Spiritual Resources in Family Therapy / Edition 1

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Overview

Spirituality has long been regarded as "off-limits" in clinical practice, leaving family therapists and counselors uncertain as to how to approach it. Yet the majority of families regard religion as important in their lives, and research has begun to document the psychological and health benefits of faith and congregational support. Further, many who seek help for physical, emotional, or interpersonal problems are also in spiritual distress. Filling a crucial void, this volume explores the influences of faith beliefs and practices on suffering, healing, and health. Leading family therapists describe how attending to this vital dimension of human experience can inform and enrich therapy, illuminate spiritual sources of distress, and help clients tap into wellsprings for resilience and growth.

"...discusses multi-cultural and intergenerational issues; persistent hardship, trauma; constraining beliefs; and spiritual support."

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Walsh (psychiatry and social service administration, U. of Chicago) and a number of scholars, therapists, spiritual directors, and social workers explore the influences of spirituality on healing and health, addressing it not as an isolated topic, but as something woven into the fabric of everyday life. The authors examine how tapping into a family's faith can provide resources for healing from trauma, bridging generation gaps, and for finding comfort in light of overwhelming stressors such as poverty. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Family Journal

"Adds to the discussion of the positive influences of faith beliefs and practices on healing, well-being, longevity, physical, emotional, and interpersonal problems. This sourcebook fills a crucial void in the literature by validating and normalizing for practitioners the importance of providing psychological and emotional space for the experience of spirituality to occur within ourselves and the families we work with."--Family Journal
Journal of Family Therapy

"Throughout twenty engaging chapters, the authors explore a wide range of spiritual and religious viewpoints towards aspects of family life, including loss, resilience, and the idea of healing. Following this they consider implications for therapeutic practice, with many contributors sharing extensive and highly practical aspects of their individual approaches....Throughout the book, Walsh and her contributors share their thoughts and practices in a way that suggests real depth in exploring spiritual resources, stemming from many years of reflecting on their practice and developing creative but well-thought-out therapeutic positions and approaches....Walsh's language and approach to spirituality is creative and at times poetic, harnessing the fleeting essence of spirituality with imagination. Her courage to express her compassionate and open attitude to life and human behavior is what makes this book enriching and engaging well beyond its educative potential. This volume offers those readers with a limited knowledge of religious diversity a good grounding in attitudes towards life's challenges and resilience from a vast amount of different faith perspectives."--Journal of Family Therapy
From the Publisher

"The rewards of this volume are multifaceted: inspiration for the clinician's own personal and spiritual pilgrimage; awareness of the many facets, expressions, and nuances of spirituality; and guidance on how spirituality can be acknowledged and mobilized as a resource for marital and family growth and healing. It is a key required text for my course on spirituality and clinical praxis, and has richly contributed to my own practice, my teaching, and the personal and professional development of my students."--Rand Michael, DMin, Graduate Department of Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy Program, George Fox University

"Distinguished practitioner Froma Walsh and her contributing authors affirm the fundamental place of spirituality in individual, couple, and family therapy. Topics include therapeutic applications related to grieving, forgiveness, and meditation, as well as approaches to working with special populations, such as immigrants and refugees. The book assists therapists to recognize, assess, and appreciate their own and their clients’ spirituality so that spirituality can become a constructive aspect of therapy. Theoretically grounded yet practical, this is essential reading for students and established professionals alike."--Martin W. Rovers, PhD, Faculty of Human Sciences, St. Paul University, Ottawa, Canada

"This volume documents a remarkable transformation in family therapists’ regard for spirituality. It urges clinicians to follow streams of spiritual experience through family belief systems, rituals, and communities, in order to appreciate the rich therapeutic possibilities that spirituality provides. Capturing the diversity of contemporary families, the contributors provide an array of approaches for helping people cope assertively with losses, injustices, and adversities in their lives."--James L. Griffith, MD, Department of Psychiatry, The George Washington University Medical Center

"Featuring brand-new and updated material, this superb revision of Walsh’s groundbreaking text gives voice to the powerful and often ignored spiritual dimension of human experience. The volume offers a rich, multilayered exploration of spirituality and relational well-being. Highly accessible and beautifully written, it is filled with case examples, author reflections, and information that therapists need to develop greater spiritual self-awareness and professional effectiveness. A 'must read' for social workers and psychotherapists, and for graduate students in mental health, family studies, and pastoral counseling."--Marsha Pravder Mirkin, PhD, Department of Psychology, Lasell College; Women’s Studies Research Center, Brandeis University

"A vital contribution to the growing literature on spirituality and psychotherapy. This excellent volume reminds us that spirituality is, at its heart, all about relationships. The contributors skillfully demonstrate how practitioners from every discipline can weave a sensitivity to the spiritual dimension into their work with families from diverse religious backgrounds who are facing life’s most profound problems. Through moving personal accounts, the volume also invites therapists to examine the place of spirituality in their own lives. I highly recommend this updated second edition."--Kenneth I. Pargament, PhD, Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572305083
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/6/1999
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Froma Walsh, MSW, PhD, is the Mose and Sylvia Firestone Professor Emerita in the School of Social Service Administration and the Department of Psychiatry, Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. She is also Co-Director of the University-affiliated Chicago Center for Family Health and holds an appointment as Clinical Professor at the Center for Applied Psychological and Family Studies at Northwestern University. Dr. Walsh is a past president of the American Family Therapy Academy and past editor of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, and has received many honors for her distinguished contributions and leadership in the field of family therapy, including awards from the Division of Family Psychology of the American Psychological Association, the American Family Therapy Academy, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the American Orthopsychiatric Association, and the Society for Pastoral Care Research. Widely published, she is a frequent speaker and international consultant on resilience-oriented professional training, practice, and research.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Religion and Spirituality: Wellsprings for Healing and Resilience 3
Ch. 2 Opening Family Therapy to Spirituality 28
Ch. 3 Spirituality, Suffering, and Beliefs: The Soul of Healing with Families 61
Ch. 4 The Stresses of Poverty and the Comfort of Spirituality 76
Ch. 5 Spirituality and Religion: Implications for Psychotherapy with African American Clients and Families 90
Ch. 6 Religion and Spiritual Folk Traditions in Immigrant Families: Therapeutic Resources with Latinos 104
Ch. 7 Three Spiritual Perspectives on Resilience: Buddhism, Christianity, and Judaism 121
Ch. 8 "Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother": Intergenerational Spirituality and Jewish Tradition 136
Ch. 9 Feet Planted Firmly in Midair: A Spirituality for Family Living 157
Ch. 10 Morality and Spirituality in Therapy 179
Ch. 11 Healing from Trauma: The Quest for Spirituality 193
Ch. 12 Opening Therapy to Conversations with a Personal God 209
Ch. 13 Releasing the Soul: Psychotherapy as a Spiritual Practice 223
Ch. 14 Stretching to Meet What's Given: Opportunities for a Spiritual Practice 240
Ch. 15 Heart and Soul: Spirituality, Religion, and Rituals in Family Therapy Training 256
Ch. 16 Spirituality Expressed in Community Action and Social Justice: A Therapeutic Means to Liberation and Hope 272
Index 293
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