I offer an autoethnographic exploration of my experience with the culture of a marriage and family therapist (MFT) in training. As a beginning therapist I assumed that success would be determined primarily by how well I mastered different theoretical models. This belief shifted during an instance in which I was planning to begin differentiating myself from my family of origin using Bowenian techniques. I experienced a profound shift in the way I interacted with my father – and with others – as a result of an interaction completely void of therapeutic technique. I discuss the ways that this experience changed my view of what it means to be therapeutic. Implicit in my exploration are recommendations for the training and practice of MFTs.


Marital and Family Therapy, Autoethnography, Self of the Therapist, and Differentiation


I wish to thank m y father, who, after reading this article, expressed his willingness to have it published.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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