On the issues of power in the family and family therapy
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Uniwersytet Jagielloński Collegium Medicum, Klinika Psychiatrii Dzieci i Młodzieży, Pracownia Psychologii i Psychoterapii Systemowej
Barbara Józefik   

Pracownia Psychologii i Psychoterapii Systemowej Kliniki Psychiatrii Dzieci i Młodzieży CM UJ
Submission date: 2019-02-25
Final revision date: 2019-05-23
Acceptance date: 2019-12-18
Online publication date: 2020-08-31
Publication date: 2020-08-31
Psychiatr Pol 2020;54(4):777–789
The issue of power is an important area of reflection in family and couple therapy, as well as afrequent object of practical impact. The article focuses on two fundamental perspectives showing power as acomplex phenomenon: systemic and gender, which in combination allow amore holistic approach to the issue. The article discusses the contemporary systemic approach to the discussed problem by outlining the limitations associated with the early understanding of circularity and neutrality. On the other hand, it presents agender perspective –increasingly visible in family therapy – which emphasizes the cultural discourses of femininity/masculinity, recognizes the privileges and limitations associated with them, and describes the inequalities of the position of women and men in society reproduced in relationships and in the family. In this sense, the struggle for power, usually translated into difficulties in the family, is not only an expression of the difficulties of the couple, related to experiences from families of origin, but also reflects cultural messages, internalized expectations about relations between sexes and their functioning in gender roles.