My new book is now available:
Performance-Based Family Therapy: A Therapist's Guide to Measurable Change
“Anyone who has ever been a family therapist, or dreamed of being one, will be inspired by Fishman’s words, enriched by seeing what it means to fully deal with human problems from a systemic perspective.”
Monica McGoldrick, LCSW, PhD
Author of the foundational book The Family Life Cycle
"Let us go forth with fear and courage and rage" (Grace Paley)
Many decades ago, I became a family therapist when I witnessed its effectiveness to create change. The 16-year-old, emaciated youngster, starving for months, who began eating within the first therapy session, as her parents united, was the pivotal moment.
I begin this blog series out of concern for family therapy, the field that is so powerful in transforming psychological problems. My concern is that it has become marginalized. It was not always so; not in such dire straits. These blogs will discuss what happened and, more importantly, what we can do as a field to right the ship.
Expanding the Evidence Universe: Doing Better by Knowing More
The learned scholars
Lisbeth Schorr, a Harvard Lecturer and Senior Fellow at the Center for Study of Social Policy (CSSP), together with her colleague, Frank Farrow, formed a group in 2011 called Friends of Evidence. They are researchers, practitioners, and thought leaders who shared the conviction that new ways of working required changes in the types of evidence gathered and how to use that evidence.
Charles Fishman’s voice
What does this mean for family therapy?
EBM research rose through the ranks of the medical system with such promise until it ultimately paralyzed the field of mental health, impeding innovation. An informational cul-de-sac was created. With worldwide mental health problems and expenditures at an all-time high, change must come and quickly
The voices of the front-line clinician
Schorr’s ideas of expanding the types of acceptable evidence can give great promise to tireless workers at the coalface. The clinician is freed from models that may ill fit the contextual demands of their patients and their communities. With Schorr in mind, clinicians can generate hypotheses and track their grounded outcomes, becoming their own Local Clinical Scientist. That voice, their data, can contribute largely to improved outcomes and hopefully even to the published literature.
Resources for Therapists
I was a young psychiatry resident at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School; after two years, I could be seen fleeing from the many different models and innovators, including Professor Aaron Beck, fou...Read more
When I relocated to New Zealand with my family in 2001, I wondered if the Results-Based Accountability™ (RBA) framework might retrofit into the clinical arena to treat troubled adolescents and their families...Read more
Supervision is aimed to guide the future. But the question to ask is: if supervisors use the techniques they learned from their supervisors, who learned them from theirs, is this always recursive progression...Read more