Collaborative Therapy with Multi-Stressed Families : From Old Problems to New Futures / Edition 1

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Overview

Resistant, difficult, dysfunctional - these and other labels are often applied to families who have not been well served by traditional mental health, social service, and medical systems. This volume sets forth an alternative approach to thinking about and working with multi-stressed families. Working from the conviction that clients are more than the difficulties in their lives, seasoned practitioner William Madsen invites therapists to move away from trying to identify and correct old problems. Instead, he outlines a detailed framework for collaborating with family members to envision desired futures and develop new lives. Anyone working with families in crisis, especially in settings where time and resources are scarce, will gain valuable insights and tools from this book.

The book contains no figures.

This book describes an innovative approach to working with families who have not been well served by traditional mental health, social service, and medical systems. Critically examining many professional assumptions about "difficult" families, the book outlines clinical practices that facilitate a respectful, constructive, and effective therapeutic relationship. Highlighted are ways to engage reluctant clients, conduct nonpathologizing assessments, and help families develop communities of support. Of crucial importance, the author proposes that therapists move away from trying to identify and correct old problems. He focuses instead on how to support clients in envisioning desired futures and developing new lives. Including a wealth of compelling clinical material, the book raises important theoretical and political questions without becoming moralistic and promotes a strengths-based focus without romanticizing families or minimizing their difficulties.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In this lively and useful volume, Madsen brings a postmodern family-centered model into daily practice with a range of families and individuals, including those who have often been ill served or neglected by professional helpers. Well written and deeply rooted in practice, this liberating volume will have a profound impact on the thinking and the work of all those who engage with it." --Ann Hartman, DSW, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service

"In invitingly clear prose, William Madsen has written a trustworthy and knowledgeable guide for working with multi-stressed families, focusing on collaboration with clients, therapists, and agencies. Never losing sight of today's practice realities, this graceful, smart book enlightens and inspires." --Kathy Weingarten, Ph.D. Co-Founder and Faculty, The Program in Narrative Therapies, Family Institute of Cambridge, Assistant Clinical Professor, Harvard Medical School

"This compelling book depicts the genuine complexities of families and their helpers on a canvas of deep compassion, connection, and hope. Bringing the experiences and the voices of multi-stressed families vibrantly to life, Madsen is helping to redefine the language of our field. His profound respect for families and mental health practitioners is beautifully paralleled in his relationship with his readers in this collaborative and wonderfully jargon-free volume. Beginning trainees will find both gentle guidance and clear direction (I anticipate the chapter on assessment will become a classic in family therapy training programs); experienced therapists will appreciate the author's fresh ideas and commitment to a multilayered therapy; administrators and policymakers will discover a progressive and resourceful approach to seemingly intractable problems." --Evan Imber-Black, PhD, Director, Center for Families and Health, Ackerman Institute for the Family; author of The Secret Life of Families

Booknews
Emphasizing the relational stance of the therapist, Madsen, the Training Coordinator at the Family Institute of Cambridge, suggests that instead of trying to identify and correct problems, therapists should work to collaborate with family members to work towards new lives. Using numerous case examples, he provides guidelines for conducting nonpathologizing assessments that promote a family's attention to their resources and strengths, help them build communities of support, and collaborate with a variety of social service professionals to get the most from the resources available to them. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572304901
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Series: Guilford Family Therapy Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 358
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


William C. Madsen, PhD, is Training Coordinator at the Family Institute of Cambridge. He has spent most of the last 20 years working in public sector mental health with "high-risk," multi-stressed families. Currently a provider of training and consultation to agencies and organizations, Dr. Madsen has developed and administered innovative programs that combine outpatient and home-based services. He has written and presented extensively about the development of strengths-based, collaborative partnerships between families and helpers.
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Table of Contents


Contents
Introduction
1. Working with Multi-Stressed Families: From Technique to Attitude
2. What We See Is What We Get: Reexamining Our Assessment Process
3. Collaboration Is a Two-Way Street: Engaging Reluctant Families
4. Envisioning New Futures: Developing Collaborative Therapy Contracts with Families
5.Invitational Interaction: An Anthropological Approach to "Intervening" with Families
6. Helping Clients Take Apart Old Problems and Put Together New Lives
7. Elaborating and Solidifying New Lives
8. Developing Communities to Support New Lives
9. The Larger Helping System as an Appreciative Audience for New Lives
10. Envisioning New Futures, Revisioning Human Services
References
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