic Family Therapy Model,’ Retrieved on5thJuly 2014. From