Social Work and the Family Unit  book cover
1st Edition

Social Work and the Family Unit

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ISBN 9780789011978
Published November 1, 2000 by Routledge
114 Pages

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Book Description

Use the techniques in this book to conduct productive, successful sessions with your clients!

Social Work and the Family Unit offers methods and suggestions for focusing on problems within relationships, rather than simply placing blame, in order to dispel stressful and unhealthy situations. This essential book will show you how to empower couples to understand the relationships that form the fabric of their lives, the benefits ”we” thinking, and how spirituality influences people's connections and experiences. Social Work and the Family Unit provides therapists and clients with techniques and examples for conducting more successful and productive sessions.

The authors of the six sections of Social Work and the Family Unit draw on their expertise to address the overwhelming importance of focusing on relationships when working with individuals and families.

  • Editor David Ludwig's ”It's the Relationship, Stupid!” gives specific case descriptions showing that, in most situations, the client is focusing on the wrong thing as the cause of his or her distress.

  • Alex Opper's ”What Do You Mean, 'It's the Relationship'? What's That Got to Do with Step-Parenting” points to the difficulty of, and suggests ways of, forming a good ”we” from the ”us” versus ”them” tensions often found in blended families.

  • Walter Murphy's ”Growing up in a 'We’Family” and William B. Knippa's ”The Family Unit: Place, Base, or Both?” focus on the benefit to children of a united parental front that they cannot manipulate.

  • Donald R. Bardill's ”The Relational Systems Model: Reality and Self-Differentiation” identifies the relationships that form the realities (self, other, context, and spiritual) of each person's life and shows how clients can be empowered to live in each of these four realities as self-differentiated persons.

  • The final chapter, by Joanides, Joanning, and Keoughan, provides you with a systematic description of religious people's perceptions of religion and spirituality. It shows that important contextual information can be missed when therapists and researchers fail to address religion and spirituality from the perspectives of clients who are guided by faith. Implications for MFTs and MFT researchers are discussed in detail.

    The information you'll find in Social Work and the Family Unit will help you and your clients to understand what's really going on in their families and their lives. This valuable book belongs in your professional collection!

Table of Contents


  • Preface
  • It's the Relationship, Stupid!
  • What Do You Mean, “It's the Relationship?” What's That Got to Do with Step-Partenting?
  • Growing Up in a 'We' Family
  • The Family Unit: Place, Base, or Both?
  • The Relational Systems Model: Reality and Self-Differentiation
  • Towards an Understanding of Religious People's Perceptions and Lived Experiences of Religion and Spirituality: Implications for Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

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David J. Ludwig