Joining is both a process and, in some therapy models, a technique that creates a strong bond between the clinician and clients. The therapist and family join together to form a therapeutic relationship, and that relationship governs the behavior of its members. This process is especially important in couples and family therapy because the clinician has to create a relationship with multiple people; the clinician has to be seen as on each individual’s “side” and at the same time on no one’s side. Clinicians must maintain a close relationship with each individual and the family system as a whole. Although joining is emphasized to some degree in all approaches, in his structural family therapy (SFT) approach, Salvador Minuchin clearly defined joining as a process and ...

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