1st Edition

Family Therapy Skills and Techniques in Action

ISBN 9781138831438
Published September 20, 2017 by Routledge
228 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations

USD $38.95

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Book Description

Please watch the following short video advertisement for the book, featuring the Editors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1ApHAQIMzQ&feature=youtu.be

Relationships are a resource for healing a range of psychological difficulties. This is the fundamental principle of family therapy, an increasingly influential form of psychotherapy that is building up a strong evidence base in a range of psychological problems across the life cycle. Family Therapy Skills and Techniques in Action is both a guide to a variety of family therapy techniques and a review of their history. It provides a thorough explanation of the techniques, explaining their origins and use in contemporary family practice, whilst guiding readers in learning new skills. The authors provide film examples and transcripts of the techniques in action so that readers can develop their skills in a practical way.

The book is divided into sections that describe and demonstrate skills such as:

  • Assessing a family;
  • Building a therapeutic relationship with multiple family members;
  • Enactment;
  • Reframing;
  • Using circular questions;
  • ‘Externalising’ the problem;
  • Using family therapy skills in individual work;
  • Understanding and utilising systemic supervision.

Family Therapy Skills and Techniques in Action will be an essential practical manual for a range of family therapy skills which can be used in family work by family practitioners from a variety of backgrounds: counsellors, support workers, social workers, psychologists, generic therapists and nurses.

Table of Contents


Chapter One: Introduction, setting the scene

Chapter Two: Listening to the orchestra

Chapter Three: Assessment, finding out what we need to know

Chapter Four: Integrative family therapy, a contemporary practice

Chapter Five: Structural family therapy, creating a dance with families

Chapter Six: Strategic family therapy, making language therapeutic

Chapter Seven: Milan and Post-Milan Family Therapy, changing rules and meanings

Chapter Eight: Narrative family therapy, interpreting the story

Chapter Nine: Working Systemically with Individuals, opening up a different view

Chapter Ten: Reflective Practice in Family Therapy

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Mark Rivett is the director of Family and Systemic Psychotherapy training at the University of Exeter and a family therapist in South Wales. He is a past editor of the Journal of Family Therapy.

Joanne Buchmüller is a specialist family and systemic psychotherapist in an adolescent inpatient unit in South Wales and a visiting lecturer in systemic family therapy at the Universities of Bristol and Exeter.


"Family Therapy Skills and Techniques in Action is the best book available for learning about family therapy and the skills involved in it. Writing in a crisp parsimonious style, Mark Rivett and Joanne Buchmuller capture the essence of family therapy and each of its major methods in a way that is fully intelligible to the beginning therapist or more experienced practitioners new to family work. The value of this book is immensely enhanced by its unique format, which incorporates film clips with accompanying transcripts to enable understanding how the conceptual material is utilized in real therapy contexts. Filled with tables that summarize material that readers are sure to continue to refer to over the years, Rivett and Buchmuller’s book should be an essential part of every family therapist’s library."-Jay L. Lebow, Clinical Professor, Family Institute at Northwestern and Northwestern University.

"This is the book for which systemic practice trainers and students have been waiting. Mark and Joanne discuss complex concepts in a manner that is clear, engaging and jargon free. They pull out key ideas and link them to excellent practice examples illustrated with film. Highlights include an excellent chapter on formulation a thorough exploration of the family life cycle and reworking of older concepts into a modern practice environment. Highly recommended for all trainers and students."-Judith Lask, Former Chair of Systemic College of UKCP and AFT and former Head of Family Therapy Training at Kings College London.