1st Edition

International Family Therapy A Guide for Multilateral Systemic Practice in Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

By Laurie Charlés Copyright 2021
    202 Pages
    by Routledge

    202 Pages
    by Routledge

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    International Family Therapy brings the international plane and its emphasis on the global community of states to systemic family therapy.

    Informed by a coherent, multilateral perspective, each chapter covers a specific topic, including: discussions on the basis of state sovereignty and the role of international human rights law; the concept of human security and psychosocial risk to vulnerable populations; and the international economics and trade of public mental health initiatives for families across the globe. Written in an accessible style and peppered with vignettes and descriptive case examples, the text encourages the reader to better understand and implement family systems approaches from the perspective of the international system, with a focus on cultural considerations and best practice throughout.

    Combining key theoretical tenets of family therapy and essential knowledge of international relations relevant to global mental health, International Family Therapy is an essential guide for family therapy practitioners interested in working internationally.

    Part I. Desk Work and Preparation 1. Multilateral Family Therapy: An Introduction and an Overview  2. Families, States, and Self-Determination  3. International Human Rights Law and the Community of States  4. International Economics and Global Exchanges of Knowledge in Family Therapy  5. A Review of Best Practices and International Standards  6. Reflecting on Intervention: Moral Hazards of Multilateral Work Part II. On the Ground and in the Field 7. "We Don’t Think of Our Children as Soldiers": Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Former Child Soldiers in a Region of East Africa  8. Bargaining for the Future: Family Identity and State-Citizen Relational Process in Post-War Kosovo   9. Who Keeps the Peace and Who Makes the Peace? How Family and Community Engagement Is Used to Strengthen Reconciliation and Transitional Justice Mechanisms in Sri Lanka  10. Frontline Responses to "Build Back Better" during two Public Health Emergencies of International Concern: Guinea during the 2014 Ebola Virus Disease Epidemic and Massachusetts at the Start of the Covid-19 Pandemic  11. Family Therapy Training in a Multilateral Project: The Transformative Process of a 3D Role-Play in Beirut  Part III. Debrief and Reintegration 12. Leaving Home: Desk Work and Preparation  13. Safety and Risk Mitigation: At Home and in the Field  14. Leading from the Edge and Leading from the Center: Working in International Teams  15. Training the Next Generation of Skilled International Family Therapist Laurie L Charlés, Florence Lewis, Dorcas Matowe, Melissa Yzaguirre and Safia Jama


    Laurie L. Charlés, Ph.D., LMFT, implements systemic family therapy practice in international humanitarian relief contexts, in low- and middle-income countries, and with vulnerable populations in conflict-affected states. She is the author and co-editor of several books on family therapy, most recently, Family Therapy Supervision in Extraordinary Settings: Illustrations of Systemic Approaches in Everyday Clinical Work, with Dr. Thorana Nelson.

    "This book marks the ‘leaving home’ of family therapy. Charlés has achieved the Promethean task of breaking those chains that tie family therapy practice to specific cultural contexts and has provided a pragmatic and personal account of its application to international contexts. This exquisitely crafted book consists of a wide-ranging series of almost poetic essays (and engaging stories) that cover everything a multilateral family therapist needs to know when working across borders and in conflict ridden states. The book includes many gems of wisdom including innovative ideas for role-plays and suggestions about how training can be adapted to allow family therapy to reach its full international potential in ameliorating human suffering. Within all of this lies Charlés singular passion for increasing the resilience of the family however it is construed in the cultures where she has worked." – Mark Rivett, director of Systemic Studies, University of Exeter, UK

    "This exceptional book takes us on a journey to multilateral systemic practices. Being both an experienced practitioner in family therapy and qualitative researcher, Dr. Charlés looks at her humanitarian work from an almost autoethnographical perspective. We follow her reflections with keen attention and curiosity, learning practically along the way. She puts into our backpack theoretical knowledge, safety instructions, models and stories to learn from as well as visions for the future. If this journey were a Grand Tour, Dr. Charlés would be our bear-leader!"Professor Dr. Maria Borcsa, Institute of Social Medicine, Rehabilitation Sciences and Healthcare Research, University of Applied Sciences Nordhausen, Germany

    "In this comprehensive and engaging book about international family therapy, Laurie Charlés captures the wrenching complexities, sustainable possibilities, and moral hazards of offering mental health services on the global stage. She writes informally, as if chatting with you on a flight to Kosovo or Lebanon or Sri Lanka, but her stories and musings reveal the breadth and depth of her political savvy and international experience. A sophisticated multilateral thinker, Charlés's illuminations draw on her expertise as a qualitative researcher and systemic clinician, supervisor, and trainer. Soon into the book, you’ll find yourself wanting to renew your passport."Douglas Flemons, Ph.D., LMFT, professor emeritus of family therapy, Nova Southeastern University, USA

    "Working as a Peace Corps volunteer alongside Dr. Charlés many years ago, I recall her thoughtfulness when planning projects. She already understood that foreigners can’t save a community and always ensured that her work was sustainable. In this book, Dr. Charlés effectively sets the stage for the reader by defining and explaining complex ideas such as gross national happiness, states, and international human rights law. She describes so clearly the multiple layers involved in working internationally in the mental health field. Her personal experiences along with her expert knowledge is a perfect combination that makes for a must-read for every person planning to work in any realm of healthcare internationally." – Sara Cross, M.D., infectious diseases physician; associate professor of medicine, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, USA; Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Togo, West Africa, 1999-2002