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Family Secrecy in Family Therapy Practice: An Explorative Focus Group Study

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

The aim of this focus group study was to explore the experiences of family therapists working with family secrecy. Our study highlights that family secrets present important and compelling challenges for family therapists. Furthermore, our study reveals that there seem to be some basic strategies family therapists use in dealing with these challenges in therapy sessions. One basic strategy is that family therapists try to guard their position of being a trustworthy therapist for each family member by avoiding becoming stuck in family secrecy. Furthermore, therapists explore ways to guide the family toward the disclosure of the secret in order to alleviate the toxicity of the secrecy. This highlights the importance of the systemic model and how influential this perspective is in family therapy practice. Some participants, however, have in addition a second strategy they sometimes use: talking with the family about secrecy without aiming to disclose the secret. In the discussion section of the article we reflect on the possibility that in the strategic choices family therapists make conceptual issues might be involved. Furthermore, we stress the importance of further research.
Tijdschrift: Family Process
ISSN: 0014-7370
Issue: 1
Volume: 59
Pagina's: 52 - 65
Aantal pagina's: 14
Jaar van publicatie:2020