Academic journal article Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

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

Academic journal article Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

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

Article excerpt

Patterson, J., Williams, L., Grauf-Grounds, C., & Chamow, L. (1998). Essential skills in family therapy: From the first interview to termination. New York: Guilford, 250 pp., $30.00.

As the director of a family therapy graduate program, I have been frustrated by the absence of a good, all-encompassing, beginner's guide to conducting family therapy. Previous books were either too dependent on a particular theory, randomly organized around various techniques, too theoretically advanced in their presentation, or too brief in their rationales to be meaningful to a novice therapist. Why couldn't someone write a theoretically integrative book that takes the beginning therapist on a step-by-step process through the various stages of family therapy? My wish has finally come true with Essential Skills in Family Therapy. It is the most comprehensive and straightforward presentation of beginning family therapy skills that I have ever encountered.

The book begins by discussing issues of therapist anxiety and trainee development. It then teaches trainees how to instigate telephone contact with a family, how to conduct an initial session, how to develop an assessment procedure, how to present beginninglevel interventions, and how to terminate effectively. Further, the book offers important chapters on working with families and children, conducting couple therapy, treating clients with mental illness, and resolving clinical impasses. …

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