Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, PsyD (Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book describes how cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be used with couples and families and demonstrates how it can be integrated with family systems, attachment theory, and neurobiology. The author also explains the role of schema in the family dynamic.
Purpose: According to the author, the book "presents a comprehensive model of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) with couples and families." It also "gets into the nitty-gritty aspects of working with difficult families who are stuck in rigid thought and behavioral patterns that clinicians often find arduous to treat."
Audience: It is intended for clinicians who treat couples and families, including therapists and counselors, clinical psychologists, social workers, pastoral counselors, and psychiatrists, as well as graduate students and trainees. One of the leaders in the field of CBT, Frank Dattilio, PhD, is on faculty at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania, and trained under Joseph Wolpe and Aaron Beck. He has coauthored many books and has presented CBT in countries on six continents.
Features: The author explains the cognitive processes that influence change, especially the schema component. He spends a lot of time discussing how the clinical assessment is conducted and describing various cognitive-behavioral techniques. Other topics include divorce, extramarital affairs, substance abuse, and domestic abuse. Finally, the book includes adjunctive therapies such as acceptance-based techniques and mindfulness. Two appendixes contain a list of various questionnaires and inventories for couples and families and show how to use a dysfunctional thought record. The 33 pages of clinical material, therapist interpretations, and interventions in the case examples in chapter 9 are invaluable for all clinicians, but especially for novice therapists. Many of the other chapters have clinical examples as well.
Assessment: This excellent book, written by an expert in the field of CBT, walks readers through the therapeutic process and provides techniques. The clinical examples are best thing about the book.
Clinical Psychology Forum
"This book is very helpful for placing into context attempts to reconcile CBT with family/couples’ therapy, which has quite a history….Dattilio gives strength to the idea that ‘the language of CBT’ is useful for understanding all manner of patient presentations."
The Independent Practitioner
"This book lives up to its title—it is comprehensive and almost a mini encyclopedia of information about CBT tools and techniques. Non-CBT specialists will find it comprehensible, well illustrated with clinical examples and applicable to clinical practice....The author describes his methods clearly, with diagrams and references to other authors. His frequent use of clinical examples keeps the material grounded in the reality of client work. The use of headings and sub-headings in the text aid the accessibility and usefulness of the content. Questions and strategies are clearly set out. All this helps the book to be practically useful to busy therapists....Counselors will find the strategies for overcoming common roadblocks and resistance to change relevant and useful. CBT specialists will find the chapters on schema and neuroscience of particular interest....This book has something to offer all therapists who can scour its contents for valuable additions to their therapeutic toolboxes."
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
"A helpful and accessible resource....Dattilio provides rich case examples that illuminate common maladaptive cognitions and behaviors in couple functioning and the particular role that affect plays in couple and family distress....With an extensive knowledge of the science of couples and family research and a keen passion for the art of clinical work, Dattilio has produced a high-quality, well-informed, and useful guide for CBT couples and family clinicians of all experience levels."
The National Psychologist
"Dattilio succeeds in presenting a comprehensive model of CBT with couples and families....A particular strength inherent in Dattilio's writing is his ability to integrate clinical practice informed by and supported by research, leading to evidence-based practice to which we all aspire. He does this by creating a balance of science, theory, practice, and techniques, punctuated by clinical vignettes....This is a must read book for CBT practitioners and couple and family practitioners."
Families in Society
"[Uses] well-written and accessible case examples, and provide[s] enough of an overview so that readers unfamiliar with either CBT or common factors will be able to benefit from the text....Dattilio challenges assumptions that CBT ignores emotions and systematic conceptualizations of problems and treatments....Written for clinicians, although researchers new to either CBT or common factors would benefit from the content....Suited for post-graduate clinicians and educators....Highly recommended."
From the Publisher
"Dattilio provides an excellent description of the development of cognitive-behavioral couple and family therapy and its underlying principles and constructs. He offers a thought-provoking and stimulating discussion of how attachment theory and schema therapy can inform and improve couple and family treatments. Of particular value are the book's clinically rich, vivid case examples. Seasoned clinicians and students alike will find Dattilio’s descriptions of his interactions with couples and families to be pragmatic, flexible, integrative, and highly engaging. He is an excellent role model for how to be a sensitive and effective clinician with a variety of clients; I know I will rely on this book a great deal to train new therapists."Kristina Coop Gordon, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Tennessee
"Sweeping in scope, and backed by a thorough review of the literature, this book is an outstanding contribution to the cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) literature. Dattilio covers a great deal of ground clearly and brings the reader up to date on the latest developments in the field. The book's integration of key techniques from systemic and family therapy into a CBT model makes it a core text for every therapist’s library."Antony Kidman, PhD, Director, Health Psychology Unit, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia
"This book is a 'must read' for therapists and researchers in the family field. As a comprehensive guide to cognitive-behavioral therapy with families, it will make a great textbook to be enjoyed by many generations of students. The book is a wonderful integration of research findings and case studies; the latter are especially delightful to read, and will serve as a model for students as well as for experienced therapists."Cloe Madanes, LIC, HDL, President, The Madanes Institute, La Jolla, California
"Dattilio has retained the core principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) while offering an expanded perspective on schemas. He also integrates information on neurobiology, attachment, general systems theory, mindfulness, and emotion regulation. In addition to providing a conceptual framework for therapy, the book offers specific skills and techniques such as the 'downward arrow technique' and 'behavioral rehearsal.' This is the most comprehensive guide to CBT for couples and families that I’ve seen. I especially appreciate Dattilio's thoughtful examination of the role of emotions in couple interactions. This would be an excellent textbook for a theories class or a clinical practicum."JoEllen Patterson, PhD, Marital and Family Therapy Program, University of San Diego
American Journal of Family Therapy
"This book achieves the difficult task of being clinically engaging and warm yet empirically rigorous. As a clinician, I appreciate the numerous clinical examples and careful balance between theory and technique. It is a fun book to read, and is full of clinical guidance. As a researcher, I appreciate the breadth of research supporting his assertions. As a professor, I plan on using this as a core text in both my couple and family therapy courses. It is on my short list of must-read books for therapists regardless of preferred approach or years of experience."
“This comprehensive guide combines research and clinical wisdom….Vivid clinical examples illustrate the process of conducting thorough assessments, implementing carefully planned cognitive and behavioral interventions, and overcoming roadblocks.”