How to give voice to children in family therapy
In this chapter, Maurizio Andolfi describes a very original model of multigenerational family therapy in which children are engaged in therapy as significant relational bridges in the dialogue/clash between generations. The goal is then to build a solid therapeutic alliance with the family through the active collaboration of the problem-child, who becomes a sort of co-therapist guiding the therapist in the exploration of still open wounds and broken emotional bonds. His symptoms can be reframed and transformed to relational indicators connected to the affective, behavioural characteristic of a family member or to the dramatic or painful events that marked the family development. The model of therapy described by the author is experiential, that is to say, a special personal-professional encounter shared by therapist and family in a safe and active context. Several clinical examples are described, showing a therapist keen to use himself and his affective resonances to make direct contact with each person, by attuning to the pain and desperation expressed by many families in therapy, as well to the implicit aspects of vitality and hope, in order to transform them into elements of strength and change.
Andolfi, M. (2016)., How to give voice to children in family therapy, in M. Borcsa & P. Stratton (eds.), Origins and originality in family therapy and systemic practice, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 143-168.
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