Several good books exist about systemic understanding in therapy and a few about dialogic understanding. However, none try to bridge the gap between these two world views, which have some similarities, but also a whole array of differences. This book is an attempt to find a bridge. According to systemic theory, we exist only in and because of the network of relationships we are embedded in. In dialogic theory, we inhabit different worlds, and we need dialogue (we need engaging in that hard struggle that is proper dialogue) in order to make them communicate with each other. Putting these different views together poses problems but provides a good dialogic exercise too. The author found it increasingly necessary as he felt more and more uncomfortable with the more conventional versions of Batesonian systemic wisdom he had adopted in previous years. At the same time he did not feel convinced by some of the new ideas about dialogue, where one was compelled to get rid of everything one thought valuable in systemic understanding.
Paolo Bertrando MD, PhD, psychiatrist and psychotherapist, was on the faculty of the Milan Centre for Family Therapy from 1993 to 2013. He is currently the Director of the Systemic-Dialogical School of Psychotherapy in Bergamo, Italy. Dr Bertrando is Associate Editor for Italy of the 'British Journal of Family Therapy'. He is the author of several scientific articles and books including 'The Times of Time' and 'Systemic Therapy with Individuals', both with Luigi Boscolo, and 'The Dialogical Therapist'. His current interests are in the emotional dynamics of systemic therapy, the analysis of contexts in systemic theory and practice, and the consequences of economical and social change on therapists and clients.
Contents1 Understanding and influencing2 Text and context3 Practices and theories4 Hypotheses and dialogues5 Therapists and clients6 Frames and relationship7 Dialogues and systems8 Questions and statements9 Presence and absence 10 Selves and technologies