Distinguished Contribution to Family Therapy Theory & Practice
Eve Lipchik, LMFT, LCSW
Presenter: Evan Imber-Black*
Eve Lipchik, MSW, ACSW who retired in 2016, was co-founder and vice-president of ICF Consultants, Inc., and still maintains dual licensure in Marriage and Family Therapy and Clinical Social Work. During her long career she was a Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy; an Approved Supervisor of that organization; a Member of the American Family Therapy Academy; a Member of NASW, and a Board-Certified Diplomat in Social Work. From 1979 to l988, she was a full-time member of the team that developed Solution Focused Brief Therapy at the Brief Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee. Aside from her clinical practice, Eve has taught, lectured and consulted in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia, as well as the application of SFBT to spouse abuse treatment that she developed. Her numerous publications include journal articles, chapters, and two books: “Interviewing,” edited in l988 and published by Aspen Publication, and “Beyond Technique in Solution Focused Therapy: Working with Emotions and the Therapeutic Relationship” published in 2002 by Guilford Press.
The letter from AFTA congratulating me on the 2020 Distinguished Contribution to Family Therapy Theory & Practice Award took me totally by surprise. I have been fully retired for the past three years, and have not been actively contributing either in writing or teaching to the field. I also have to confess, that as the interest in Solution Focused Therapy (SFBT) intensified nationally and internationally over the years, my attention was diverted more toward conferences and events specifically focused on that approach. In spite of that, I have been aware of, and am concerned, like Savador Minuchin was, about the future of Family Therapy. Therefore, I really value that AFTA and AAMFT are carrying on their valuable mission. Receiving this award is not only a great honor, but an affirmation that the particular contribution I made to the development of SFBT is remembered and respected in the field of Family Therapy. I have veered from many of the commonly promulgated ways of thinking about, and practicing SFBT in my writing and lectures. My reason was not that I was not committed to its basic assumptions, but my deep conviction that for SFBT to be helpful to clients and therapists alike, I must make it my mission to remind my students that therapists are human beings first, therapists second, and SFBT therapists last. This resulted in my not winning popularity contests among some of my colleagues, but it was nevertheless rewarding because so many of my students, and readers of my publications expressed their appreciation for my perspective. Thank you so very much for confirming for me that my work is remembered and appreciated in the field of Family Therapy and by the members of AFTA!