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Becoming a Family Counselor: A Bridge to Family Therapy Theory and Practice

ISBN: 978-0-471-22138-8
432 pages
April 2006, ©2006
Becoming a Family Counselor: A Bridge to Family Therapy Theory and Practice (0471221384) cover image


A complete and accessible resource for working with couples and families

Becoming a Family Counselor sets a new standard for family therapy texts. Working from a broad historical orientation, it focuses on the common themes that reappear across various theoretical approaches and connects family practice with individual approaches. Crossing boundaries of generation, gender, race, and culture, this useful introduction presents current thinking related to today's practice issues.

The text begins with an overview of couple and family counseling, emphasizing the diversity and unity in the field. The development of the field is examined, from its roots in the nineteenth century through its identity crisis in the 1980s. Subsequent chapters lay out an integrated approach to contemporary family research, theory, and therapy; core chapters focus on understanding the contributions of behavioral, organizational, narrative, emotional, and spiritual perspectives. The last section of the book offers practical chapters on conducting family therapy in organizational contexts that often define the client in individual terms. Readers are encouraged to balance a change orientation with a respect for continuity and tradition.

Complete with illuminating case studies, self-evaluation exercises, suggestions for independent study, and current ethics codes, Becoming a Family Counselor is a dynamic resource suitable for both students and practicing mental health professionals.
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Table of Contents




Chapter 1. Couple and Family Counselors: Individual Portraits.

Chapter 2. Retelling the Story: Couple and Family Counseling in the Early Years.

Chapter 3. The Field Matures: 1980 to the Present.


Chapter 4. Behavior: Learning, Habits, and Reinforcement.

Chapter 5. Organization: Planning, Decision Making, and Action.

Chapter 6. Narrative: Language, Culture, and Identity.

Chapter 7. Emotion: Regulation, Relationship, and Motivation.

Chapter 8. Spirituality: Purpose, Acceptance, and Meaning.


Chapter 9. Joining, Struggling Together, and Saying Goodbye.

Chapter 10. The Ethical Family Counselor.

Chapter 11. Future Directions for Family Counseling.

Appendix A: ACA Code of Ethics.

Appendix B: AAMFT Code of Ethics.

Appendix C: Ethical Code of the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors.


Name Index.

Subject Index.

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Author Information

THOMAS W. BLUME earned a PhD in marital and family therapy from Texas Tech University. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor, AAMFT Approved Supervisor, and National Certified Counselor. An Associate Professor at Oakland University, he teaches introductory and advanced family counseling courses. Dr. Blume maintains a small private practice specializing in addictions, couples in transition, adolescents, and stepfamilies.

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The Wiley Advantage

* Represents current research and practice in today's family therapy unlike existing texts that celebrate family therapy's "golden age"
*Presents unique, integrated approach to family therapy theory using BONES approach: Behavior, Object Relations, Narrative, Emotions, and Spirituality
*Includes illuminating case studies, self-evaluation excercises, liberal graphics, and suggestions for independent study in each chapter
*Features interactive learning experiences available for instructors on the web 
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