This slim, highly readible volume is an introduction to family therapy. This is a new parameter in psychotherapy which has added a new dimension to understanding family dynamics. This text grew out of a course in family dynamics which the author taught at Illinois State Psychiatric Institute. In this mode of therapy the entire family is treated at one time.
The author articulates the thesis that the person who seeks therapy is not necessarily the sickest member nor the person who needs it most. The family behaves as a unit and acts to achieve a balance. The various members help to maintain this homeostasis overtly and covertly. The chief axis in this unit are the parents, upon whom all family relationships are formed. The identified patient is that family member who is most affected by the "pained marital relationship and most subjected to dysfunctional parenting."
The author's theoretical approach to