3rd Edition

Couples in Treatment Techniques and Approaches for Effective Practice

By Gerald R. Weeks, Stephen T. Fife Copyright 2014
    352 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    348 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This third edition of Couples in Treatment helps readers conceptualize and treat couples from multiple perspectives and with a multitude of techniques. The authors do not advocate any single approach to couple therapy and instead present basic principles and techniques with wide-ranging applicability and the power to invite change, making this the most useful text on integrative, systemic couple therapy.
    Throughout the book the authors consider the individual, interactional, and intergenerational systems of any case. Gerald Weeks’ Intersystems Model, a comprehensive, integrative, and contextual meta framework, can be superimposed over existing therapy approaches. It emphasizes principles of therapy and can facilitate assessing, conceptualizing couples’ problems, and providing helpful interventions. Couple therapists are encouraged to utilize the principles in this book to enhance their therapeutic process and fit their approach to the client, rather than forcing the client to fit their theory.

    Chapter 1: -Renamed from "Assessment and Case Formulation" to "Comprehensive Assessment and Case Formulation.

    -Includes a discussion of systemic thinking as it pertains to assessment and evaluation, replaces the section on "Common Mistakes Made in the Evaluation Phase" with "Essential Operations in Assessment, includes a more thorough description of genograms and how to utilize them during assessment, and briefly reviews relationship assessment instruments.

    Chapter 2: -Includes a section on confidentiality and ethical concerns in couples therapy, that discusses how to effectively handle ethical issues.

    -Also includes a new section on "Providing a Roadmap for Clients".

    Chapter 3: -Renamed from "Balanced Intervention" to "Keeping Therapy Balanced"

    Chapter has been revised so that it builds upon the discussion of systemic conceptualization and intervention in the previous chapter.

    Chapter 4: -Renamed from "Systemic Intervention" to "Systemic Conceptualization and Intervention"

    -Includes a new section on "Enactments," which are therapist-guided structured interactions that are designed to promote self-sufficient communication by couples.

    Chapter 5: -Revised to make it consistent with and building upon previous chapters

    -Includes a section on common destructive patterns that couples develop.

    Chapter 6: -Will include a new section about "Overcoming Therapist’s Fear of Intensity". This discussion will integrate principles from the Intersystems approach.

    Chapter 7: -Renamed to "Systemic Therapy with Individual Clients"

    -Revised the section on Individual Sessions in Conjoint Therapy—part of this discussion will be moved to and expanded upon in the chapter about orienting couples to therapy

    Chapter 8: -Chapter renamed to "Working with Highly Reactive Couples" and will incorporate constructs, research, and clinical strategies based on attachment theory and couples therapy interventions that target emotions.

    Chapter 9: -Will expand the discussion on fears of intimacy.

    -Will include a section on recovering intimacy, along with additional strategies and interventions for recovering intimacy, a discussion on relationship enhancement strategies, and principles from the Intersystems approach.

    Chapter 10: -Will remain the same

    Chapter 11: -Expand the previous discussion on enactments to include more detailed descriptions of various kinds of enactments and therapist-client dialogue examples.

    -New research by Gottman, Fowers, and The Arbinger Institute will be incorporated.

    Chapter 12: -Will incorporate techniques from narrative therapy and behavioral couples therapy, and will include recent research from the authors and other on change processes for couples experiencing conflict.

    Chapters 13 and 14: -Will remain the same

    Chapter 15: -Renamed to "Working with Emotions"

    -Will include recent research from attachment theory literature and emotionally-focused couples’s therapy.

    Chapter 16: -Renamed to "Homework Assignments: Extending Interventions from the Office to Home"

    -Will include additional homework assignments and strategies for facilitating compliance.

    Chapter 17: -Renamed to "Treating Infidelity"

    -Will introduce a five-phase, empirically supported model of treatment of infidelity developed by the authors.


    Gerald R. Weeks, PhD, is Professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Graduate Program at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and is also in private practice.

    Stephen T. Fife, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Graduate Program at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and is also in private practice.

    "This outstanding text revision by Weeks and Fife addresses an important gap in the professional literature on couples and family therapy.  Authored by experienced researchers and seasoned clinicians, this book combines clinical perspicacity with critical-mindedness. The excellent clinical examples and practical guidelines make this text a worthy resource for all clinicians and researchers. I highly recommend it." - Frank M. Dattilio, PhD, ABPP, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

    "Probably the most difficult clinical situations to treat, those that often strike terror in a new therapist’s heart, are couples cases. In the updated and fully revised Couples in Treatment, Gerald Weeks and Stephen Fife offer a very sophisticated yet practical metamodel for treating couples. It brings together the most important of the 'common factors' in psychotherapy along with specific evidenced-based interventions and techniques from a variety of models, in a cogent, theoretically consistent metaframework that both experienced and newer practicing clinicians can immediately use to help couples in distress. I highly recommend this book." - Terry S. Trepper, PhD, Editor, Journal of Family Psychotherapy

    "How is it possible to endorse a book that is so systematically complete, technically superb, and practically useful? No possible topic is left out and each is covered beautifully, in an easy-to-follow, easy-to-implement style. I wish I had this book when I started to work with couples decades ago. It would have made my job so much easier. This is the kind of treatise that could be assigned reading in any graduate training program and should be welcome by veteran couple and family therapists who want to bring themselves up-to-date in theory, practice, and techniques in couple therapy. To say that I recommend this text wholeheartedly is an understatement; any professionals involved with couples need to learn from it to improve their practices."
    - Luciano L'Abate, PhD, ABPP, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Georgia State University

    Couples in Treatment is a highly practical book that has become a mainstay in the training of couples therapists. Drs. Weeks and Fife offer many helpful techniques and strategies in the third edition that both the veteran and neophyte couples therapist will be able to use.” - Jon Carlson, PsyD, EdD, ABPP, Distinguished Professor, Governors State University