1st Edition

Integrative Systemic Therapy in Practice A Clinician’s Handbook

    284 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    284 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This essential handbook provides clinicians with the tools to introduce Integrative Systemic Therapy (IST) into their practice working with individuals, couples, and families.

    Describing the "how to" and "how to decide what to do" aspects of IST, this book outlines a practical, problem-solving approach that considers client strengths and and cultural contexts in the process of integrating interventions from various therapy models and empirically supported treatments. Chapters demonstrate how problem-solving tasks can be accomplished using the IST blueprint for therapy and include scenarios that will challenge the reader to think through the specific steps for IST, encouraging them to consider the therapeutic alliance and the use of self in therapy.

    For supervisors, trainers, and clinicians familiar with IST, this book will enrich and deepen their understanding of it. The book is also relevant for clinicians and supervisors of all types of therapy who seek to become more integrative and systemic in their work.

    1. Integrative Systemic Therapy 2. Convening a Client System and Defining a Problem: The First Phone Call 3. The First Session 4. Strategies for Locating a Problem in a Problem Sequence 5. Identifying a Solution Sequence 6. Implementing a Solution Sequence 7. Identifying Constraints 8. Integrating Interventions to Address Constraints 9. Evaluating Therapy Progress and Modifying Plans 10. The Decision to End the Therapy 11. Pathways within Integrative Systemic Therapy


    William P. Russell is a Clinical Associate Professor of psychology and the Director of Faculty of the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Northwestern University.

    Douglas C. Breunlin is a Clinical Professor of psychology at Northwestern University. As an author of four books and 70 articles, he is the 2020 recipient of the AFTA Lifetime Achievement Award.

    Dr. Bahareh Sahebi is a Clinical Assistant Professor of psychology and the Assistant Program Director of the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Northwestern University.

    "This IST Handbook is the next step in the elaboration of Integrative Systemic Therapy. With great clarity, it takes the concepts that were laid out in Integrative Systemic Therapy (2018) and grounds them in the specifics of practice. It details what to do, how to do it, and when to do it, from how to start the first session to how to conclude a therapeutic episode dealing with a particular problem sequence. It is a phenomenally useful guide for teachers, supervisors, and practitioners of IST, as well as an indispensable resource for clinicians wanting to expand their clinical horizons in the direction of integrative and systemic practice. Transcending the myriad models permeating psychotherapy today, this book provides a user-friendly format to guide practice, while simultaneously encouraging creativity and innovation. Read it and grow!" - William Pinsof, PhD, LMFT, ABPP, Pinsof Family Systems

    "This is a wonderful handbook of Integrative Systemic Therapy with individuals, couples, and families. A must-read for the beginning clinician: Accessible, systematic, pragmatic step-by-step teaching of theory and technique, with lots of clinical examples and exercises. This book is also valuable for experienced clinicians looking to deepen an integrative perspective on their work. The approach is strengths-based, with a problem-solving, collaborative orientation, integrating multiple systems and approaches, and finely tuned to the therapeutic alliance. It is sensitive to socio-cultural context, addressing intrapsychic, interpersonal, and intergenerational dynamics as well as biological issues. An outstanding guide for all therapists. Highly recommended!" - Mona D. Fishbane, PhD, author, Loving with the Brain in Mind: Neurobiology & Couple Therapy

    "Human behavior is complex. Changing it is more so. This handbook guides therapists and students of therapy through a pragmatic, step-by-step process that integrates therapy models and brings together best practices and research findings to yield a collaborative, client system-centered approach unique to each individual, couple or family and their therapist.

    Thank you to Russell, Breunlin and Sahebi for a tour de force—bringing together the underlying constructs of important systemic approaches to therapy in a sophisticated yet clear and pragmatic way so that therapists and clients can identify problem and potential solution sequences, common missteps, constraints and how to lift them. The authors’ attention to the therapeutic alliance, as well as the use of case illustrations, suggested exercises, and graphics at the beginning of each chapter, bring the approach to life for the reader." Susan McDaniel, PhD, Dr Laurie Sands Distinguished Professor of Families and Health at the University of Rochester School of Medicine