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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 2-9

The challenge for the person of the therapist in the work with disadvantaged families

Department of Couple and Family Therapy, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA

Correspondence Address:
Harry J Aponte
1420 Walnut Street, Suite 920, Philadelphia, PA 19102
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Socially disadvantaged families present special challenges to therapists. Within the families themselves the family relationships are often underorganized, that is lacking in firm structure and functional coherence. They also live in social circumstances that are not only unsupportive, but also actively destructive. The families struggle to cope with life's challenges, and may be guarded and untrusting of professionals who, while wanting to help, may appear to the families as intrusive and insensitive to a family's plight. This article identifies six basic therapeutic tasks that the authors believe essential to work with socially disadvantaged families. It also introduces a particular approach, The Person-of-the- Therapist Model, to therapists' use of themselves in the work with these families. It emphasizes therapists relating and working through their own life experiences, especially their personal vulnerabilities, as a medium through their own life experiences, especially their personal vulnerabilities, as a medium through to relate to the pain and brokenness of these emotionally and socially vulnerable families.

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