Use of Theoretical Models in Family Therapy: Focus on Social Constructionism

  • Gabriela Silveira de Paula-Ravagnani Universidade de São Paulo
  • Carla Guanaes-Lorenzi Universidade de São Paulo
  • Emerson Fernando Rasera Universidade Federal de Uberlândia
Keywords: family therapy, clinical psychology, social constructionism, theories


In the field of family therapy (FT), theoretical and methodological perspectives coexist. This article aims to comprehend how family therapists use different theories, especially social constructionism. We describe a qualitative study, carried out through semi-structured and individual interviews with 14 Brazilian family therapists, men and women. Our analysis and discussion present four types of discourse by which the participants combine theoretical perspectives: conciliatory-constructionist, conciliatory-reflexive, conciliatory-descriptive and eclectic. The analysis presents features that characterize and differentiate each discourse, and implications they have on the participants’ practice. We conclude that the combination of theories is an effort to enhance clinical practice, at the same time as it creates tensions in the FT field. This article invites family therapists to construct practices based on an epistemological investigation, by which they will be able to identify theoretical premises that guide their actions, as an effort to achieve congruence between practices and the theories behind them.


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How to Cite
Paula-Ravagnani, G., Guanaes-Lorenzi, C., & Rasera, E. (2017). Use of Theoretical Models in Family Therapy: Focus on Social Constructionism. Paidéia (Ribeirão Preto), 27(67), 84-92.