There are a lot of theories in family therapy, not all of which are even really theories, properly understood: general systems theory, family of origin theory, psychodynamic theory, structural family therapy theory, Milan systems theory, contextual therapy, etc. Also, there are still some clinicians being minted that will tell you with a straight face that they are, say, “Bowenian therapists.” I don’t mean to be a jerk, but if anyone tells you that they have one pure theory as a counselor, you can tell them I said they are probably not telling the truth.
The truth is that if you go through the new-fangled Master’s programs focused on Applied Psychology, which is academic speak for “therapy programs,” you will end up with the delightful ability to pull from various different theories/ways of understanding individuals and families. And yet words like “eclectic” are looked down upon when it comes time to “describe your orientation” (a command that always makes me want to say “pansexual,” not because pansexuality is funny per se, but because it would really startle). People tend to say “I selectively pull from various orientations” or something like that. I probably have said that.
But the longer I work in therapy (still the blink of an eye, of course, compared to most), the more I feel like psychoeducation is my theory. Psychoeducation, if we translate it into normal English, basically means sharing what you understand about a theory or an analysis with your clients. Radical, by some people’s estimation, actually, and in some circles identified as a new-age theory in itself. But all it means is sharing knowledge. Handing it over instead of clutching it to your chest. Inviting your clients in to help you look through this particular lens instead of peering at them through it from across the room.
Maybe I am lucky, but it seems to me that psychoeducation always works to good effect; my clients are always smart enough and open enough to understand. And I always seem to get more purchase on the issue at hand with two brains working in tandem despite the “Mastery” proclaimed on my degree. I think that championing the transparency of psychoeducation broadly might just be something I can get fired up about.