Academic journal article Family Relations

Book Reviews -- Treating Alcohol Problems: Marital and Family Interventions Edited by Timothy J. O'Farrell

Academic journal article Family Relations

Book Reviews -- Treating Alcohol Problems: Marital and Family Interventions Edited by Timothy J. O'Farrell

Article excerpt

O'Farrell, Timothy J. (Ed.). (1993). Treating Alcohol Problems: Marital and Family Interventions. New York: Guilford. 446 pp. Cloth ISBN 0-89862-195-X, price $36.95.

This edited volume represents the efforts of a multidisciplinary network of researchers and practitioners to systematically describe and evaluate promising marital and family therapy techniques relevant to each stage of the alcoholism recovery process. For over 20 years, research and practice have indicated the potential significance of bidirectional or reciprocal influences within marital dyads and families in the initiation, stabilization, and maintenance of sobriety. Therefore, this text marks a significant advance for this field by providing therapists and other health care providers with some guidance in selecting appropriate and effective interventions to accomplish treatment goals.

The first section of the volume reviews marital and family therapy techniques designed to initiate change and to help families of alcoholics who are resistant to seeking treatment. These techniques include: unilateral spouse therapy, short-term family-centered behavioral approaches, and group confrontation. A fourth chapter describes a group approach to helping spouses cope with the stress of living with an alcoholic.

The second section describes posttreatment interventions to stabilize sobriety and marital or family relationships. Specific methods for inpatient or outpatient clients encompass eclectic, psychoeducational, and behavioral marital therapy approaches. Additional chapters present family systems approaches for use with female or adolescent outpatients.

The third section presents techniques for maintaining treatment gains and avoiding relapse, including the use of behavioral contracts and behaviorally oriented, couple-focused relapse prevention sessions in aftercare. …

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