Family Therapies: A Comprehensive Christian Appraisal Review

Family Therapies: A Comprehensive Christian Appraisal
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Written for students, therapists, and pastors, the textbook Family Therapies is designed to provide intelligent content about psychotherapy topics, while not losing readers with less clinical inclinations. The book accomplishes this goal.
Students reading the textbook will receive an ample review of major family therapy models, while counselors will benefit from the more nuanced clinical insights of the authors, such as the "respect commitment," a concept that can be implemented during times of family stress or crisis. According to the authors:
The respect commitment is a pledge to not provoke secondary crisis through acts or attitudes that are known to cause additional pain for other family members. For example, a family member might sooth their pain by stopping at a sports bar after work and watching a NASCAR race and drinking a beer, or walking alone in the woods [for two hours] before coming home...Or an adolescent might choose to spend $400 of his or her money saved for college on clothes or stereo equipment--impulsively, without consultation with a parent. The respect commitment says that for the time being each member will respect others by not engaging in behaviors that are within your "individual right" but are also known to be potentially incendiary (p. 320).
Ideas like this one are scattered throughout the text like so many chocolate espresso beans in my trail mix. And like those beans, they have helped me to think sharply about new techniques that could work with current clients, and brainstorm new ways of approaching therapy with future ones.
While a textbook by definition, it is conversational enough to read straight through. Granted, 500 pages will take you a while, so you may want to start with the family therapy models in which you have interest. The text surveys major family therapy models including:
· Bowenian Family Therapy
· Strategic Family Therapy
· Structural Family Therapy
· Psychodynamic Family Therapy
· Contextual Family Therapy
· Experiential Family Therapy
· Solution-Focused Family Therapy
· Cognitive-Behavioral Family Therapy
· Narrative Family Therapy
In the second half of the book, Yarhouse and Sells take a topic-based approach and address a selection of family therapy issues including crisis and trauma, marital conflict, and substance abuse.
Bottom Line
This is not a ground breaking study, a Yalom page-turner, or a self-improvement must-read. But it is an unusually well written textbook. It's a good choice if you're a therapist or counseling pastor looking for a serious guide to Christian family therapy.
Final Note: If you're looking for an Online Counseling Textbook, this is the best online therapy / telephone therapy text on the market:
The Therapist's Clinical Guide to Online Counseling and Telephone Counseling: The Definitive Training Guide for Clinical Practice

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Christian therapists doing family therapy have never had a resource to help them navigate the various family therapy theories from a Christian perspective--until now.In this book Mark A. Yarhouse and James N. Sells survey the major approaches to family therapy and treat, within a Christian framework, significant psychotherapeutic issues. The wide array of issues covered includes
crisis and trauma
marital conflict
separation, divorce and blended families
individual psychopathology
substance abuse and addictions
gender, culture, economic class and race
sexual identity
Calling for an integrated approach of "responsible eclecticism," they conclude with a vision for Christian family therapy.A landmark work providing critical Christian engagement with existing models of family therapy, this volume was written for those studying counseling, social work, psychology or family therapy. Family Therapies will also serve as an indispensable resource for those in the mental health professions, including counselors, psychologists, family therapists, social workers and pastors.

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