About the Book
Because Lynn Hoffman has been in the field for almost forty years and has worked with so many of its influential thinkers, the book is also a history of family therapy's evolution. Her knowledge of family therapy is intimate and deep; her perspective is clear-eyed and often wryly humorous.
Readers will be reminded that, however big and impressive the theories, family therapy is very much a human endeavor. Hoffman revisits the experiences, ideas, and relationships that have informed her journey and presents them both as she perceived them at the time and as she perceives them now looking back. Through this process of reflective conversation, she creates not only a legacy out of the people and situations that acted on her most powerfully but also a countertradition to the strategic approach that influenced her so strongly early in her career.
But this is not just history. Throughout her career Hoffman has been in the forefront of family therapy. She has interacted with and sometimes worked closely with many of family therapy's influential thinkers and actors, including Jay Haley, Virginia Satir, Dick Auerswald, Harry Aponte, Peggy Papp, Olga Silverstein, the Milan team, Peggy Penn, Harry Goolishian, Harlene Anderson, Tom Andersen, and Michael White. The evolution of her thinking has paralleled the major developments in the field. As she braids together continuity and innovation, she finds her own voice--a 'different voice'--and her own style--more open, more inclusive, and less controlling. In the second half of the book Hoffman demonstrates the many possibilities inherent in 'not knowing, ' in working with a reflecting team, in looking for the 'presenting edge, ' and in grabbing the 'emotional main chance.'