Understanding the nuances of family therapy is vital for assisting family members in changing their behaviors and attitudes toward healthier ones. Nichols and Davis (2017) introduce an extensive overview of the concept of family therapy, paying especially close attention to its evaluation and research of its prospects. By providing a nuanced and comprehensive overview of the current frameworks for family therapy evaluation, Nichols and Davis (2017) offer the basis for its improvement.
The comparison that Nichols and Davis (2017) draw between the existing approaches to therapy is quite nuanced and thought-provoking. Three specific concepts stand out from the rest of the text in the specified chapter; Nichols and Davis’ (2017) expiration of theoretical formulations, family dynamics, and therapy options are worth discussing. The authors explain that despite each theory having its own value and significance in the therapy process and the management of patients’ needs, these are the frameworks viewing families as a unit that serve their purpose best. The described outcome can be seen as the effect of the enhanced focus on the connections between family members, which, in turn, allows for better cooperation between family members.
Drawing upon the specified assumption, Nichols and Davis (2017) outline another crucial aspect of successful therapy: an accurate understanding of family dynamics. Specifically, the authors compare normal family development with instances of behavioral disorders, tracking down their development and the factors that cause behavioral disorders to emerge. Detailing the role of inflexible systems and pathologic triangles as essential contributors to the emergence of unhealthy behaviors and dynamics within families, Nichols and Davis (2017) encourage therapists to consider the specified issues first when managing issues observed within families.
Finally, the chapter mentions different types of therapy and the role of decisive interventions in the management of problems in family dynamics and the resulting development of behavioral disorders. Specifically, Nichols and Davis (2017) emphasize the significance of using interpretation and silence as vital techniques in building a framework for interacting with patients and creating a rapport with them. The described solutions are instrumental in assisting patients with developing an understanding of their emotions and the factors that contribute to their choice of behaviors. As a result, positive therapy outcomes are expected as the participants develop awareness about the causes of their behaviors and the problems that the specified choices entail. More importantly, the proposed techniques, especially silence as the supportive technique for encouraging self-reflection and demonstrating empathy, leads to patients recognizing the issues in their behaviors and attitudes. As a result, the incentive for a change in behaviors and attitudes is produced.
In turn, Chapter 14 introduces the idea of evidence-based research as an important part of the family intervention process. Specifically, Nichols and Davis (2017) address the frameworks designed for managing the issues faced by children, behavioral problems experienced by adults, and the research on the interventions designed for relationship difficulties. According to Nichols and Davis (2017), each of the areas has been researched thoroughly, yet further insights are to be drawn, and more discoveries are to be made in each of the specified domains with the help of evidence-based research.
In addressing the issues associated with childhood behavior disorders in the family context, Nichols and Davis (2017) pay especially close attention to the phenomenon of conduct disorders. Specifying the effects that externalizing disorders have on a child’s well-being briefly, particularly shedding some light on the issue of ADHD, Nichols and Davis (2017) proceed with the discussion of conduct disorders as the issue to be addressed particularly closely. Particularly, the researchers mention the necessity to introduce therapies that allow focusing on multiple causes of conduct disorders in children, such as multidimensional family therapy (MDFT) (Nichols & Davis, 2017). Additionally, the therapeutic approaches for substance abuse, internalizing disorders, and depression in children are outlined, with the same emphasis on a multi-factor model for addressing key concerns.
For adult disorders, Nichols and Davis (2017) specify four key types that are managed effectively with the help of family therapy. Specifically, the researchers mention the positive effect that multi-dimensional family therapy has on the management of issues in “adulthood: depression, substance abuse, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder” (Nichols & Davis, 2017, p. 281). Furthermore, the researchers emphasize the role of family education in assisting adults with behavioral issues.
Finally, for relationship difficulties, Nichols and Davis (2017) focus on the discussion of disorders of attachment and the problem of child maltreatment. Specifically, in managing childhood attachment, Nichols and Davis (2017) explain the significance of reducing maternal sensitivity to encourage agency and independence in a child. As for the problem with child maltreatment, Nichols and Davis (2017) point out the challenges of locating the instances of child abuse.
Offering a detailed and intricate analysis of the strategies for assessing and structuring family therapy, Nichols and Davis (2017) have produced strong grounds for reasonable suggestions concerning therapy improvements. Thus, the basis for managing the quality of patient care, particularly, the enhancement of collaboration between patients during family therapy, is laid. The chapters in question detail the current variety of family therapy approaches, proving the necessity for further research.
Nichols, M. P., & Davis, S. (2017). Family therapy: Concepts and methods (11th ed.). Pearson.