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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

"This comprehensive book provides a kaleidoscope of shifting images that depict the roles and ramifications of spirituality for both clinicians and their clients. These images are suffused with personal stories that shed light on perspectives derived from a variety of religious/spiritual traditions and orientations. Instructors may find this a useful resource and students as well as professionals will find in its pages information that illuminates the various challenges and opportunities associated with incorporating spiritual sensitivity into the practice of therapy."--Dorothy S. Becvar, PhD., The Haelan CentersĀ®, St. Louis, MO

"This book is bursting with wise and loving stories that tell how diverse people in many different settings are focusing on ethics, religion, and spirituality in their work as family therapists. We predict it will be a sourcebook of inspiration on this topic for therapists of all religions and cultural backgrounds for many years to come." --Jill Freedman MSW, LCSW and Gene Combs MD Evanston Family Therapy Center Evanston Illinois

"This transformative book marks a new beginning for our field. For the first time, the topic of spirituality is being placed directly at the center of our work as family therapists. Bringing together many of the most thoughtful and creative voices in the field, this volume demonstrates how different our work can look when we dare to tap into spiritual sources of change, healing, and resilience in families. The authors investigate many of the ways religion and spirituality influence families--providing hope and meaning; support in times of stress; resources for healing and education; and personal, family, and community status and validation. This volume helps us expand our concepts of health and illness to incorporate a dimension that has been a primary human resource for thousands of years. Spirituality is not an easy topic, and it is one about which we need much more discussion.Walsh and her colleagues are lighting the way." --Monica McGoldrick, LCSW, PhD (h.c.), Family Institute of New Jersey

"Ever since Freud characterized religion as an illusion, spirituality and psychotherapy have unfortunately been separated. This inspiring volume integrates religion and spirituality into the mainstream of family therapy. It brings to the forefront the importance of these dimensions in helping people draw meaning from important events in their lives--meaning that is at the heart of the psychotherapeutic experience. Helping us examine the ways we may be constraining clients from talking about spirituality, the authors embrace a more integrated approach to therapy that includes mind, body, and soul. This is a very important book for psychotherapists, social workers, pastoral counselors, nurses, and other helping professionals." --Susan H. McDaniel, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572309197
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/22/2003
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author


Froma Walsh, MSW, PhD, is a professor in the School of Social Service Administration and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago. She is also a codirector of the University-affiliated family therapy training institute, the Chicago Center for Family Health. She is the Editor of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, past president of the American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA), recipient of AFTA's Award for Distinguished Contribution to Family Therapy Theory and Practice, and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. She is author of Strengthening Family Resilience and editor or coeditor of Normal Family Processes, Living Beyond Loss, and Women in Families.
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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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