Augustus Y. Napier Quotes.

1. "Even though we were still waiting for Don, therapy was well begun. We were engaged in a subtle, often predictable, and very important contest with the family about who was going to be present at the meetings. Carl and I had revealed some of what our relationship had to offer: a good-humored liking for each other, an ability to cooperate, and an insistence on remaining ourselves. I was clearly not going to be the reverential assistant to the older man. And perhaps most important, Carl had intuitively modeled some of the process of therapy for the family. By sharing insight into his own personality, he was saying by demonstration, "It's important to search for you own unconscious agenda."
- Quote by Augustus Y. Napier

2. "By marrying to soon, many individuals sacrifice their chance to struggle through this purgatory of solitude and search toward a greater sense of self-confidence. They glance at the world outside the family and with hardly a second thought grasp anxiously for a partner. In marriage they seek a substitute for the security of the family of origin and an escape from aloneness. What they do not realize is that moving so quickly from one family to another, they make it easy to transfer to the new marriage all their difficult experiences in the family of origin."
- Augustus Y. Napier, The Family Crucible

3. "Marriage is going to be that happy state in which we get all of the nurturance and care and love and empathy and even good advice that we didn't receive from our families."
- Augustus Y. Napier, The Family Crucible

4. "Ordinarily, only the person whom we really love, who touches our very roots, has the capacity to drive us crazy, and it may be only this person who has the capacity to help us find our deepest strengths."
- Augustus Y. Napier, The Family Crucible

5. "When Carl asked the Brices to bring their whole family to therapy, everyone in the family knew intuitively what that meant. Their whole world would be exposed: all its caring, its history, its anger, its anxiety. All in one place at once time, subject to the scrutiny and invasion of a stranger. And that was too much vulnerability. With its own unconscious wisdom, the family elected Don to stay home and test the therapists. Did we really mean everybody? Would we weaken and capitulate if they didn't bring Don? They had something to gain by the strategy. If we were hesitant and unconfident in our approach to their defiance, they would know that they could not trust us with the boiling cauldron of feeling which their family contained. If we were decisive and firm, they would guess that maybe we could handle the stresses which they intuitively knew had to be brought out into the open. One way or another, they had to find out how much power we had. In the meantime, they postponed facing that mysterious electricity, that critical mass, the whole family. Perhaps they thought they could be spared what Zorba called the full catastrophe."
- Augustus Y. Napier, The Family Crucible

6. "It has been a long road for us as family therapists to reach an understanding of just this phenomenon-the sense of the whole, the family system. While we could have explained the theory of meeting with the whole family to the Brices, at that anxious moment it would not have touched them. There are situations where, in the words of Franz Alexander, the woice of the intellent is too soft. The family needed to test us. They needed the experience of our being firm. As unpleasant as it was, our response must have reassured them. They knew, and we sensed, how difficult their situation was and how tumultuous it could become. They simply has to know that we could withstand the stress if they dared open it up."
- Augustus Y. Napier, The Family Crucible

7. "The individual psychotherapy patient comes to the therapist with an almost automatic deference, a sense of dependence and compliance. The role pattern is old and established: the dependent child seeking guidance from a parent figure. There is no such traditional image for the family, no established pattern in which an entire family submits to the guidance of an individual. And the family structure is simply too powerful and too crucial for the members to go trustingly into an experience that threatens to change the entire matrix of their relationships. If the family therapist is to acquire that initial "authority figure" or "parent" role that is so necessary if therapy is to be more powerful than an ordinary social experience, he has to earn it."
- Augustus Y. Napier, The Family Crucible

8. "Families come into therapy with their own structure, and tone, and rules. Their organization, their pattern, has been established over years of living, and it is extremely meaningful and very painful for them. They would not be in therapy if they were happy with it. But however faulty, the family counts on the familiarity and predictability of their world. If they are going to turn loose this painful predictability and attempt to reorganize themselves, they need firm external support. The family crucible must has a shape, a form, a discipline of sorts, and the therapist has to provide it. The family has to know whether we can provide it, and so they test us."
- Augustus Y. Napier, The Family Crucible

9. "the battle for structure."
- Augustus Y. Napier, The Family Crucible

10. "Therapy, for us, is related to a growth process that takes place naturally in lives and in families. We assume that the will and the need to expand and integrate experience are universal; and the family that enters psychotherapy is simply one in which that natural process has become blocked. Therapy is a catalytic agent which we hope will help the family unlock their own resources. Therefore, we place great emphasis on the family’s own initiative, assuming that if they cannot discover their own power to change themselves, therapy will have no enduring effect. Like"
- Augustus Y. Napier, The Family Crucible