It is only through the confining act of writing that the immensity of the nonwritten becomes legible.
—Italo Calvino, from If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller
We hope the website will illuminate the challenge of integrating theoretical models and the practical advantages of doing so, aware that all who review our work cannot fail to be impressed with how much there is still to discover and understand.
We have personally gained new insights from preparing the website and its contents, arising from the quite different discipline it required of us compared to our previous publications. We decided to re-write the 1985 Integrated Family Therapy book as an open-source website after many years of applying the model to clinical practice, and are grateful for the advice on its preparation many others have generously provided. The material it now contains is drawn from continual learning in a field of therapy that has massively expanded over the thirty years since the book was written.
We work in the two domains in which family therapy practice might be expected to make a significant contribution: Lisa twenty years in social practice, Rob in healthcare since the 1970’s. Since the drivers of complexity and the main tasks in each domain are quite different, it does not follow that – despite the trend toward their integration at a managerial level – the same family therapy training can be introduced across both. Even within the field of medicine, different tasks are present in mental health compared to the remainder of medical practice, so the context of training is extremely important in guiding training content.
It is not the voice that commands the story, it is the ear.
—Italo Calvino, from Invisible Cities
The material on this website, and the way it has been organised, can only be completed by being read, thought about and discussed, then tested in everyday practice. We have worked across a number of social work and psychiatric-care settings in the UK and Canada, but do not have any significant knowledge of how best the work we describe can be situated within other organisational systems and other sociocultural contexts. Although the web-site’s design has been organised to allow it to be useful across many contexts, development is a dialogical process and the model we describe is certain to evolve further too.
We look forward to hearing of learning outcomes arising from its use, and new ways of sharing these experiences being identified. We welcome contact as one way of helping such dissemination.