Family Kaleidoscope


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About the Author

Salvador Minuchin, M.D., is author of Families and Family Therapy and Family Kaleidoscope and coauthor of Psychosomatic Families: Anorexia Nervosa in Context.


[This book], the fruit of Dr. Minuchin's year off from clinic and classroom, presents several case studies, each making the same point about the primacy of the family… Family Kaleidoscope offers a radical departure in format. Dr. Minuchin breaks free of the typical pallidness of case reports and employs some experimental writing. He borrows from Ibsen and Pirandello, engaging an imaginary reader in dialogues and blurring fact and fantasy to present cases in the form of playlets… If Dr. Minuchin’s example were to inspire a new way of presenting clinical case histories, it would enhance the pleasures of psychiatry’s clinical literature.
*New York Times Book Review*

Minuchin moves us at a whirlwind pace through family therapy scenarios, courtroom trials, and dialogues between Reader and Author that anticipate our reactions to (and criticisms of) his method. With the talent of a playwright and the vision of a social historian, he vivifies the experiences of families in trouble: Minuchin does not just write about therapy, he dramatizes it.

Salvador Minuchin is one of the most experienced family therapists of our time… This is an immensely readable and interesting book whether or not you know anything about family therapy.
*Adoption and Fostering*

Minuchin sees his job as one of introducing a therapeutic revision in the system—one subtle enough and yet strong enough to move the family from being locked in nagging, self-blame, self-pity, and anorexia to one that is more creative, able to move and change… [This book] is an exciting, masterfully written examination.
*The Fessenden Review*

As one is swept along in Minuchin’s powerful prose and convictions, it almost seems as if he has found the universal solvent in which all family griefs and violence can be dissolved… Anyone reading this book is likely by turns to be charmed, exasperated, skeptical or angry. But how the reader sees divorce, remarriage, the history of the family, murder or even the plays of Pirandello will be altered.
*Journal of Child Psychiatry*

The substance of [the book] is stories. The people Minuchin describes come alive, and we come to care what happens to them. They are each parts of the kaleidoscope, but they transcend the patterns of which they are a part… [The book] deserves an audience. It joins that small company of books…that help the public understand the work of family therapists and its theoretical contributions. It is the most personal of Minuchin’s books, and Minuchin is its most interesting story.
*Family Process*

This enjoyable and clearly written text gives any reader, whether from a clinical or theoretical perspective, much to consider. A reader/author dialogue at the end of each chapter addresses in a thought-provoking yet playful manner many of the theoretical issues to be considered in dealing with families… This book has appeal for a variety of audiences and will be read on a number of levels. The experienced clinician and family studies theorist will benefit from a fresh approach and the humor and unconventional format presented. The individual with limited experience with family systems concepts will find an easy to read account of family therapy without the often intimidating and unfamiliar jargon.
*Family Relations*

[Minuchin] has a fine grasp of family dynamics and he writes about it with imagination and vigor… He helps readers escape the habit of thinking in terms of individuals and begin to see the whole of the family system. He describes the struggles of families in transition—and the triangular complexities of these developments… Writing for the general public allows an author to be more candid, to drop some of the formal conventions of professional writing and reveal the personal side of the writer. In [this book] we get to hear from Minuchin the expert and Minuchin the person. He is never smug, always open and feeling.
*Family Therapy Networker*

The very richness, depth and breadth of this book make it difficult to recommend to the non-research clinician… Minuchin writes [the book] from the dual perspective of a self-styled elder of the family therapy movement and the freedom of an early retirement. Roaming widely and persuasively, he pursues his theme in varied, ingenious ways… Case illustrations from both history and fiction are examined with Minuchin’s flair for the dramatic and his sharp, critical eye. An imaginary dialogue between Author and Reader ends each chapter—a disarming way to raise some of the issues the skeptical reader wants raised.
*Journal of Child Psychology*

Vignettes of families in transition, of new and old family violence—in a delicate, resonant interplay of fact, fiction, and imaginary dialogues by one of our most esteemed family therapists… The book has emotional and intellectual drama. It speaks at once for family therapy…for family, all-family, mindedness.
*Kirkus Reviews*

Unusual and experimental in the way it presents ideas…from the point of view of one of the most experienced family therapists of our time.
*Jay Haley*

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