Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

Living Edition
| Editors: Jay Lebow, Anthony Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Family Secrets

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-15877-8_838-1

Secrecy is as indispensible to human beings as fire, and as greatly feared. Both enhance and protect life, yet both can stifle, lay waste, spread out of all control. Both can be used to guard intimacy or to invade it, to nurture or to consume. And each can be turned against itself: barriers of secrecy are set up to guard against secret plots and surreptitious prying, just as fire is used to fight fire. – Sisela Bok

Penetrating so many secrets, we cease to believe in the unknowable, but there it sits, calmly licking its’ chops. – H.L. Mencken

Secrets in the Therapeutic Context

“I know they know, because my sisters know and their grown children know. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve sat together with our sons and daughters, looking at their wedding pictures and never have they asked to see ours, not one of them!” These words of Carol Littleton (All names and identifying information have been changed.), reflecting on the aching half century secret that her two oldest children were...

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References

  1. Black, L. (1993). AIDS and secrets. In E. Imber-Black (Ed.), Secrets in Families and Family Therapy (pp. 355–369). New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  2. Brill, A. (1990). Nobody’s business: The paradoxes of privacy. New York: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  3. Hartman, A. (1993). Secrecy in adoption. In E. Imber-Black (Ed.), Secrets in Families and Family Therapy (pp. 86–105). New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  4. Imber-Black, E. (1993). Secrets in families and family therapy: An overview. In E. Imber-Black (Ed.), Secrets in Families and Family Therapy (pp. 3–28). New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  5. Imber-Black, E. (2013). Secrets that won’t rest. Nautilus, 6, 1–6.Google Scholar
  6. Imber-Black, E. (1998). The secret life of families. New York: Bantam Publishers.Google Scholar
  7. Imber Coppersmith, E. (1985). Teaching trainees to think in triads. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 11, 61–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. McGoldrick, M., Gerson, R., & Petrie, S. (2015). Genograms: Assessment and intervention. New York: Guilford Publishers.Google Scholar
  9. Mason, M. (1993). Shame: Reservoir for family secrets. In E. Imber-Black (Ed.), Secrets in Families and Family Therapy (pp. 29–43).Google Scholar
  10. Welter-Enderlin, R. (1993). Secrets of couples and couples’ therapy. In E. Imber-Black (Ed.), Secrets in families and family therapy (pp. 47–65). New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marriage and Family TherapyMercy CollegeDobbs FerryUSA
  2. 2.Center for Families and HealthAckerman Institute for the FamilyNew York CityUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Molly F. Gasbarrini
    • 1
  1. 1.California School of Professional PsychologyAlliant International UniversityLos AngelesUSA