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Family Therapy: Concepts, Process and Practice / Edition 3

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Now in its third edition, this highly regarded and well-established textbook includes up-to-date coverage of recent advances in family therapy practice and reviews of latest research, whilst retaining the popular structure and chapter features of previous editions.

  • Presents a unique, integrative approach to the theory and practice of family therapy
  • Distinctive style addresses family behaviour patterns, family belief systems and narratives, and broader contextual factors in problem formation and resolution
  • Shows how the model can be applied to address issues of childhood and adolescence (e.g. conduct problems, drug abuse) and of adulthood (e.g. marital distress, anxiety, depression)
  • Student-friendly features: chapters begin with a chapter plan and conclude with a summary of key points; theoretical chapters include a glossary of new terms; case studies and further reading suggestions are included throughout
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“It should continue to be considered as a valuable ‘essential’ text for those undertaking training in systemic/family psychotherapy and as a key reference for experienced therapists and educators in the field.” (Child & Family Social Work, 10 October 2014)
A textbook for a graduate course in marital and family therapy and a sourcebook for experienced clinicians in which Carr (clinical psychology, U. College Dublin) evaluates the major schools of thought, presents an integrative model for practice, and provides examples of how the model may be used with a range of common, child-focused and adult-focused problems. He developed the model and approach while he was working with the British National Health Service Child and Family Clinic during a period that emphasized cooperation between health service, social service, and education professional, and has extended it at the Clanwilliam Institute in Dublin. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781119954651
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/12/2012
  • Series: Wiley Series in Clinical Psychology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 550
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor Alan Carr is the director of the Doctoral training programme in clinical psychology at University College Dublin and Consultant Couple and Family Therapist at the Clanwilliam Institute in Dublin. He has published over 20 books and 200 academic papers and conference presentations in the fields of family therapy and clinical psychology. He has extensive experience in family therapy and clinical psychology, having worked in the field in the UK, Ireland, and Canada.

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Table of Contents

About the Author ix

Foreword to the Third Edition xi

Preface xiii

Acknowledgements xvii

Part One Central Concepts in Family Therapy 1

Chapter 1 Goals of Family Therapy across the Lifecycle 3

The Family Lifecycle 5

Lifecycle Stages Associated with Separation and Divorce 33

The Individual Lifecycle 41

Gender-role Development 48

Gay and Lesbian Lifecycles 49

Class, Creed and Colour 51

Conclusion 52

Further Readings 53

Chapter 2 Origins of Family Therapy 54

Movements: Child Guidance, Marriage Counselling and Sex Therapy 55

Disciplines: Social Work, Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology 56

Group Therapy: Group Analysis, Encounter Groups, Psychodrama and Gestalt Therapy 57

Research Traditions: Work Groups, Role Theory and Schizophrenia 59

Gregory Bateson 62

Three Organising Themes: Behaviour Patterns, Beliefs and Contexts 74

Conclusion 76

Glossary 77

Further Readings 79

Chapter 3 Theories that Focus on Behaviour Patterns 81

MRI Brief Therapy 81

Strategic Family Therapy 91

Structural Family Therapy 95

Cognitive-behavioural Couple and Family Therapy 98

Functional Family Therapy 101

Conclusion 104

Glossary 105

Further Readings 111

Chapter 4 Theories that Focus on Belief Systems 115

Epistemology: Positivism, Constructivism, Socialconstructionism, Modernism and Postmodernism 115

A Constructivist Approach to Family Therapy 125

Milan Systemic Family Therapy 130

Social-constructionist Developments 133

Solution-focused Therapy 137

Narrative Therapy 140

Conclusion 144

Glossary 146

Further Readings 154

Chapter 5 Theories that Focus on Contexts 160

Transgenerational Family Therapy 160

Psychoanalytic Family Therapy 170

Attachment-based Therapies 172

Experiential Family Therapy 180

Multisystemic Family Therapy 187

Psychoeducational Family Therapy 188

Conclusion 190

Glossary 191

Further Readings 199

Chapter 6 Integrative Models 202

Metaframeworks 202

Integrative Problem-centred Therapy 205

Integrative Problem-centred Metaframeworks 208

Attachment Narrative Therapy 209

Integrative Couple Therapy 210

Affective-reconstructive Couple Therapy 212

Integrative Applications within Specific Professions 214

Conclusion 215

Glossary 216

Further Readings 216

Part Two Processes in Family Therapy 219

Chapter 7 The Stages of Family Therapy 221

Stage 1. Planning 221

Stage 2. Assessment 225

Stage 3. Treatment 244

Stage 4. Disengaging or Recontracting 250

Conclusion 255

Further Readings 255

Chapter 8 Formulating Problems and Exceptions 256

The Three-column Problem-formulation Model 259

The Three-column Exception-formulation Model 267

Questions to Ask when Constructing Three-column Formulations 271

Recursive Reformulation 277

Conclusion 279

Further Reading 279

Chapter 9 Interventions for Behaviour, Beliefs and Contexts 280

Criteria for Selecting Interventions 280

Behaviour-focused Interventions 284

Interventions Focusing on Belief Systems 299

Interventions Focusing on Historical, Contextual and Constitutional Factors 307

Conclusion 320

Further Readings 320

Part Three Family Therapy Practice with Childand Adolescent-focused Problems 321

Chapter 10 Conduct Problems 323

Systemic Model of Conduct Problems 326

Family Therapy for Conduct Problems 332

Conclusion 344

Further Readings 345

Chapter 11 Drug Misuse in Adolescence 346

Systemic Model of Drug Misuse in Adolescence 346

Family Therapy for Drug Misuse in Adolescence 354

Conclusion 360

Further Readings 360

Part Four Family Therapy Practice with Adult-focused Problems 361

Chapter 12 Distressed Couples 363

Systemic Model of Distressing Intimate Relationships 365

Couple Therapy 370

Conclusion 386

Further Readings 386

Chapter 13 Depression and Anxiety 388

Depression 388

Anxiety 390

Systemic Model of Depression and Anxiety 392

Couple Therapy for Depression and Anxiety 397

Conclusion 411

Further Readings 411

Part Five Research and Resources 413

Chapter 14 Evidence-based Practice in Couple and Family Therapy 415

Overall Effectiveness and Cost-effectiveness of Systemic Therapy 415

Child-focused Problems 416

Adult-focused Problems 437

Common Factors 452

Conclusion 453

Glossary 454

Further Reading 455

Chapter 15 Professional Resources 456

Written Communication 456

Training Exercises 462

Conclusion 486

References 488

Index 526

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