Doing Couple Therapy : Craft and Creativity in Work with Intimate Partners book cover
2nd Edition

Doing Couple Therapy
Craft and Creativity in Work with Intimate Partners

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ISBN 9781462530137
Published June 16, 2017 by Guilford Press
292 Pages


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Book Description

Now thoroughly revised, this practical, user-friendly guide has helped thousands of novice couple therapists and students to navigate the challenges of clinical work with couples in conflict. Robert Taibbi presents effective strategies for rapidly identifying a couple's core issues and conducting each stage of therapy, from the first sessions to termination. Rich with sensitive case material, the book features end-of-chapter exercises that help readers identify and develop their own strengths as practitioners. Appendices include reproducible client handouts that can be downloaded and printed in a convenient 8 1/2" x 11" size.

New to This Edition
*Three chapters offering detailed treatment maps for common couple problems, with new case examples.
*Chapter on the middle stages of treatment.
*Increased attention to the all-important opening sessions.
*Sharper focus on the three major obstacles to couple success: poor communication, emotional wounds, and differing visions.
*Reproducible client handouts explaining key techniques.

See also the author's Doing Family Therapy, Third Edition: Craft and Creativity in Clinical Practice.

Table of Contents

1. Into the Fray: Theoretical Foundation and Overview
2. The Basics: Clinical Goals and Tasks
3. Relationship Obstacle 1: Poor Communication Skills
4. Relationship Obstacles 2 and 3: Emotional Wounds and Differing Visions
5. Beginnings: Structure and Tasks
6. Beginnings in Action
7. Middle Stages
8. Termination
9. The Developmental Landscape
10. Treatment Maps for Common Couple Problems: Affairs, Money Issues, and Violent and Volatile Couples
11. Treatment Maps for Common Couple Problems: Sexual Issues, “Stale” Relationships, and Extended Family Issues
12. Treatment Maps for Common Child-Related Problems
13. One Helping Two, Two Helping One: Working with Individuals in Relationships
14. Life in the Details: The Nuts and Bolts of Couple Therapy
Appendix A. Explanation of Emotional Wounds
Appendix B. Instructions for a First-Aid Plan for Violent Couples
Appendix C. Instructions for Meditation
Appendix D. Instructions for the Emotional Freedom Technique
Appendix E. Instructions for Using Mindfulness to Reduce Anxiety

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Robert Taibbi, LCSW, has over 40 years’ experience as a clinician, supervisor, and clinical director, primarily in community mental health working with children, couples, and families. He is the author of over 300 articles and six books, including Doing Family Therapy, Third Edition; Clinical Social Work Supervision; Boot Camp Therapy; and The Art of the First Session. In addition, he writes the online column “Fixing Families” for Psychology Today, has served as an advice columnist for several magazines, and has received three national writing awards for best consumer health writing. Mr. Taibbi provides trainings both nationally and internationally in couple therapy, family therapy, brief therapy, and clinical supervision, and has served as adjunct professor at several universities. He is currently in private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia.


"Taibbi writes with the nuance and depth of knowledge of a seasoned, successful couple therapist. I'm not aware of any other book that balances practical detail and theoretical insight in such an accessible and engaging style. Taibbi has the rare ability to synthesize rich clinical wisdom with cutting-edge research into an easy-to-understand therapeutic model. This is a book by a clinician for clinicians, informed by solid theory and research. I plan on using this second edition as a text in my master's- and doctoral-level couple therapy courses. I also recommend it to established clinicians beginning couple therapy, or couple therapists who want to take their practice to the next level."--Sean D. Davis, PhD, LMFT, Couple and Family Therapy Program, Alliant International University

"Couple therapy requires a whole different skill set than individual therapy. Taibbi masterfully simplifies the confusing morass that couple therapy can be. He culls pragmatic techniques from several approaches and presents them in a clear and well-illustrated way. This is very useful wisdom from a veteran couple therapist."--Richard C. Schwartz, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance

"Taibbi offers an extraordinarily practical introduction to what is arguably the most challenging therapeutic modality. Using down-to-earth language and terms, this book walks readers through a comprehensive, step-by-step approach to working with couples. Taibbi offers a flexible system for conceptualizing couple dynamics and outlines each phase of therapy in great detail. The 'Looking Within' questions at the end of each chapter are especially useful in classroom settings to address self-of-the-therapist issues unique to the practice of couple therapy. New couple therapists are likely to refer to this text frequently on their journey to developing competence."--Diane R. Gehart, PhD, LMFT, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, California State University, Northridge

"This book had me at, 'Step up and be the leader the couple expects you to be.' Too often, therapists relinquish their responsibility for keeping therapy on course. Taibbi's no-nonsense yet compassionate presentation of the art and science of couple therapy is accessible to all professionals working with relational issues. As an MFT educator, I particularly appreciate the second edition's treatment maps for common issues; beginning therapists will find them invaluable and experienced therapists will find them a good refresher in the fundamentals."--Craig W. Smith, PhD, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Medical Family Therapy Program, Saint Louis University
-This highly readable, exceptional work provides a concrete account of the work of a highly experienced, creative psychotherapist who is committed to advancing the competence level of practitioners and students in all helping professions. Recommended. All readers.--Choice Reviews, 12/1/2017ƒƒPractical and engaging....It is both detailed and heartening. I like the way [Taibbi] encourages therapists to develop their own styles and play to their own strengths in their work with couples and his emphasis on self-reflection and self-care in this challenging area of therapy. I think most couple therapists would find new ideas or be reassured that there is sound thinking beyond many of the interventions they already use. I am happy to recommend it. (on the first edition)--Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 1/1/2010ƒƒWhat I like most about the book is the Exercises section at the end of each chapter...because they are solid, basic homework-type questions that a cognitively oriented therapist would give to the couples for their own homework. (on the first edition)--PsycCRITIQUES, 11/1/2007ƒƒVery much a hands-on, step-by-step guide to doing couple therapy...The author makes a warm and lively relationship with the reader, mirroring the very substance of the couple counselling he is illustrating. Most usefully, the author offers generous quantities of practical strategies for understanding and working with the whole variety of people and presentations that fill the book. (on the first edition)--The Independent Practitioner, 9/1/2010