The Difficult Divorce: Therapy for Children and Families

The Difficult Divorce: Therapy for Children and Families

The Difficult Divorce: Therapy for Children and Families

The Difficult Divorce: Therapy for Children and Families

Excerpt

The work that culminated in this book began in 1978, when a small group of clinicians interested in therapy with divorcing families met informally to discuss our cases. Community interest in our work grew with our own efforts to find more effective ways of helping families who were separating. This led, one year later, to a far more ambitious endeavor, the Families of Divorce Project. We were very fortunate to receive the generous support and funding of the Pew Memorial Trust, without which our work could not have taken place. This foundation shared our vision of a specialized treatment, training, and research center and enabled us to grapple with the dilemmas confronting separating families.

Since late in 1984, our research has been supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (grant number MH37925-02).

What characterized the project throughout was the sharing and collaboration with each other and with other team members. As we struggled with families, working alone, it was always a welcome relief to receive the collective wisdom of colleagues behind the one-way mirror. As we worked together in this way and made videotapes for group scrutiny, we slowly developed concepts and a way of working. Simultaneously we were gathering our research data and trying to make sense of the numbers.

The Jarret family case, discussed in chapter 8, "Arresting Abdication Dynamics," is a revised version of D. Abelsohn, "Dealing with the Abdication Dynamic in the Post Divorce Family: A Context for Adolescent Crisis," Family Process 22(1983). Chapter 10, "Assisting with Blending," is a revised version of M. Isaacs, "Facilitating Restructuring and Relinkage: Issues in Divorce Therapy," in Therapy with Remarriage Families, ed. L. Messinger (The Family Therapy Collections, An Aspen Publication, Rockville, Md., and London, 1982). And the drawings by children in chapter 11 are from M. Isaacs and I. Levin, "Who's in My Family? A Longitudinal Study of Drawings of Children of Divorce," Journal of Divorce 7(Summer 1984) (copyright 1984 by The Haworth Press, Inc.). They are reprinted with permission.

We owe deep thanks to many people who assisted in the preparation of the book that has come out of the project. Jo Ann Miller, our editor at Basic Books, shepherded the book from the start and waited patiently for us to . . .

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