ERIC Number: ED435901
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Nov
Family Counseling: Fantasies and Realities.
Gladding, Samuel T.
This paper focuses on two aspects inherent in working with families--fantasies and realities. A brief discussion of family life in the United States at the end of the 20th century is included at the outset with the intention of identifying who families are before making a diagnosis or intervention. The author encourages counselors to recognize the fantasies they hold about working with families, and to be wise enough to give them up in order to make a positive difference in the lives of clients. Seven deadly fantasies are presented as well as the seven realities that are at the opposite end of these fantasies. It is emphasized that in family work, it is essential to realize in a continuous way that family counseling deals with families who may be resistant to change and that some families have a limited ability to receive help. It is also important to keep in mind that family counseling differs from other ways of counseling and that working with families is sometimes difficult. Therefore, it is suggested that counselors be aware of the non-events of family life as well as the developmental and situational factors that are a part of all families. Finally, counselors need to be mindful that families come in many forms, are interesting in and of themselves, and that in order to be effective as counselors, must know a range of theories and techniques. (GCP)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Counselors; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the All Ohio Counseling Conference (Columbus, OH, November 4, 1999).