The article puts into view the involvement of children in family therapy. From the scholars perspective, the issue regarding the inclusion of children in therapy has not been highly emphasized. The view is that most family therapists do not focus on all members of a family during therapy which is an aspect that might result in further problems. Also, the population that is affected the most are the children as they are mostly excluded from family therapy. The article highlights the reasons that influence counselors to ignore children during therapy, the associated implications regarding practice. The research design involved in the article is a systematic review of the significant areas associated with family therapy. The areas covered by the article include; systems theory with respect to the attention provided to children during family therapy, history regarding child counseling, evidence regarding the need for child counseling, the significance of family counseling for both parents and children, in addition to a professional inventory recommended for practitioners in family counseling (Miller & McLeod, 2001).
A strength of the article is the comprehensive analysis of each area in which the scholars highlight various studies and perspective from other researchers. On systems theory with respect to the attention provided to children during family therapy, the scholars explain that the founders of the systems theory highly emphasized on the need for including children in therapy. The suggested methodology entails three stages that include child-centered stage, parent-centered stage, and child-centered stage respectively. Other views that support the ideology include the divergent nature of the literature and theories affiliated with the practice and the aspect of circular causality that puts into view parties having equal power during therapy. On history regarding child counseling, the scholars present a comprehensive analysis regarding the development of child counseling whereby they mention the associated theorists and the respective years of development. A good example is indicating the perspective by John Bowlby who played a significant role in the development of the attachment theory in regards to the relationship that children have with their parents or guardians. On the evidence regarding the need for child counseling, the scholars highlight significant studies on the area and how they have shaped the counseling process. The scholars focus on mental issues such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal tendencies that are viewed to affect children. A good illustration is a view by Good and Brophy (1986) who explain that the family environment is influential when it comes to the progress of a child when compared to the school curriculum, physical facilities, and economic associations. On the significance of family counseling for both parents and children, the scholars also highlight the findings affiliated with family counseling. A good example is a view by Kale and Landreth (1999) who explain that a counseling program that includes both parents and children is effective in reducing stress and behavioral issues in addition to improving self-concept (Miller & McLeod, 2001).
The professional inventory for practitioners suggested by the scholars contributes to the comprehensiveness of the article. The scholars highlight key areas that practitioners need to consider for them to include children in family therapy. The inventory includes theoretical concerns, training concerns, and child concerns. Each concern is associated with several questions which act as guidelines for the practitioners before engaging in therapy. The inventory is perceived to enable a reflection on ones obligations when facilitating therapy (Miller & McLeod, 2001).
Miller, L.D. & McLeod, E. (2001). Children as Participants in Family Therapy: Practice, Research and Theoretical Concerns. The Family Journal, 9(4), 375-383.
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