Academic journal article Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

Cotherapy with Individuals, Families, and Groups

Academic journal article Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

Cotherapy with Individuals, Families, and Groups

Article excerpt

Hoffman, S., Gafni, S., & Laub, B. (Eds.). (1995). Cotherapy with individuals, families, and groups. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 159 pp., no price.

"Two are better than one for they get a greater return for their labor" (Ecclesiastes 4:9). This quote precedes 16 chapters that describe in an absorbing manner the effective treatment by cotherapists of individuals, families, and groups. The cases presented were treated by the authors together with other cotherapists and include patients representing a variety of diagnostic categories, problems, symptoms, and ages. Among the treatment cases depicted are anorectic girls, a selectively mute child, a woman with a borderline personality disorder, and children with behavior problems and phobic disorders.

The therapeutic approach used is a dialectical one in which two therapists, from the beginning of therapy, take opposing views and roles in regard to the patient(s) until significant change is realized. The rationale and description of the approach are clear, and one is readily impressed with its simplicity, parsimony, and ability to achieve positive results in a relatively short period of time. The latter achievement buttresses the editors' claim that in spite of the use of two therapists, the approach is economical. One can add that since cotherapy is frequently done by a senior and a junior therapy (psychology interns, psychiatric residents, etc.), a unique and rich learning experience is also being provided. …

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