The Essentials of Family Therapy / Edition 5

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Overview

In this book, the authors describe the full scope of family therapy with a strong emphasis on clinical practice (rather than just history and theory). This book contains up-to-date descriptions of the latest models, an expanded treatment of basic clinical practice, a rich description of the contemporary influences on the field, and a thorough, consistent emphasis on clinical techniques throughout. For family therapists.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205787234
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 1/22/2010
  • Series: MyFamilyTherapyKit Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael P. Nichols has been a leading teacher and practitioner of family therapy for 40 years. He trained with Salvador Minuchin and Murray Brown and has worked with many leaders of the various schools. He’s written a number of books, including the most respected textbook in family therapy, Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods, as well as the best-selling The Lost Art of Listening, and, most recently, Assessing Families and Couples: From Symptom to System (with Salvador Minuchin and Wai-Yung Lee). He currently teaches at the College of William and Mary. He is also a national champion powerlifter.

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Read an Excerpt

PREFACE:

One thing that tends to get lost in academic discussions of family therapy is the feeling of accomplishment that comes from sitting down with an unhappy family and being able to help them. Beginning therapists are understandably anxious about how to proceed and not sure they'll know how to be helpful. ("How do you get all of them to come in?") Veterans often speak in abstractions. They have opinions and discuss big social issues — social constructionsim, postmodernism, managed care, second-order cybernetics. While it's tempting to use this space to say Important Things, I prefer to be a little more personal. Treating troubled families has given me the deepest satisfaction imaginable, and I hope that the same is, or will be, true for you.

In this first edition of The Essentials of Family Therapy we've tried to describe the full scope of family therapy — its rich history, the classical schools, the latest developments — but with more emphasis on clinical practice than history and theory. There are lots of changes in this version: more up-to-date descriptions of the latest models, an expanded treatment of basic clinical practice, a richer description of the contemporary influences on the field, and a more thorough and consistent emphasis on clinical techniques throughout.

When you read about therapy it can be hard to see past the jargon and political packaging to the essential ideas and practices. So, in preparing this volume, we've traveled widely to visit and observe the actual sessions of the leading practitioners. The result is a more pragmatic, clinical focus. We hope you like it.

So manypeople have contributed to my development as a family therapist and to the writing of this book that it's impossible to thank them all. But I would like to single out a few. To the people who taught me family therapy — Lyman Wynne, Murray Bowen, and Salvador Minuchin — thank you.

Some of the people who went out of their way to help us prepare this book were Jay Efran, Stephanie Fellenberg, Frank Dattilio, Robert Taibbi, JoEllen Patterson, Joseph Miccuci, Paul Nichols, Insoo Berg, Cheryl Rampage, Kathy Weingarten, Vicki Dickerson, Jeff Zimmerman, Cloe Madanes, Jay Haley, and Salvador Minuchin. To paraphrase John, Paul, George, and Ringo, we get by with a lot of help from our friends — and we thank them all and one.

We are especially grateful to Janice Wiggins, Judy Fifer, and Susan McIntyre at Allyn and Bacon for making a hard job easier.

Finally, I would like to thank my postgraduate instructors in family life: my wife, Melody, and my children, Sandy and Paul. In the brief span of thirty-three Melody has seen me grow from a shy young man, totally ignorant of how to be a husband and father, to a shy middle-aged man, still bewildered and still trying. Sandy and Paul never cease to amaze me. My little red-haired girl (who can bench press like a football player) is about to return to the States after two and a half years of service in the Peace Corps. Proud of her? You bet I am! And my son Paul, to whom (masculine reticence being what it is) maybe I haven't always shown the depth of my love, has grown to young manhood true to himself, true to his friends, and true to his mother and me. If in my wildest dreams I had imagined children to love and be proud of, I wouldn't even have come close to any as fine as Sandy and Paul.

Michael P. Nichols
Williamsburg, Virginia

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Table of Contents

1 The foundations of family therapy 1
2 The evolution of family therapy 7
3 Getting started in family therapy : basic techniques 35
4 The fundamental concepts of family therapy 56
5 Bowen family systems therapy 81
6 Strategic family therapy 102
7 Structural family therapy 126
8 Experiential family therapy 147
9 Psychoanalytic family therapy 167
10 Cognitive-behavior family therapy 189
11 Family therapy in the twenty-first century 212
12 Solution-focused therapy 248
13 Narrative therapy 263
14 Integrative models 278
15 Comparative analysis 294
16 Family therapy research : empirical foundations and practice implications 311
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Preface

One thing that tends to get lost in academic discussions of family therapy is the feeling of accomplishment that comes from sitting down with an unhappy family and being able to help them. Beginning therapists are understandably anxious about how to proceed and not sure they'll know how to be helpful. ("How do you get all of them to come in?") Veterans often speak in abstractions. They have opinions and discuss big social issues — social constructionsim, postmodernism, managed care, second-order cybernetics. While it's tempting to use this space to say Important Things, I prefer to be a little more personal. Treating troubled families has given me the deepest satisfaction imaginable, and I hope that the same is, or will be, true for you.

In this first edition of The Essentials of Family Therapy we've tried to describe the full scope of family therapy — its rich history, the classical schools, the latest developments — but with more emphasis on clinical practice than history and theory. There are lots of changes in this version: more up-to-date descriptions of the latest models, an expanded treatment of basic clinical practice, a richer description of the contemporary influences on the field, and a more thorough and consistent emphasis on clinical techniques throughout.

When you read about therapy it can be hard to see past the jargon and political packaging to the essential ideas and practices. So, in preparing this volume, we've traveled widely to visit and observe the actual sessions of the leading practitioners. The result is a more pragmatic, clinical focus. We hope you like it.

So many peoplehave contributed to my development as a family therapist and to the writing of this book that it's impossible to thank them all. But I would like to single out a few. To the people who taught me family therapy — Lyman Wynne, Murray Bowen, and Salvador Minuchin — thank you.

Some of the people who went out of their way to help us prepare this book were Jay Efran, Stephanie Fellenberg, Frank Dattilio, Robert Taibbi, JoEllen Patterson, Joseph Miccuci, Paul Nichols, Insoo Berg, Cheryl Rampage, Kathy Weingarten, Vicki Dickerson, Jeff Zimmerman, Cloe Madanes, Jay Haley, and Salvador Minuchin. To paraphrase John, Paul, George, and Ringo, we get by with a lot of help from our friends — and we thank them all and one.

We are especially grateful to Janice Wiggins, Judy Fifer, and Susan McIntyre at Allyn and Bacon for making a hard job easier.

Finally, I would like to thank my postgraduate instructors in family life: my wife, Melody, and my children, Sandy and Paul. In the brief span of thirty-three Melody has seen me grow from a shy young man, totally ignorant of how to be a husband and father, to a shy middle-aged man, still bewildered and still trying. Sandy and Paul never cease to amaze me. My little red-haired girl (who can bench press like a football player) is about to return to the States after two and a half years of service in the Peace Corps. Proud of her? You bet I am! And my son Paul, to whom (masculine reticence being what it is) maybe I haven't always shown the depth of my love, has grown to young manhood true to himself, true to his friends, and true to his mother and me. If in my wildest dreams I had imagined children to love and be proud of, I wouldn't even have come close to any as fine as Sandy and Paul.

Michael P. Nichols
Williamsburg, Virginia

Read More Show Less

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