Directive Family Therapy

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Directive family therapy pioneer Jay Haley and Madeleine Richeport-Haley explain their innovative techniques for solving problems

Directive Family Therapy is the final work of a widely recognized giant in the international family therapy field. This text is the pre-eminent state-of-the-art sourcebook on practical, innovative techniques to effectively solve problems throughout the life cycle stages. Directive family therapy pioneer Jay Haley, PhD(who passed away in 2007), and, Madeleine Richeport-Haley, PhD provide practitioners with creative directives to clearly identify problems, formulate well-designed treatment plans, and then successfully carry them out to achieve lasting therapeutic change. This essential text explores fascinating case studies illustrating the powerful, highly effective problem solving directives. The work is extensively referenced, and includes a full and complete bibliography of Haley's published works and a list of the authors' collaborative films.

Directive Family Therapy presents highly instructive, revelatory stories about working with real life clients and provides dynamic, innovative, and oftentimes surprising solutions to a wide range of specifically detailed problems and clinical issues. All stages and issues in the life cycle are addressed, including birth, child development, raising children, problems in adolescence, becoming a couple, aging, and retirement. Also included is a detailed appendix containing a variety of poignant, insightful interviews featuring Haley’s reflections on the early years of practice and the development of directive family therapy.

Problem areas addressed in Directive Family Therapy include:

  • firesetting
  • bedwetting
  • fear of dogs
  • violent behavior
  • teenage rebellion
  • incest
  • drugs
  • panic attacks
  • abuse
  • fights within couple relationship
  • eating disorders
  • alcohol abuse
  • affairs
  • sexual shyness within a couple relationship
  • shoplifting
  • and more
Directive Family Therapy is invaluable for mental health professionals of every experience level, and is a useful family therapy resource for educators and students in MFT programs and psychology—and a fitting and poignant memoir to the work of a profoundly gifted family therapist.
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What People Are Saying

Michael F. Hoyt
CHARMING . . . a brief orientation to many of the key issues involved in Haley's strategic approach, case after case arranged along a life-cycle continuum, plus fascinating interviews illuminating key figures and moments in the history of family therapy—SHOULD SPARK THE IMAGINATION OF READERS INTERESTED IN CHANGING THE INTERACTION BETWEEN PEOPLE TO BRING ABOUT POSITIVE OUTCOMES. (Michael F. Hoyt, PhD, author of Some Stories are Better than Others, Interviews with Brief Therapy Experts, and The Present is a Gift: Mo' Better Stories from the World of Brief Therapy)
John F. Frykman
Of all the people involved in psychotherapy that I have ever known, Jay Haley and Milton Erickson were the only ones who knew and could explain what they were doing in ways people could understand. . . . There are no hidden meanings or psychobabble, just CLEAR COMMUNICATION AND THE TRUTH—A LIGHT SHINING IN THE DARKNESS! (John H. Frykman, PhD, author A New Connection and The Hassle Handbook—A Guide through the Teenage Years and co-editor of Making the Impossible Difficult)
Joseph L. Wetchler
Haley's and Richeport-Haley's new book provides an excellent presentation on the current state of thought on directive therapy. . . . A brief, witty, and wise account that is A MUST READ FOR CLINICIANS, TEACHERS, STUDENTS, AND MENTAL HEALTH HISTORIANS. The book is a mixed blessing as it not only presents Jay Haley's latest ideas, but also his last. It is a fitting conclusion to his body of work. As with his earlier works, it WILL KEEP THERAPISTS TALKING FOR YEARS TO COME. (Joseph L. Wetchler, PhD, Professor and Director - Marriage and Family Therapy Program - Purdue University, Calumet)
Michael P. Nichols
In this little gem of a book beginners will learn dozens of creative directives for solving a host of familiar clinical problems; more experienced therapists will marvel at how subtly these directives address underlying structural issues. (Michael P. Nichols, Professor of Psychology, College of William & Mary)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jay Haley, PhD, was a professor at the California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University. He was widely acclaimed as a pioneering therapist, master teacher, chief architect of strategic therapy, and one of the founders of family therapy. He was director of training at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic, co-founder of the Family Therapy Institute in Washington, DC, and founder of Family Process, the basic journal in the field. Dr. Jay Haley passed away in 2007.

Madeleine Richeport-Haley, PhD, is an anthropologist filmmaker who trained with Milton Erikson. She collaborated with her husband, Jay Haley, for 18 years, producing therapy training films and the book The Art of Strategic Therapy. Her numerous publications have added a cross-cultural healing perspective to the therapy field.

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Table of Contents

Braulio Montalvo, Foreword. Acknowledgments. Introduction. How to Be a Wise Child. Birth. Raising Kids. Young People. Leaving Home. Couples. Retirement and Aging. References. Appendix A: Interviews with Jay Haley. Appendix B: Bibliography of Works by Jay Haley. Appendix C: Films by Jay Haley and Madeleine Richeport-Haley. Index.

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