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Essential Skills in Family Therapy: From the First Interview to Termination



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The Guilford Press
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  • Essential Skills in Family Therapy From the First Interview to Termination
    Essential Skills in Family Therapy From the First Interview to Termination


Readable and concise yet immensely informative, this bestselling text prepares students and new therapists to work confidently and effectively in real-world clinical practice with families. The authors offer wise and compassionate guidance on everything from intake and assessment to treatment planning, the nuts and bolts of specific interventions, the nuances of establishing therapeutic relationships, and how to troubleshoot when treatment gets "stuck." They help the novice clinician navigate typical dilemmas and concerns, and spell out the basics of therapist self-care. Vivid case examples, sample forms, and quick-reference tables enhance the utility of the text. New to This Edition *Updated throughout to reflect current clinical findings and practices. *Many new or revised case examples. *Now more integrative - shows how to flexibly draw on multiple theories and techniques. *New topics, including "Dealing with Clients We Dislike."

Author Biography

JoEllen Patterson, PhD, is Professor of Marital and Family Therapy at the University of San Diego and Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego.


Lee Williams, PhD, is Professor of Marital and Family Therapy at the University of San Diego and does couple therapy with veterans at the VA San Diego Medical Center.


Todd M. Edwards, PhD, is Associate Professor and Director of the Marital and Family Therapy Program at the University of San Diego and Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.


Larry Chamow, PhD, is Clinical Professor of Marital and Family Therapy at the University of San Diego and is in full-time private practice at the Pacific Family Institute in Carlsbad, California.


Claudia Grauf-Grounds, PhD, is Professor and Chair of Marriage and Family Therapy at Seattle Pacific University and a clinical faculty member at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Table of Contents

The Beginning Family Therapist: Taking On the Challengep. 1
Getting Startedp. 4
Managing Anxiety and Issues of Confidencep. 4
Stages of Therapist Developmentp. 6
Obsessing about Clinical Workp. 9
Dealing with Burnoutp. 9
The Big Picturep. 11
Conclusionp. 11
Before the Initial Interviewp. 13
Dealing with Families' Expectations and Anxieties about Therapyp. 13
Suggestions for Initial Contact with the Clientp. 15
What Information Should Be Obtained?p. 17
Who Should Come to Therapy?p. 18
Initial Hypothesizingp. 21
Conclusionp. 23
The Initial Interviewp. 24
Stages of the Initial Interviewp. 24
Developing a Connection: How to Join with Clientsp. 25
Handling Administrative Issuesp. 27
Defining Client Expectations for Therapyp. 31
Building Motivationp. 36
Establishing Credibilityp. 38
Conclusion: The First Session and Beyondp. 41
Guidelines for Conducting Assessmentp. 42
Initial Assessmentp. 43
Potential Issues of Harmp. 46
Assessing for Substance Abusep. 55
Assessing for Biological and Neurological Factorsp. 58
General Psychosocial Assessmentp. 63
Conclusionp. 76
Developing a Treatment Focusp. 77
Developing a Treatment Planp. 78
A Sample Treatment Planp. 100
Variables That Impact Treatmentp. 103
Conclusionp. 104
Basic Treatment Skills and Interventionsp. 105
The Rush to Intervention versus Developing a Relationshipp. 105
Basic Counseling Skillsp. 108
Interventions Unique to the Systemic Family Therapistp. 119
Becoming More Sophisticated in Using Interventionsp. 122
Conclusionp. 123
Working with Families and Childrenp. 125
Assessment of Child and Adolescent Disordersp. 126
Family Interventions When Children Are the Clientsp. 128
The Family Life Cycle Revisitedp. 134
Variations in Family Developmentp. 151
Conclusionp. 159
Working with Couplesp. 160
Keys to Providing Solid Couple Therapyp. 161
Special Topicsp. 173
When Couple Therapy Might Not Workp. 182
Conclusionp. 183
When a Family Member Has a Mental Illnessp. 184
Individual and Family Conceptsp. 184
Individual Diagnosis in a Family Contextp. 187
Depressionp. 192
Anxietyp. 199
Alcoholism and Drug Abusep. 204
Impulse Control Disordersp. 209
Conclusionp. 216
Getting Unstuck in Therapyp. 217
Understanding Clients' Ambivalence about Changep. 218
The Therapist's Reluctance to Intervenep. 219
Therapist-Client Agenda and Timing Mismatchp. 220
Therapists' Lack of Theoretical Clarityp. 222
Supervisionp. 223
Self-Supervision Questionsp. 225
Doing a Literature Searchp. 226
Dealing with Cancellations and No-Showsp. 229
Difficulty Getting Other Family Members to Therapyp. 231
Handling Secretsp. 232
How Agencies Contribute to Being Stuckp. 233
Countertransference: How Therapist Issues Interferep. 236
Dealing with Clients We Dislikep. 238
Conclusion: A Final Reminderp. 240
Terminationp. 241
Mutual Terminationsp. 242
Therapist Terminationsp. 246
Client Terminationsp. 249
Conclusionp. 250
Family Therapy in the Future: Pertinent Issues for Beginning Cliniciansp. 251
Healthcare Reform: Implications for You and Your Clientsp. 252
Emerging Trends in Treatmentp. 256
The Personal and Professional Journey of Being a Therapistp. 262
Conclusionp. 264
Referencesp. 265
Indexp. 279
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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