Soul and System: The Integrative Possibilities of Family Therapy

Volume 25
Spring 1997
Soul and System: The Integrative Possibilities of Family Therapy

This article presents a review of the interface of family systems theory and therapy with religious, spiritual, or faith perspectives, with particular emphasis on Christian theology and Scripture. A brief review of the literature shows the relative paucity of work in this area to date. It is argued that family therapy is a particularly fertile ground for the integration of theological, religious, and spiritual considerations. Three points of intersection between family systems theory and biblical concepts-€”context, legacy, and body life-€”are discussed to illustrate the considerable promise of family systems theory for future integrative work. Implications for practice are discussed within a framework outlining three means of including religion or spirituality in the clinical work of family therapy-€”as resource, as culture, or as context. Borrowing from the family systems theory emphasis on epistemology, a definition of "€œsecond-order integration"€ is suggested, which may help to clarify the field'€™s "€œthinking about thinking"€ about integration.

Dr. W.H. Watson
123 - 135
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