Recreating Partnership: A Solution-oriented, Collaborative Approach to Couples Therapy / Edition 1

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All couples go through challenging times: some survive and thrive, others don't. How can we understand and use this distinction in the practical application of therapy?
In their solution-oriented, competency-based approach to couples therapy, Phillip Ziegler and Tobey Hiller answer this question. In Recreating Partnership, an innovative, theoretically sound, and practical handbook for clinicians, Ziegler and Hiller present a bold and clinically useful concept, the good story/bad story dichotomy. The book shows clinicians how to use this narrative concept in conducting effective and efficient relationship therapy that will help couples build solutions collaboratively, invigorate partnership, and thrive, each in their own unique ways. The book covers issues such as establishing rapport with antagonistic partners; developing therapeutic goals; hosting conversations that reinvigorate the couple's good story; how, when, and whether to offer task assignments; addressing issues such as domestic violence; and how to bring therapy to a close, as well as many cogent and helpful transcripts. Written for psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and anyone who works with couples, Recreating Partnership will be exciting and useful to both the novice and experienced practitioner.

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Editorial Reviews

Pepper Schwartz
Therapists will find the step-by-step tools the authors give an easy-to-follow road map.
Michael Hoyt
A book that should be on the shelf of everyone who works with couples. I recommend it highly!
Scott D. Miller
A highly readable and timely volume...will be of benefit to clinicians and couples alike.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393703498
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Series: Professional Book Series
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 234
  • Sales rank: 833,569
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Phillip Ziegler and Tobey Hiller, who have been married to each other for 25 years, are MFTs with more than 40 combined years of clinical experience. Both are experienced teachers and trainers. In addition to their regular practices, Phillip is a mediator; Tobey, an organizational consultant.

Phillip Ziegler and Tobey Hiller, who have been married to each other for 25 years, are MFTs with more than 40 combined years of clinical experience. Both are experienced teachers and trainers. In addition to their regular practices, Phillip is a mediator; Tobey, an organizational consultant.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction xi
Chapter 1. Stories Couples Live: Narrative, Perception, and Meaning-Making in Relationship Life 1
Chapter 2. Recreating Partnership Therapy: Basic Working Assumptions 19
Chapter 3. Active Neutrality: Building a Working Alliance With Both Partners 39
Chapter 4. Loosening the Hold of the Bad Story Narrative: Problem Talk That Makes a Difference 54
Chapter 5. Co-Constructing Therapeutically Well-Defined Goals: Targets and Transformation 76
Chapter 6. Reinvigorating the Good Story Narrative: Coauthoring Success Stories and Exceptions 98
Chapter 7. Scaling Questions: Numbers Can Make a Difference 114
Chapter 8. Perspective-Shifting Conversations: Building Empathy and Thickening the Good Story Narrative 132
Chapter 9. Closing the Session 146
Chapter 10. From Welcome Back to Good-bye: Subsequent Sessions to Termination 165
Chapter 11. Couples Therapy With Only One Partner 179
Chapter 12. Coda 200
References 209
Notes 217
Index 225
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2003

    Exceptionally helpful and humane book on couples therapy

    This detailed, imaginative and humane book embodies a recognition that though Narrative Therapy and Solution-focused Therapy have their differences of emphasis and philosophy, their focussing on the co-discovery and elaboration of positive and helpful 'hidden subplots and exceptions to the problem' make them closer to each other than to most other therapies. These approaches also incorporate the attitude and practices of respectfully 'following clients into their territory' associated with Collaborative Language Therapy. Zeigler and Hiller have woven aspects of these three established therapies into a newly combined and convincing tapestry of techniques, underpinned by and infused with a wonderfully realistic, modest, warm and humane attitude to their clients which never falters and is frequently very moving in its results and in their comments on those results. At the same time, this book is no unthinking 'taking on' of others' ideas; the authors have incorporated significant modifications and changes of detail which reflect a thought-through distillation of their own experience and creativity. Their characterisation of clients' problem stories into a 'good story/bad story' distinction is perhaps a little oversimplified and over-emphasised in the accounts of practice they give, where it usually occurs as a perceived dichotomy rather than as a continuum. Problems and non-problems are more complex and intertwined than this. However the distinction is clearly USEFUL as an emphatic focussing device as the therapist struggles to keep direction amidst the often disorienting and overwhelming distress and confusion of couples' complaints, accusations,anger and pain. The clinical examples discussed at length and/or transcribed clearly demonstrate this - they are varied and detailed, clearly and cogently relating 'theory' (a too-cold-sounding word in this context) to what the therapist says, including changes of direction and re-thinking as he goes along in response to the clients' statements and comments. After one reading I have already found this book helpful in my work; for example, in situations where only one member of a couple attends for therapy I have been able to let go of the uneasy feeling that I really need both partners to attend for therapy to be effective. This in only one example from the many riches of this book, whichis the best I have come across on working with couples, and which I enthusiastically recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2001

    Extra chapters for the Book of Love...

    Creating Partnership is an excellent book! It is thought provoking, refreshing, and well written. The authors describe an approach to working with couples focused on changing the perceptual lens through which the couple views their relationship. How does the couple perceive and make meaning of their relationship? The book describes how to access, amplify, and encourage the couples' 'good story narrative.' The authors' approach is flexible, strengths-based, and tailored to the couples' world and worldview. They present their work in a way that is easy to understand, conceptually clear, and illustrated with many case examples. The book defies easy categorization in the best sense of the word. While they draw ideas from Solution Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Common Factors, and Gottman's Research Based Marital Therapy, they create something fundamentally new. They have borrowed the best of post-modern practices with their emphasis on collaboration, solutions, and meaning, and married them to the best of recent research trends with their emphasis on outcome and effectiveness. It is the most compelling book on couples therapy I have read in 10 years. I highly recommend it. The book is invaluable reading for both the beginning and experienced therapist. One of the things I liked the most about the book is its simplicity. There is an elegance to the approach. Being involved with several training programs for Master and Doctoral level students, I really appreciate ideas that teach well. Some ideas are just more graspable, useful, and memorable. Those ideas translate into getting used in session more easily. Other ideas do not. Some approaches are too complicated, cumbersome, or foreign to the beginning therapist's perspective. There's something elegant and memorable about the concept of good/bad story narrative. It's simple enough to remember, use, and conceptualize with in session. I am excited about sharing this book with my students and believe it would make an excellent text for courses on Couples Therapy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2001

    The Authors Speak

    We wrote this book as a basic handbook for our approach to couples therapy. Recreating Partnership couples therapy blends ideas and practices from a number of constructionist clinical models--solution-focused, narrative and collaborative-language therapies. While the book focuses on couples therapy, it also provides readers with solid research data on the key elements of effective therapy--whether with individuals, couples, or families.

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