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Lexicon of Couples and Family Counseling

V - Z


veracity. From principle ethics; the implementation of truthfulness: It is intimately related to personal and professional integrity.


virtue. Desired qualities, traits, or attributes associated with living a good and productive life. In family practice, virtues refer to the personal qualities and ways of thinking, feeling, and being that are strongly associated with effective practice in the helping professions.


virtue ethics. Making ethical judgments based on the development and implementation of professional virtues associated with family practice.


von Bertalanffy, Ludwig. Developer of general systems theory.


Walsh, Froma. Author of Normal Family Processes and Strengthening Family Resilience, and a collaborator with Monica McGoldrick and Carol Anderson.


Walter, John L. Solution-focused therapist from Chicago; he is the co-author of two books on this model.


Walters, Marianne. A member of the women’s project that studied the roles of women in family life and family therapy.


Warkentin, John. Together with Carl Whitaker, he started seeing families at Oak Ridge Hospital in Tennessee between 1944 and 1946. In 1946, they left Oak Ridge to start the Department of Psychiatry in the Medical School at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.


Washington School of Strategic Family Therapy. Founded and developed by Jay Haley and Cloe Madanes.


Watson, John Broadus. Sometimes called the father of behaviorism, he was the first to test Pavlov’s classical conditioning model in the United States; he was also the author of the first best-selling book on parenting published in the United States.


Watzlawick, Paul. Theorist for the Mental Research Institute’s approach to strategic family therapy.


Weakland, John. Co-author of The Tactics of Change, a leading theorist at the Mental Research Institute (MRI).


Weiner-Davis, Michele. The co-developer of solution-oriented therapy.


wheel of influence. Satir’s process for diagramming significant others and the influence they have had on the individual or family. The person or family is located in the middle of a large piece of paper as the hub of the wheel; lines are drawn to significant others, suggesting spatially the closeness or separation from the person(s) in the hub. The influence of each person on the wheel is named with adjectives.


Whitaker, Carl. The founder and developer of symbolic-experiential family therapy.


White, Cheryl. Michael White’s wife/partner; co-director/publisher at Dulwich Centre.


White, Michael. A founder and developer of narrative therapy. Living in Australia, he is a collaborator with David Epston from New Zealand.


white male privilege. The idea that men in society have assigned certain unearned advantages to being white males and conferred dominance on themselves through law, custom, and tradition.


Winnicott, D. W. An object relations theorist.


Winter, Joan. Founder and director of the Family Institute of Virginia in Richmond. She was trained by both Milton Erickson and Virginia Satir, and she conducted a massive research project on family therapy in the late 1970s that compared the models of Bowen, Satir, and Haley.


Wolpe, Joseph. A behaviorist in the classical conditioning tradition of Pavlov, Wolpe is best known for the development of systematic desensitization and its applications to phobias.


Wollstonecraft, Mary. Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792/1989), a book credited with the initiation of the first wave of feminism.


womanists. A preferred term for the word “feminist” by women-of-color feminists.


women-of-color feminists. Feminist therapists who note that racism, classism, sexism, and heterosexism are all interlocked and cannot be considered separately when they are all experienced together. These oppressions affect all people, and within the context of therapy, womanists, actualize an appreciation of women’s culture, its strengths and emotional value, and seek to develop wholeness in both genders and all cultures.


The Women’s Project. A study of women in family therapy conducted by Betty Carter, Peggy Papp, Olga Silverstein, and Marianne Walters.


working through. What object relations family therapists do to get passed transference issues in therapy.


working with the future. In solution-oriented therapy, as preferred solutions are developed, they are transformed into specific, concrete goals. In anticipation of implementing these goals, possible obstructions to success are considered and ways around those obstructions are developed.


Worrel, Judith. Co-author with Pam Remer of Feminist Perspectives in Therapy: An Empowerment Model for Women.


Wynne, Lyman. A Harvard-trained psychiatrist, who headed the National Institute of Mental Health in the early 1950s. His work focused on dysfunctional communication in families, giving us such concepts of pseudomutuality, a facade of cooperation that masks conflict and derails intimacy; pseudohostility, a rather stereotyped approach to bickering or fighting that, again, masks a deeper hostility; and the rubber fence, or the ability of tightly controlled, pathological families to let members function in the outside world, but haul them back into family isolation if the members went beyond simple tasks like going to school or work.


Zimmerman, Jeffrey. Created Bay Area Family Therapy Training Associates, a narrative therapy center in San Francisco, California: co-author of If Problems Talked.


Zuk, Gerald. Developed triadic family therapy while working at the first Family Therapy Department at Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute (EPPI) with Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy.

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