Nonverbal communication in family therapy

Douglas Breunlin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Students of family therapy as well as therapists experienced in work with individuals frequently report that their first encounters with families are overwhelming and exhausting. Several interrelated factors contribute to the taxing nature of family therapy. One is the enormous amount of sensory material with which the therapist is bombarded throughout a family therapy session. Second, this material is linked to several levels of systems organization to which the therapist must attend simultaneously. These levels range from organismic activity to the social life of the family group as a whole. The therapist is able to handle consciously only a fraction of this input. Some of it goes unnoticed, but a large fraction is also registered out of awareness and in a sometimes disturbing and confusing way. The experience of a family can, in fact, be overpowering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFamily and Marital Psychotherapy a Critical Approach
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781317805380
ISBN (Print)9780415740623
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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