To Dethrone a Padrone (52 minutes)
This videotape illustrates the use of prescribing a ritual to a family who presents a psychotic son as the identified patient. There have been prior hospitalizations and treatment failures with individual and family therapy. The course of treatment consisted of three family therapy sessions separated by one month intervals. A weekly ritual was prescribed which changed the family’s organization around the presenting symptom. Two-year post-treatment follow-up information is provided.
The tape demonstrates the gathering of critical systemic information; circular questioning; generating a three-generational hypothesis; prescribing a three-generational ritual; and the therapeutic use of self, humor, and metaphor.
“I appreciated so much that the central part of the therapeutic work was given over to the clear and explicit unraveling of the game to which the family is prey. Unmasking the game by prescribing the ritual . . .is a clever tactic. . . and a powerful therapeutic tool.”
Prof. Dott Mara Selvini Palazzoli, M.D.
Nuovo Centro Per Lo Stuidio Della Famiglia, Milano
“One of the best video training tapes I have ever seen.”
Richard Simon, Ph.D.
Editor, Family Therapy Networker
Dirty Underwear (73 minutes)
The identified patient in this six-session case is a 37-year-old married male who is obsessed with a woman and her underwear which he has stolen and keeps in his safe deposit box. The tape illustrates: the concept of symptom as metaphor both in gathering information and making therapeutic interventions; prescribing rituals; helping the patient regain the respect lost with his wife; and doing marital therapy by “coaching” one partner.
“Absolutely outstanding, educational, & entertaining; wonderful–his interventions were outrageous but effective; great use of metaphor and humor; Bergman is a master–where there is humor there is hope; delightful, engaging, fun and funny; refreshing presentation of the artistic side of family therapy; lots of new techniques that will be useful in my practice.”
Comments about “Dirty Underwear” from 1992 AAMFT Conference in Miami, FL.
Only in the Kitchen (54 minutes) – available with subtitles in Spanish and in French
A young couple married for less than two years present problems with their respective parents as well as emotional and sexual problems with each other. This is an edited tape of the intial session only. Some of the clinical issues include: helping each partner further separate from their respective families; identifying and resolving marital issues related to closeness, control, sexuality, and gender differences.
“Loved it! Joel used himself as metaphor and it was fascinating; gave me more confidence to be more myself in therapy; his joy of doing therapy was a delight to me.”
Comments about “Only In The Kitchen” from the 2001 AAMFT Conference in Nashville.
Damaged Goods (40 minutes) – available with subtitles in Spanish
This case demonstrates the use of tasks and rituals with an individual patient. Four treatment sessions focus on marital-separation issues with a male patient following the discovery of his wife’s extra-marital affair. In addition to the marital-separation work, treatment was also directed toward changing the patient’s view of himself as a victim. The patient was such an extraordinary self-induced victim, that he purchased only dented cans of food from supermarkets.
Also demonstrated is the therapeutic use of self, humor, and metaphor. The narration provides explicit explanations and the rationale for the prescription of rituals and therapeutic tasks.
School Problems (42 minutes)
An angry 13-year-old girl who has failing grades in school is the identified patient in this single-parent family. The father committed suicide three weeks before the couple’s marital separation became final. The first session is with the single-parent family, who is joined by the 74-year-old grandfather for the second session. The case illustrates how the presenting symptom make sense within a three-generational context.
The tape offers some of the clinical theory involved in working with single-parent families. It also provides two important techniques related to gathering clinical information. One has to do with the importance of the therapist changing the affect in the session, the other has to do with making use of Bateson’s notion of differences.
Anxiety Attacks (56 minutes)
The identified patient in this four-session case is a 22-year-old male who was hospitalized for severe anxiety attacks. The treatment begins after he was discharged from three weeks of hospitalizion in a private psychiatric institution.
The clinical themes related to the symptom in this case have to do with: a serious of losses experienced by the family; the social stigma of the family being sympathetic to neighbors suffering from AIDS; and potential marital conflict once the last child leave home.
The family was given several tasks and a candle-lighting ceremony which permitted the family to deal with many of these issues sufficiently to release the patient from his symptomatic position.
‘Bubbe Meiser’ Consultation (120 minutes)
This videotape shows how the use of self, humor, and metaphor are used during an initial consultation with a family of seven who is focused on their eldest son who has been kicked out of several religious schools for behavioral problems. The tape shows how the use of self and humor are used to join, deflect, reduce tension, modulate the affect in the session, gather information, stay in charge of the session, and change a serious, solemn atmosphere into something almost playful.
The tape emphasizes how to make destructive thinking constructive and change negative affect into positive affect while adding creativity and play to the clinical work.