• Reflections from behind the screen: avoiding therapeutic rupture when utilising reflecting teams

      Parker, Nicola; O'Reilly, Michelle; University of Chester; University of Leicester (Sage, 2013-03-06)
      Since Tom Andersen developed the use of reflecting teams to facilitate the progress and process of family therapy, little empirical evidence has emerged regarding their effectiveness or use in therapeutic practice. Reflecting teams are typically embraced by family therapists as a positive mechanism for enhancing practice and thus it is important that research explores how they are utilized. In this article, we draw upon videotaped data of naturally occurring family therapy from the United Kingdom. Using conversation analysis, we identified three performative actions related to interrupting the therapeutic conversation to consult with a reflecting team. We found that therapists had difficulty exiting therapy, that on some occasions exit was hindered, and that there were disturbances in feeding back the reflections of the team. By examining the use of teams in real practice, we were able to make a number of recommendations for practicing family therapists to facilitate the use of this valuable resource.