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Collaborative Therapy with Multi-Stressed Families 2ed

by William C Madsen Guilford Publications
Pub Date:
Pbk 388 pages
AU$99.00 NZ$103.48
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This volume describes an innovative approach to working with families who have not been well served by traditional mental health, social service, and medical systems. Critically examining many professional assumptions about 'difficult' families, the book outlines clinical practices that facilitate a respectful, constructive, and effective therapeutic relationship.

Highlighted are ways to engage reluctant clients, conduct nonpathologizing assessments, and help families develop communities of support. Of crucial importance, the author proposes that therapists move away from trying to identify and correct old problems. He focuses instead on how to support clients in envisioning desired futures and developing new lives.

Including a wealth of compelling clinical material, the book raises important theoretical and political questions without becoming moralistic and promotes a strengths based focus without romanticizing families or minimizing their difficulties.

'Once in a long while is a book written with the power and potential to influence clinical practice in profound and positive ways... Collaborative Therapy with Multi-Stressed Families is such a contribution ... Madsen proposes a framework for assessment that meets the needs of managed care by being goal-directed and outcome-oriented while maintaining a collaborative and resource-based stance ..Highly recommended for family therapy courses as well as for therapists in community agencies.' --- Journal of Systemic Therapies

'Never losing sight of today's practice realities, this graceful, smart book enlightens and inspires' -- Kathy Weingarten, PhD

'This compelling book depicts the genuine complexities of families and their helpers on a canvas of deep compassion, connection and hope ..(a) wonderful jargon-free volume.. a progressive and resourceful approach to seemingly intractable problems' -- Evan Imber-Black, PhD

Audience Family therapists and counselors. clinicians and supervisors in outpatient clinics, community agencies, and home based family preservation programs.

CONTENTS Introduction 1. Working with MultiStressed Families: From Technique to Attitude 2. What We See Is What We Get: Reexamining Our Assessment Process 3. Collaboration Is a Two-Way Street: Engaging Reluctant Families 4. Envisioning New Futures: Developing Collaborative Therapy Contracts with Families 5. Invitational Interaction: An Anthropological Approach to 'Intervening' with Families 6. Helping Clients Take Apart Old Problems and Put Together New Lives 7. Elaborating and Solidifying New Lives 8. Developing Communities to Support New Lives 9. The Larger Helping System as an Appreciative Audience for New Lives 10. Envisioning New Futures, Revisioning Human Services

''In this era of manualized social work 'treatment,' it is both refreshing and essential to have a textbook that encourages progressive thinking. Madsen's approach integrates the dominant themes in social work education/m-/such as best practices and an emphasis on assessing outcome/m-/with progressive ideas adopted from narrative and solution-focused approaches. The result is a text that offers students an opportunity to think about process, relationship, and use of self, at the same time as it emphasizes contemporary priorities.''/m-/April Fletcher, MSW, Boston College Graduate School of Social Work

Introduction: Reflective Practice in Frenzied Times1. Working with Multi-Stressed Families: Recognizing the Importance of Relational Stance 2. What We See Is What We Get: Reexamining Our Assessment Process 3. Collaboration Is a Two-Way Street: Engaging Reluctant Families 4. Developing a Proactive Vision to Guide Clinical Work: Collaborative Therapy Contracts 5. Collaborative Inquiry: An Anthropological Approach to "Intervening" with Families 6. Examining the Relationship between Clients and the Problems in Their Lives 7. Helping Clients Shift Their Relationship to Problems and Develop Preferred Lives 8. Developing Communities to Support New Lives 9. Solidifying New Lives through Therapeutic Documents 10. Sustaining a Collaborative Practice in the "Real" World Appendices: A. One Example of a Strength-Based Assessment Outline. B. Questions to Assess Externalized Problems Rather Than Families. C. Considerations in Collaborative Therapy Contracts. D. An Interview Outline to Consolidate Alternative Stories. E. Coauthoring Termination/Consolidation Summaries with Clients.

"Madsen's writing style is very conversational and engaging. His years of practice and supervisory experience are evident in his ability to make salient points regarding practice. The text is rich with diverse examples illustrating key concepts. Madsen clearly links his framework to the theory and models he is building upon. He maintains a strong connection among ideas, creating an intuitive flow from beginning to end. With this strong connection, each chapter could easily stand alone. Because the book emphasizes collaborative work, the client-centered outcomes in this text could be used in many fields where person-centered approaches are practiced. Beyond the arenas of counseling and family therapy, professionals in the fields of education, medicine, nursing, and even business could benefit from the ideas presented in this book."
William C. Madsen, PhD, is Founder and Director of the Family-Centered Services Project in Watertown, Massachusetts, an organizational change initiative dedicated to helping state and provincial organizations and community agencies develop more respectful and responsive ways of serving youth and families. Since the 1980s, he has developed, administered, and consulted to many innovative programs. He currently provides international training and consultation regarding collaborative approaches to therapy and the development of institutional structures and organizational cultures that support family-centered work.