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Working With Families: Guidelines and Techniques, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-470-89047-9
190 pages
October 2011
Working With Families: Guidelines and Techniques, 2nd Edition (0470890479) cover image
A complete guide for helping professionals, with tried-and-true techniques for practicing family counseling therapy

Now in its second edition, Working With Families: Guidelines and Techniques is filled with up-to-date, systems-oriented techniques focused on field-tested results. Outlining the dos and don'ts of working with different types of families and the various complications, nuances, and complexities that can occur, this practical guide provides a broad and proven selection of interventions, processes, and guidelines for working interactively, systematically, and compassionately with families.

Working With Families, Second Edition covers a range of topics including:

  • Family work in different settings

  • Session-by-session guidelines

  • Therapeutic themes by family type

  • Managing adolescents in family sessions

  • Dealing with fear of family work

  • Family mapping

  • Strategic child assessment

  • Chemical dependence and its impact on families

Informed by the author's many years of experience in the field, both as a clinician and as a trainer, Working With Families, Second Edition offers an invaluable systems-oriented, goal-directed, problem-solving approach to family counseling therapy for all mental health professionals.

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PREFACE xi

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xiii

CHAPTER 1: FOUNDATION IDEAS 1

Introduction 2

Part 1: Concepts 3

Learning Family Counseling 3

Why FamilyWork? 4

Assumptions of a Family SystemsModel 5

The Systems Orientation in Theory 6

The Systems Orientation in Practice 7

The Systems Orientation in Concepts 8

Levels of Systems Interventions 9

Cause and Effect in Systems 11

The Systems-Oriented ProgramAssessment 12

Code of Ethics 13

Cultural Sensitivity 14

Uses of Family Counseling 16

Forms of FamilyWork 17

FamilyWork in Different Settings 18

Suggestions for Family Work in Different Settings 20

Rationales for This Approach 22

Bedrock Beliefs About Families 23

A Theory of Change 24

Children Raise Adults 25

Neglected Relationships in Family Counseling 26

Getting a Grip on the Obvious 27

Experience Is Primary 28

Too Many Variables 29

Too-Brief Family Counseling 30

Traveling Pairs of Concepts31

Research onMarital and Family Therapy 32

Part 2: Procedures and Processes 37

Recruiting Families for Counseling 37

Conducting the Initial Family Interview 40

Initial Interview Summary 42

Tips for the First Family Interview 43

Four Basic Tools for Family Counseling 44

General Guidelines 46

If the Presenting Problem Is a Child or Young Person 49

If the Presenting Problem Is a Marital or Couples Issue 51

General Clinical Suggestions 53

Session-by-SessionGuidelines 56

Session Checklist for Family Counseling 57

CHAPTER 2: SPECIAL SITUATIONS 58

Introduction 59

Therapeutic Themes by Family Type (Child Identified Patient) 60

Blended and Single-Parent Families 62

Blended Families: Tips for Two Common Scenarios 64

The Powerless Parent 65

The ParentalMind-Set 66

Parent-Child Enmeshment 67

"Split" Parenting 68

Parental Denial 69

Difficult Parents 70

Child Diagnosis in Plain English 71

The ThreeWorlds of the Adolescent 73

Managing Adolescents in Family Sessions74

Couples Work 75

Couples Counseling: Additional Tips 77

Closed Families 78

Friends as Family 79

Family Resistance 80

CHAPTER 3: COUNSELOR IDEAS 83

Introduction 84

Fear of FamilyWork 85

Inexperienced vs. Experienced Family Counselors 86

A Novice's First Family Interview 87

Counseling Style 89

Counselor Mistakes 92

Counselor Successes 93

Counselor Self-Disclosure 94

Induction Worksheet 95

Whose Family Stuff Is It? 96

Use of Self 97

Counselor Centrality 98

Colleague Consultation 99

Supervising FamilyWork 100

Review Lists for Family Counselors 101

Questions and Answers 105

CHAPTER 4: TECHNIQUES 106

Introduction 107

Alter Ego 108

Brief Network Intervention (BNI) 109

ChairWork 111

Circular Questions 112

Colleague Teamwork 113

Drawings 115

FamilyMapping 117

Family Questions in Individual Counseling 119

Guardrail 120

TheMIGS Sheet 121

New Talk 126

Paradox 127

Parent's Childhood 128

Reflecting Team 129

Reframing 130

Relabeling 133

Safe Rebellion 134

Sculpting and Movement 135

Sibling Talk 137

Strategic ChildAssessment 138

Strategic Predictions 139

Toybox 140

Worried Child 141

Summary of Systemic Techniques 142

CHAPTER 5: MULTIPLE FAMILY GROUPS 143

Introduction 144

Suggested Procedures for Multiple Family Groups 145

Family Recruitment for Multiple Family Groups 145

Clinical Tips 146

Therapeutic Activities 147

CHAPTER 6: WORKING WITH CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY IN FAMILIES 149

Introduction 150

A Working Definition of Chemical Dependency 151

Drugs of Abuse 152

Chemical Dependency 153

The Disease Concept 154

Indirect Signs of Chemical Dependency 155

Identification of Chemical Dependency in a Family 156

Questions for FamilyAssessment of Chemical Dependency 156

Treatment of Chemical Dependency 157

Recovery 158

Stages of Recovery 159

Recovery Plan 160

Families in Early Recovery 161

Relapse 162

Common Patterns in Chemically Dependent Families 163

Two Parent—CD Parent 164

Two-Parent—CD Adolescent 165

"Good" Kid "Bad" Kid 166

CD Single Parent 167

Single-Parent—CD Adolescent 168

The GoldenYears Trap 169

Adolescent Substance Abuse 171

Adolescent Substance Use Checklist 172

Co-Dependency 173

Couples Work for Chemical Dependency 174

WorkingWith Chemical Dependency in Families: 21 Guidelines 176

Family Counseling for Chemical Dependency: Summary 178

APPENDIX A: RESEARCH REFERENCES 179

APPENDIX B: PROBLEMS AND PAGE NUMBERS 182

GLOSSARY FOR FAMILY COUNSELING 183

RECOMMENDED READINGS 185

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 187

INDEX 189

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John T. Edwards, PhD, is an Approved Supervisor in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), an adjunct faculty member at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, a private trainer, and a consultant. He has conducted and supervised family therapy for more than twenty-five years and has served as director of counseling in a family health center and clinical director of an inpatient family care program. He has written two books on working with families and conducted hundreds of training events in the United States and Canada.
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