Carl Whitaker believes self-acceptance prevails over change; change occurs by accepting self-complexity; family members are stuck in a state of experiential dishonesty; and understanding hinders experiencing. He remains distant in sessions. Brent's father wants to help him control his emotions.
Whitaker believes individuals do not exist separately from their families. He tells Brent's father that understanding does not help; it is impossible to compartmentalize family relationships. He does not expect Brent's mother to understand his statement that all death is suicide.
Whitaker accesses family healing by continuously puncturing rationality and tapping into individual capacity to experience. He urges Brent's mother to tolerate confusion and calls his father a square. He says mutual sacrifices are binding family members together.
Whitaker saturates the concept of death by telling a story of a WWII veteran tempted to murder and discussing ways to commit suicide. He asks Brent's father to imagine himself going crazy.
Whitaker characterizes the family's close ties as constraining. He asks Brent about "loosening up" his father by telling him fairy tales. He argues that Brent and his mother are in touch with their craziness; his father is inhibited.
Salvador Minuchin joins the session and argues that Brent's father is teaching him protect his mother—an inappropriate role. He and Whitaker believe Brent's loyalty to his parents is unhealthy. Hear a summary of Whitaker and Minuchin’s therapeutic styles.
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This program features Salvador Minuchin working with a client family who meets the next day with Carl Whitaker. It shows Minuchin's session in which he brings out the idea that the issue is not with the symptom bearer, but that the symptom is owned by the family.
Length: 23 minutes
Copyright date: ©1970
Prices include public performance rights.
Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.
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