Clinical Practice with Families: Supporting Creativity and Competence / Edition 1

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Encourage creative change in troubled families!

Clinical Practice with Families: Supporting Creativity and Competence presents the most important and useful contemporary ideas in family therapy from many diverse traditions. By organizing eclectic concepts within one basic, powerful framework, it makes these ideas more accessible and effective in practice.

Instead of exploring these ideas in the abstract, Clinical Practice with Families illustrates them with in-depth case examples that include detailed studies of the client family's history and traditions, extensive analyses of the family system, and actual dialogue from sessions, along with the therapist's comments on shifting alliances and other unspoken occurrences. No other technique could better demonstrate the practical integration of therapeutic skills and concepts to meet the clients’needs.

Clinical Practice with Families offers insight and ideas for practicing family therapists in such essential areas as:

  • negotiating flexible, appropriate boundaries between family members and between yourself and your clients
  • constructing ecomaps of a client's support systems and stressors
  • identifying four kinds of supports
  • helping the client reinterpret family traditions
  • enabling clients to break the pattern of old narratives
  • encouraging clients to set realistic, achievable goals
Clinical Practice with Families offers a powerful set of techniques and ideas in a clear, understandable framework. Illustrated with helpful charts and figures, it offers senior students and practicing family therapists an opportunity to take a structured approach to contemporary theory and understand its implications for practice.
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Editorial Reviews

Written for family therapists, this book integrates clinical concepts like personal boundaries, family development, and narrative understanding to form a single basic framework. Supporting its theoretical positions with case studies, the book offers advice on negotiating boundaries, mapping a client's support systems, reinterpreting family traditions, breaking old patterns, and setting goals. The case studies include details of client family histories and traditions, analyses of the family system, excerpts from therapy sessions, and the therapist's commentary. Rothery teaches social work at the University of Calgary. Enns teaches social work at the University of Saskatchewan. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789010841
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 270
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents


  • Foreword
  • Introduction: Creativity and Frameworks
  • Our Purpose
  • Clinical Theory and the Ecological Perspective
  • Clinical Theory: An Embarrassment of Riches
  • Case Example: The Doyles
  • Creativity
  • Frameworks
  • Part I. Essential Themes—A Framework for Understanding
  • Chapter 1. Boundaries
  • The Nature of Boundaries
  • Qualities and Functions of Boundaries
  • The Rhythm of Contact and Withdrawal
  • A Boundary Dynamic
  • The Boundary Negotiation Process
  • Boundaries and Identity
  • Boundaries in Context
  • Chapter 2. Traditions
  • Traditions Defined
  • Sources of Traditions
  • The Advantages of the Concept
  • Our Relationship to Traditions
  • Rebecca and Daniel's Crisis Revisited
  • Chapter 3. Development of Individuals in Families: Themes and Variations
  • The Advantages of a Developmental View
  • A Perspective on Development
  • The New Couple
  • Boundaries with the Couple's Extended Family and Other Systems
  • Bearing and Caring for Children
  • Caring for Adolescents
  • Launching the Young Adult
  • Attachment and Disengagement in Later Life
  • Further Variations
  • The Therapist's Developmental Issues
  • Part II. Facilitating Change
  • Chapter 4. Understanding Change
  • Theories of Explanation and Theories of Change
  • Relationship As a Precondition for Change
  • Boundaries and the Helping Relationship
  • Traditions and the Helping Relationship
  • Change and the Boundary Dynamic
  • Summary: Generalizations About Change
  • Example: Ideas About Change in Action
  • Final Note: Technique and Creativity
  • Chapter 5. Setting Goals, Discovering Solutions
  • Defining Problems and Discovering Solutions
  • Traditions and the Search for Solutions
  • Integrating Different Agendas
  • Goals and Stages in the Process of Change
  • Chapter 6. Clarifying Boundaries: Boundaries As a Framework for Therapy
  • Clarifying Boundaries: A New Example
  • The Generational Boundary
  • Clarifying Boundaries: An Extended Example
  • Chapter 7. Helping Vulnerable Families
  • The Concept of Vulnerability
  • Vulnerability and Clinical Intervention
  • Vulnerability and Boundaries
  • Vulnerability and Traditions
  • Case Example: The McDougalls
  • Expanding Our Understanding: The Ecomap
  • Focus on Strengths
  • Implications for Service
  • Epilogue: Future Creative Challenges
  • References
  • Index
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