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The Pathological FamilyPostwar America and the Rise of Family Therapy$
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Deborah Weinstein

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451416

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451416.001.0001

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The Pathological Family

Deborah Weinstein

Cornell University Press

This chapter situates the emergence of family therapy in a postwar setting of several factors: the professional landscape and socially minded mission of psychiatry; a therapeutic ethos that grounds the solution to social problems in psychological treatment; and conflicting worries about the family—such as its capacity to foster racism, and the isolation and conformism of suburban families in mass society. The new techniques and practices developed by therapists for working with patients who no longer fit the psychoanalytic model of the individual plays a vital role in the field's formation. By shifting their clinical expertise from the individual to the family, early family therapists opened up space for a new set of practices that would then be appropriate for treating family-based disease.

Keywords:   family therapy, psychiatry, therapeutic ethos, psychological treatment, suburban families, psychoanalysis, family-based disease

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