In this article, I argue for a both – and position in regard to manuals. I suggest that manuals are appropriate when describing therapeutic strategizing and technical competence. However, I also argue that they are an inappropriate tool for understanding the contribution of the client's family in family therapy. This argument fuels a further view that manuals cannot capture the dance that occurs between therapist and family. For this type of knowledge, a relational type of competence needs to be developed.
We encourage you to listen to the JFT Editor, Mark Rivett, as he interviews the author on Manuals in the Practice and Research of Family Therapy. Available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1467-6427/homepage/jft_podcast_series.htm.