Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Marital crisis and the trigenerational context: A model of short-term therapy

  • 36 Accesses

  • 1 Citations


This article demonstrates a therapeutic technique used with dysfunctional couples or couples undergoing a divorce crisis which systematically incorporates both families of origin (FOS) in the treatment. The theoretical basis consists in seeing the perturbances of the conjugal couple as coming from a trigenerational context consisting of the confluence of both FOS with their set style of relating. The therapeutic aim is the definition of the relationship within the nuclear family system (NFS) and both FOSs. The technique consists of five scheduled sessions that incorporate alternatively both FOSs without the presence of the other spouse. The style of the intervention owes much to contributions of the systemic school of family therapy, especially those of strategic therapy and the Milan school. Ad hoc modifications are made for work with the FOSs.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Boszormenyi-Nagy, I., & Spark, G. (1983).Lealtades invisibles. Buenos Aires: Amorrortu.

  2. Bowen, M. (1978).Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: Jason Aronson.

  3. Canevaro, A. A. (1978). Un modelo de ficha clinica familiar.Terapia Familiar, 2, 11–27.

  4. Canevaro, A. A. (1982). El contexte trigeneracional en terapia familiar.Terapia Familiar, 9, 101–118.

  5. Canevaro, A. A. (1981). Family therapy with psychotic patients: An institutional approach.Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 7, 375–383.

  6. Framo, J. (1982).Explorations in marital and family therapy. New York: Springer.

  7. Garcia Badaracco, J. (1982). Family as the real context of psychotherapeutic processes. In F. W. Kaslow (Ed.),The international book of family therapy (pp. 293–308). New York: Brunner/Mazel.

  8. Haley, J. (1980).Terapia para resolver problemas. Buenos Aires: Amorrortu.

  9. Selvini Palazzoli, M., Boscolo, L., Cecchin, G., & Prata, G. (1975).Paradosso y controparadosso. Milano: Feltrinelli.

  10. Selvini Palazzoli, M., Boscolo, L., Cecchin, C., & Prata, G. (1980). The problem of the referring person.Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 6, 3–9.

  11. Selvini Palazzoli, M., Boscolo, L., Cecchin, C., & Pratal, G. (1980). Hypothesizing-circularity-neutrality: Three guidelines for the conductor of the session.Family Process, 19, 3–12.

  12. Tomm, K. (1984). One perspective on the Milan systemic approach: Part I. Overview of development, theory, and practice.Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 10, 113–125.

  13. Ugazio, V. (1984). Hypothesization and the therapeutic process.Terapie Familiare, 16, 27–45.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Alfredo A. Canevaro.

Additional information

Adapted from an article published inTerapia Familiar (1986), volume 15, Buenos Aires, and reprinted by permission.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Canevaro, A.A. Marital crisis and the trigenerational context: A model of short-term therapy. Contemp Fam Ther 12, 115–127 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00892490

Download citation


  • Health Psychology
  • Theoretical Basis
  • Social Issue
  • Systemic School
  • Family Therapy