Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 351–361 | Cite as

Therapeutic control in family therapy

  • Arthur L. Leader


This article emphasizes the importance of establishing therapeutic control in family therapy. Therapeutic control is viewed as similar to conducting an orchestra or directing traffic. Problems that interfere with its implementation are related to the limited appreciation by the therapist of understanding the requirements and responsibilities of a leadership role, the lack of knowledge and experience of the therapist, the difficulty in establishing the relationship between presenting problems and family conflicts, being overwhelmed by the perception or expression of strong feelings, discomfort in presenting options. A therapist who is in control of the therapeutic process is able, comfortably and gently, to lead family members, who initially are often in chaos or resistive, to discuss hidden feelings and conflicts. Often, through the therapist's initiative and articulation of understanding of the problems, the family, more relieved than threatemed, is able to focus on major issues.


Family Member Family Therapy Leadership Role Present Problem Family Conflict 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur L. Leader
    • 1
  1. 1.Jewish Board of Family and Children's ServicesNew York

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