Family Council/Family Meeting
NOTE: Page numbers enclosed in parentheses are citations from The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler: A systematic presentation in selections from his writings. (H. L. and R. R. Ansbacher, Eds.).© 1964. Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. Used by permission of Perseus Books Group.
These terms are used interchangeably. The idea of the family council was developed by Dreikurs (1974) as a vehicle for promoting democratic leadership, family harmony, individual responsibility, and mutually respectful engagement in problem-solving. Briefly, families (including all members of a household who choose to attend) meet at an agreed-upon fixed time and place each week to (a) plan family activities; (b) discuss and decide upon the assignment of household tasks; (c) discuss difficulties, suggest solutions to problems, and agree on logical consequences. ALL family members may put items on the agenda for the meeting. Responsibilities for chairing the family meeting, and for recording minutes of decisions reached, rotate among members. Decisions are unanimous. If no decision is reached on a matter, the family thereby signifies that it is willing to leave that situation as it is for the present; the matter may be put on the agenda for further discussion at the following week's meeting. Decisions may remain in effect for as little as one week only, or until whatever time they are reviewed, evaluated for their effectiveness, and reworked as needed. The purpose of the family meeting is not the construction of a perfect or permanent order; rather it is a means for fostering the solidarity of the family in the management of its life, as it is being lived, week by week.
See Dreikurs, R., Gould, S., & Corsini, R. J. (1974); McKay, G.D. & Maybell, S. A. (2004).
© Griffith, J., & Powers, R. L. (2007). The Lexicon of Adlerian Psychology: 106 terms Associated with the Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler (2nd ed.). Port Townsend, WA: Adlerian Psychology Associates (p. 38).
Definitions of concepts are used by permission of Jane Griffith. A comprehensive list of concepts and definitions can be found in The Lexicon of Adlerian Psychology: 106 Terms Associated with the Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler by Jane Griffith and Robert L. Powers, available for purchase on Amazon.com.
Dreikurs, R. (1974). Child guidance and education: Collected papers. Chicago: Alfred Adler Institute.
Dreikurs, R., Gould, S., & Corsini, R. J. (1974). Family council: The Dreikurs technique for putting an end to war between parents and children (and between children and children). Chicago: Henry Regnery.
McKay, G. D., & Maybell, S. A. (2004). Calming the family storm: Anger management for moms, dads, and all the kids. Atascadero, CA: Impact.