Couples on the Fault Line : New Directions for Therapists book cover
1st Edition

Couples on the Fault Line
New Directions for Therapists

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ISBN 9781572307056
Published September 6, 2001 by Guilford Press
344 Pages

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Book Description

Couple therapy is no longer simply a matter of helping couples adjust to the different stages of the life cycle: the life cycle itself has changed. Advances in reproductive technology, the rise of electronic communication, increasing time pressures of daily life, the continuing transformation of gender roles, and the loosening of constraints on same-sex and cross-cultural partnerships are just some of the developments reshaping relationships today. This cutting-edge book brings together prominent marital and family therapists to explore the new challenges--and opportunities--facing couples and the clinicians who work with them. Illustrated with vivid case material, the volume presents a range of approaches to helping couples reconsider and reorder their life priorities around such central issues as love, marriage, parenting, commitment, intimacy, and aging.

The authors of these chapters represent many different outlooks and areas of expertise. What they share is the ability to translate social awareness into clinical practice--reexamining and reevaluating accepted family therapy models and techniques in light of the changing contexts in which couples live. Illuminating the many ways that the private world of the couple is affected by outside social, cultural, and technological forces, chapters cover such topics as:

*Making time for each other in the information age
*Delayed parenting, reproductive technologies, and the crisis of infertility
*Divorce, remarriages, and growing old together
*Multiculturalism in the family--issues facing cross-cultural couples
*Myths and realities of gender roles today
*Working with gay and lesbian couples
*Current approaches to domestic violence
*Treating depression in the couple therapy context

Offering fresh perspectives and cogent clinical insights, this book is a vital resource for therapists working with couples and for advanced students of family therapy, social work, clinical psychology, and psychiatry. In the classroom, it will serve as a supplemental text in courses on the family life cycle and the treatment of couples.

Table of Contents

1. New Directions for Therapists, Peggy Papp
2. The Three-Career Family, Lawrence Levner
3. The New Triangle: Couples and Technology, Evan Imber-Black
4. Clocks, Calendars, and Couples: Time and the Rhythms of Relationships, Peter Fraenkel and Skye Wilson
5. Infertility and Late-Life Pregnancies, Constance N. Scharf and Margot Weinshel
6. Gender Differences in Depression: His or Her Depression, Peggy Papp
7. Embracing the Controversy: A Metasystemic Approach to the Treatment of
Domestic Violence, Wendy Greenspun
8. A Tourist's View of Marriage: Cross-Cultural Couples--Challenges, Choices, and Implications for Therapy, Esther Perel
9. Therapy with African American Couples, Lascelles W. Black
10. Men Together: Working with Gay Couples in Contemporary Times, Gary L. Sanders
11. Lesbian Couples Entering the 21st Century, Carline Marvin and Dusty Miller
12. Remarriage: Redesigning Couplehood, Anne C. Bernstein
13. Reflections on Golden Pond, Ruth Mohr

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Peggy Papp, MSW, is a senior training supervisor and director of the Depression Project at the Ackerman Institute for the Family in New York City. A former board member of Family Process, she was a cofounder of the Women's Project in Family Therapy. She was an associate director of the Center for Family Learning and has served on the faculty of the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic and the Family Studies Center of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Ms. Papp's innovative contributions to the field of family therapy have been recognized with awards from the American Family Therapy Academy and the American Association for Marital and Family Therapy.


...offers such a wide range of topics that almost any therapist interested in current trends in couples therapy will find relevant information in it. Most of the authors not only skillfully outline the problem at hand but also offer pragmatic therapeutic strategies based on their observations and experiences.--Psychiatric Services

Papp has accomplished a great deal with this well-compiled, well-edited volume....A hallmark of this book is the relevancy of the real-world/real-time practice issues that the authors address....The book's breadth of scope is one of its main strengths. While it covers a wide range of topics....It nevertheless considers each with detail and creativity, and provides helpful case-study examples and forms.--Behavioral Healthcare Tomorrow

What a wonderful gift to the clinical field! In this vital and extremely timely book, Peggy Papp and her outstanding group of contributors thoughtfully address the central social issues affecting the lives of contemporary couples. The seductive power of cyberspace romance, lack of 'time for love', the need to be like 'tourists' in mixed marriages, and the moral choices raised by reproductive technologies are just some of the many topics discussed. In these evocative descriptions and case studies, therapists will instantly recognize the issues they encounter in their offices and in their own lives. Throughout, social awareness is not just a fascinating background narrative; it is also part and parcel of creative therapeutic approaches that effectively meet the challenges of each couple's predicaments. Students, trainees, seasoned clinicians and lay readers will emerge from each chapter wiser, more empathetic, and more skilled. This is an extraordinarily rich and useful guide.--Celia Jaes Falicov, PhD, President, American Family Therapy Academy

What is enduring about families, and what is changing? How are we to translate those equally valid dimensions into therapeutic practice? To answer these questions, Peggy Papp, with her wisdom and broad experience--her sure sense of what is gold and what is dross--has assembled this quite wonderful volume. The topics represented here are critical to couples' lives in these times. The authors take seriously the new realities of our world--changing gender relations and infertility technology, for example. They also are ever mindful of unchanging elements of the human need for intimacy. This book will be valuable to a wide range of readers. Students and practitioners in the human sciences will return to it often for guidance and encouragement.--Donald A. Bloch, MD, Co-Chair, Collaborative Family Healthcare Coalition

Rich in vision, heart, and clinical innovation, this is one of the most important books to emerge in the field of couple therapy today.--Harriet Lerner, PhD, author of The Dance of Anger

This wonderful collection of clinical essays brings alive the challenges and foibles of couple relationships in modern times. Exploring the interface of modern technology and old-fashioned romance, this book presents heart-wrenching stories of couples struggling with unsuccessful infertility treatments, conflicts between work and family commitments, Internet affairs, and the fury generated by being placed indefinitely 'on hold.' These engaging stories are placed in the context of a multiracial, multiethnic society with ever-evolving rules about what constitutes a family. The sum result is a wise, respectful, and ultimately optimistic view of how to keep intimate relationships central to one's life.--Peter Steinglass, MD, Executive Director, Ackerman Institute for the Family
This book will likely appeal to clinicians who are looking for information on how to work with specific types of couples (e.g., couples experiencing domestic violence). As well, this book will be helpful to therapists who are interested in a general overview of some issues affecting couples....One of the book's major strengths is in the inclusion of detailed case examples. Each of the chapters describes real-life couples who are experiencing various problems. These cases help illuminate the specific issues outlined in each chapter and make for an engaging and enjoyable read. Drawing on their diverse experiences working with couples, the authors demonstrate their clinical expertise and provide readers with a sense of how the various challenges described in the book may be presented by couples in a therapeutic context....This book is an attractive read that is rich in its clinical description....Professionals and students from various disciplines (e.g., psychology, social work, psychiatry) would likely find this volume a useful and pleasant read. It provides a systemic examination of issues that are relevant to many couples, while also providing information that applies to specific groups of couples. It is cognizant of the needs of couples from different backgrounds, sexual orientations, and stages of life, and is written in a though-provoking and sensitive manner.
--Archives of Sexual Behavior, 7/17/2001ƒƒ
Papp has accomplished a great deal with this well-compiled, well-edited volume....The book's breadth of scope is one of its main strengths. While it covers a wide range of nevertheless considers each with detail and creativity.
--Behavioral Healthcare Tomorrow, 7/17/2001