This chapter focuses on important themes that emerge when engaging children and their parents in therapy. Jay Haley (1976), in talking about the first interview, makes the point that one has to have certain procedures in mind in seeing families for the first time, but he also sees the need to guard against the danger of being formulaic in applying procedures in real-life conversation with clients:

Any standardized method of therapy no matter how effective with certain problems cannot deal successfully with the wide range that is typically offered to a therapist—flexibility and spontaneity are necessary yet any therapist must also learn from experience and repeat what was successful before. A combination of familiar procedures and innovative techniques increases the probability of success, [p. 9]