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Fam Process. 2014 Dec;53(4):618-39. doi: 10.1111/famp.12081. Epub 2014 Jun 25.

Thinking and working relationally: interviewing and constructing hypotheses to create compassionate understanding.

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The Ackerman Institute for the Family, New York, NY.


In the initial interviews of family therapy sessions, the therapist faces the challenge of obtaining and organizing the information that is most relevant toward understanding the essential concerns that families and couples bring to therapy. This article describes the process of clinical interviewing and case conceptualization used in training family therapists at the Ackerman Institute for the Family. This approach helps the therapist bring forward, and organize, specific information into relational hypotheses, or systemic-relational conceptualizations, that allow both family members and the therapist to understand presenting problems within their relational contexts. While always provisional, relational hypotheses help anchor the therapist in a systemic-relational frame and provide a conceptual through-line to guide the ongoing work of the therapy. The process of interviewing and the construction of clear and complex conceptualizations of presenting problems are illustrated through case examples.


Clinical Hypothesizing; Family Interviewing; Training; capacitación; entrevista familiar; propuestas de hipótesis clínicas; 临床假说; 培训; 家庭访谈

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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