Mind the gap: the need for a generic bridge between psychoanalytic and systemic approaches



The context for this paper is the ongoing systemic/psychoanalytic debate. It offers an alternative perspective to the recent contribution by Brodie and Wright (2002), in which they are concerned to underscore difference between the two therapeutic approaches. Here it is argued that the relationship is a great deal more complex than Brodie and Wright's analysis might suggest. Attention is focused on significant areas of commonality, in particular the impact of social constructionist thinking across the two therapies as well as current developments in technique. A case is made for the consolidation of generic space where there is opportunity for cross-fertilization and for integrative and combined systemic/psychoanalytic approaches to be nurtured and developed where appropriate. Case vignettes are used to highlight different aspects of the generic component in child and family therapy and to underline the need for bridge-building between these key therapeutic approaches in the field.