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Rebuilding Shattered Families: Disclosure, Clarification and Reunification of Sexual Abusers, Victims, and Their Families

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The purpose of this article is to integrate concepts related to strategic, solution-focused, and narrative family therapies with the treatment of sexual abusers and their families; apply solution-focused and narrative theories to families of sexual abusers; offer a conceptualization of disclosure and victim clarification as preparation for family reunification; and present a model of family reunification that can be applied to family work with sexual abusers and their families.“Our conceptual framework can highlight the similarities between clients and us and humanize our relationship with them or they can highlight our dissimilarities, objectify clients, and invite us to treat them as“Other.”These interactions have the potential to invite the enactment of particular life stories for clients. If we use pathologizing categories to understand families, we run the risk of bringing forth pathology. Conversely, if we use categories that highlight clients' resourcefulness, we increase the chance of bringing forth competence. In short, what we see shapes what we get and where we stand shapes what we see.William Madsen from Collaborative Therapy with Multi-Stressed Families

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Devereux Foundation, Rutland, Massachusetts, USA

Publication date: 2004-10-01

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