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The Family Crucible: The Intense Experience of Family Therapy

Written by: Augustus Y. Napier, Ph. D. with Carl Whitaker, M.D.

By: Queenesha Herbert

Argosy University

Dr. Kaplan

December 18, 2012

The Family Crucible is a book depicting the scenario and drama of the Brice family’s experience in family therapy with co-therapist Dr. Carl Whitaker and Dr. Augustus Napier.

Presenting Issue
The Brice family was referred to family therapy by a noted child psychiatrist. The psychiatrist was working with the teenage daughter, Claudia, for about 6 months. He felt that she was getting worse alternatively he referred the entire family to therapy. The family was hesitant to participate in family therapy. At the first meeting, the 11 year old son, Don, was not in attendance. Since it seemed like Don decided not to show to the session, Carolyn, the mother felt that it would be no problem to start the session. Dr. Napier expressed to the family that he felt it would be a mistake to begin and continue without Don. In family therapy the goal is for change within the entire family and it would be unfair to the family to not have him be a part of that process. Carolyn continued her argument that they were referred to family therapy because of their problems with Claudia, which Don had nothing to do with. Dr. Napier informed her and the rest of the family, that their assumption that Claudia was the problem was just the surface of their problems. The whole family attended the following session and the therapists could begin the therapy. David, the father, began to talk about their family issues he focused on Claudia, it seemed that she was the source of all their problems. David stated that she had been in, what he called psychological trouble and usually the conflict was between Claudia and Carolyn about any and everything. When David was asked to talk about his...
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