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With its clinical focus and extremely practical presentation, the Fifth Edition of The Essentials of Family Therapy, examines the rich history, classic schools, and latest developments in family therapy, emphasizing clinical practice throughout.
One thing that tends to get lost in academic discussions of family therapy is the feeling of accomplishment that comes from sitting down with an unhappy family and being able to help them. Beginning therapists are understandably anxious about how to proceed and not sure they'll know how to be helpful. (“How do you get all of them to come in?”) Veterans often speak in abstractions. They have opinions and discuss big social issues — social constructionsim, postmodernism, managed care, second-order cybernetics. While it's tempting to use this space to say Important Things, I prefer to be a little more personal. Treating troubled families has given me the deepest satisfaction imaginable, and I hope that the same is, or will be, true for you.
In this first edition of The Essentials of Family Therapy we've tried to describe the full scope of family therapy — its rich history, the classical schools, the latest developments — but with more emphasis on clinical practice than history and theory. There are lots of changes in this version: more up-to-date descriptions of the latest models, an expanded treatment of basic clinical practice, a richer description of the contemporary influences on the field, and a more thorough and consistent emphasis on clinical techniques throughout.
When you read about therapy it can be hard to see past the jargon and political packaging to the essential ideas and practices. So, in preparing this volume, we've traveled widely to visit and observe the actual sessions of the leading practitioners. The result is a more pragmatic, clinical focus. We hope you like it.
So many people have contributed to my development as a family therapist and to the writing of this book that it's impossible to thank them all. But I would like to single out a few. To the people who taught me family therapy — Lyman Wynne, Murray Bowen, and Salvador Minuchin — thank you.
Some of the people who went out of their way to help us prepare this book were Jay Efran, Stephanie Fellenberg, Frank Dattilio, Robert Taibbi, JoEllen Patterson, Joseph Miccuci, Paul Nichols, Insoo Berg, Cheryl Rampage, Kathy Weingarten, Vicki Dickerson, Jeff Zimmerman, Cloe Madanes, Jay Haley, and Salvador Minuchin. To paraphrase John, Paul, George, and Ringo, we get by with a lot of help from our friends — and we thank them all and one.
We are especially grateful to Janice Wiggins, Judy Fifer, and Susan McIntyre at Allyn and Bacon for making a hard job easier.
Finally, I would like to thank my postgraduate instructors in family life: my wife, Melody, and my children, Sandy and Paul. In the brief span of thirty-three Melody has seen me grow from a shy young man, totally ignorant of how to be a husband and father, to a shy middle-aged man, still bewildered and still trying. Sandy and Paul never cease to amaze me. My little red-haired girl (who can bench press like a football player) is about to return to the States after two and a half years of service in the Peace Corps. Proud of her? You bet I am! And my son Paul, to whom (masculine reticence being what it is) maybe I haven't always shown the depth of my love, has grown to young manhood true to himself, true to his friends, and true to his mother and me. If in my wildest dreams I had imagined children to love and be proud of, I wouldn't even have come close to any as fine as Sandy and Paul.
Michael P. Nichols
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The Essentials of Family Therapy (5th Edition) (ISBN: 0205787231 / 0-205-78723-1)
Nichols, Michael P.
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Essentials of Family Therapy, The (5th Edition) [Paperback] (ISBN: 0205787231 / 0-205-78723-1)
Nichols, Michael P.
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