1st Edition

Relational Family Therapy
The Systemic, Interpersonal, and Intrapsychic Experience

ISBN 9781138686199
Published January 20, 2017 by Routledge
284 Pages

USD $56.95

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Book Description

Relational Family Therapy introduces a cutting-edge family and couple therapy model that synthesizes relational theories and integrates object relations theory with interpersonal psychoanalysis and self-psychology. The model holds that individuals deal with conflicts rooted in the frustrated and threatening environment they grew up in by later forming intimate relationships that are comparable to the core experiences from their primary family systems. The book outlines the three levels of experience—systemic, interpersonal, and intrapsychic—and provide concrete ways for the therapist to address client problems and promote affect regulation. Chapters include transcripts of actual family therapy sessions as well as genograms so readers can see the model in action.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. Fundamentals of Relational Family Therapy  1.1 The Systemic Level  1.2 The Interpersonal Level  1.3 The Intrapsychic Level  1.4 The Fundamental Premises of Relational Family Therapy  2. Relational Dynamics in Systems Theory  2.1 Systemic Wholeness  2.2 Subsystems-Hierarchy-Boundaries  2.3 Systemic Mutual or Circular Causality  2.4 Rules and Roles Within the System  2.5 The Deviation Level of a Family System  2.6 The Cybernetic Model  2.7 Systemic Needs  3. Relational Family Therapy and Clinical Practice  3.1 Projective and Introjective Identification  3.2 Repetition Compulsion  4. Relational Family Therapy and the Marital Relationship  4.1 Relational Marital Therapy  4.2 The Fundamental Concepts of Relational Marital Therapy  4.3 Ten Premises Used by Relational Martial Therapists  5. Systemic Dynamics in Relational Theories  5.1 Stern’s Research  5.2 Basic Relational Mechanisms  5.3 Object Relations Theory—The Relationship of Intentionality  5.4 Self-psychology—The Relationship Implication  5.5 Interpersonal Psychoanalysis—The Relationship Concept  Conclusion  References Index

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Christian Gostečnik, OFM, PhD, is a professor in the Family Studies and Marriage and Family Therapy programs at the University of Ljubljana. He is also a Franciscan priest, clinical psychologist, and practicing marriage and family therapist.


“The author has succeded in creating an innovative therapeutic approach for treating families and partners. Relational Family Therapy provides a wide paradigmatical frame that captures the wholeness of the individual's existence in the context of family and marital relationships, as well as specific psychotherapeutic techniques and interventions for clinical use. This is an innovative breakthrough in marriage and family therapy, and I recommend this book to all therapists who want to more deeply understand their client's experience.”—Robert Cvetek, PhD, specialist, marital and family therapy; associate professor, faculty of theology, head of department of martial and family therapy, Univerza of Ljubljana, Slovenia

“Professor Gostecnik translates theory straight into clinical practice, amply illustrating with clinical cases from his daily routine. The present book will serve students as well as clinical practitioners, counselors, and psychotherapists in their everyday routine. This book is a must for every professional interested in contemporary clinical psychology as well as for all striving for cutting-edge scientific information on relationships.”—Tadej Battelino, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics, UMC—University Children's Hospital, Ljubljana, Slovenia.