Essential Assessment Skills for Couple and Family Therapists

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Overview

Showing how to weave assessment into all phases of therapy, this indispensable text and practitioner guide is reader friendly, straightforward, and practical. Specific strategies are provided for evaluating a wide range of clinical issues and concerns with adults, children and adolescents, families, and couples. The authors demonstrate ways to use interviewing and other techniques to understand both individual and relationship functioning, develop sound treatment plans, and monitor progress. Handy mnemonics help beginning family therapists remember what to include in assessments, and numerous case examples illustrate what the assessment principles look like in action with diverse clients.

See also the authors' Essential Skills in Family Therapy, Second Edition: From the First Interview to Termination, which addresses all aspects of real-world clinical practice, and Clinician's Guide to Research Methods in Family Therapy.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Ileana Ungureanu, MD, PhD (Adler School of Professional Psychology)
Description: This is a comprehensive assessment skills book for beginning marriage and family therapists.
Purpose: "The purpose is to help therapists learn essential assessment skills from a systemic perspective. No other book in the field addresses this topic specifically and exclusively. "
Audience: The authors wrote the book with marriage and family therapy students and beginning practitioners in mind.
Features: While covering a broad area of assessment topics, the authors make sure they keep the focus on a systemic perspective. They provide useful information about assessment for issues such as safety or psychopathology, as well as more complex topics such as assessing family dynamics, multigenerational patterns, or couple issues. The chapter on assessing safety is particularly well written and very comprehensive.
Assessment: This is a unique book in the field of marriage and family therapy, and a very useful one, especially for beginning practitioners. It is an excellent book that can be used in class, with marriage and family therapy students in their first year of study. Combining the individual assessment skills with the systemic evaluation is especially helpful for students at this stage of their education.
From the Publisher
"In the ever-increasing literature of couple and family therapy, there continues to be a dearth of attention paid to important everyday issues, relevant perspectives, and usable methods of clinical assessment. This book is the best remedy thus far for this state of affairs. Like the authors' related book Essential Skills in Family Therapy, it is highly accessible, readable, and practical. Wisely integrative, it pays well-warranted attention to 'individual' issues without ever losing its systemic-relational core, and will be an especially welcome guide for neophyte family therapists."—Alan S. Gurman, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Family Therapy Training, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

"Masterfully conceived and brilliantly presented, this book focuses on the necessary and inevitable interdependence of assessment and intervention. The relevance and range of issues and populations covered is impressive. The authors succeed in offering a practical, straightforward reference tool for all couple and family therapists. Too often, clinical books fail to represent the foundational nature of assessment. This book not only understands this relationship, it also delivers, demonstrating how change strategies and methods flow logically and directly from comprehensive systemic assessment. This is a wonderful 'how-to' volume on a fundamental and timeless topic. It is a great companion to the authors' other book, Essential Skills in Family Therapy."—Howard A. Liddle, EdD, ABPP, Professor and Director, Center for Treatment Research on Adolescent Drug Abuse, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

"As the title indicates, this comprehensive book is essential reading for all marital and family therapists."—Daniel Le Grange, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Chicago

"Williams et al. provide beginning family therapists with a comprehensive roadmap for assessing key areas that may contribute to couples' and families' difficulties. Unlike other couple and family therapy texts, this book strongly emphasizes that assessment isn't just a prelude to treatment; rather, the two are vitally interconnected. It helps readers hone their observation and listening skills so they are better able to assess clients accurately and treat them effectively. This book will serve as an excellent text for graduate-level courses."—Matthew D. Selekman, MSW, Codirector, Partners for Collaborative Solutions, Evanston, Illinois

"This well-organized text will serve as a fine resource for students and early career professionals working in the field of couple and family therapy."—Frank M. Dattilio, PhD, ABPP, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

"I have used this book in teaching beginning therapists and supervisors. The thorough content, logical organization, and readability make it an extremely useful and approachable text. Students have told me they plan to keep this book close at hand throughout their first years of practice."—Anne M. Prouty, PhD, LMFT, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Texas Tech University

"Ideally suited for students and therapists invested in learning more about the research process in order to be optimally effective clinicians. This reader-friendly text, written by leaders in the marital and family therapy field, brings research to life in a way that is engaging, comprehensible, and clinically applicable. By mastering effective strategies for integrating state-of-the-art research into practice, clinicians at all stages of development will find their psychotherapeutic endeavors and outcomes enhanced enormously."—Nadine J. Kaslow, PhD, ABPP, Department of Psychiatry, Emory University; President (2014), American Psychological Association

 

The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families
“In this book, authors provide readers with the knowledge and information to develop a beginning set of assessment skills with families and couples….This book is different from many introductory text books on family assessment in that it does not focus specifically on one problem or population; rather it provides a wide range of issues a therapist might encounter in diverse treatment settings….By learning these skills for assessment, a therapist will be ready to engage thoroughly in each part of the intervention and treatment process….This is a well-organized, easy to follow informational guide for new therapists. It provides a solid foundation on which beginning practitioners can rely. Authors provide specific strategies for the evaluation of clinical issues across the life span and in a variety of relationships through the use of case studies and interviewing techniques to assist the novice practitioner to begin to understand individual, couple, and family functioning.”—The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families
The Family Journal Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families

“In this book, authors provide readers with the knowledge and information to develop a beginning set of assessment skills with families and couples….This book is different from many introductory text books on family assessment in that it does not focus specifically on one problem or population; rather it provides a wide range of issues a therapist might encounter in diverse treatment settings….By learning these skills for assessment, a therapist will be ready to engage thoroughly in each part of the intervention and treatment process….This is a well-organized, easy to follow informational guide for new therapists. It provides a solid foundation on which beginning practitioners can rely. Authors provide specific strategies for the evaluation of clinical issues across the life span and in a variety of relationships through the use of case studies and interviewing techniques to assist the novice practitioner to begin to understand individual, couple, and family functioning.”--The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781609180799
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/4/2011
  • Series: Guilford Family Therapy Series
  • Pages: 270
  • Sales rank: 384,844
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Lee Williams, PhD, is Professor of Marital and Family Therapy at the University of San Diego and does couple therapy with veterans at the VA San Diego Medical Center.
 
Todd M. Edwards, PhD, is Professor and Director of the Marital and Family Therapy Program at the University of San Diego and Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.
 
JoEllen Patterson, PhD, is Professor of Marital and Family Therapy at the University of San Diego and Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego.
 
Larry Chamow, PhD, is Clinical Professor of Marital and Family Therapy at the University of San Diego and is in full-time private practice at the Pacific Family Institute in Carlsbad, California.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Assessment
2. Tools for Assessment
3. The Initial Interview
4. Assessing Issues of Safety
5. Assessing Health and Well-Being in Adults
6. Assessing Adults for Psychopathology
7. Assessing Children and Adolescents
8. Assessing for Psychopathology in Children and Adolescents
9. Assessing Family Interaction
10. Assessing the Multigenerational Family through Time
11. Assessing Couples
12. Special Topics in Couple Assessment
13. From Assessment to Treatment (and Beyond)
Appendix. Summary of Assessment Tools, Instruments, and Mnemonics
 

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