Strong Couples: Basic Skills that Elicit Connection and Transform Relationships introduces an intelligent and flexible framework to guide sessions with couples. Informed by grounded theory research, this book provides a foundation for understanding couples’ needs and advancing sessions toward lasting and meaningful change.
Drawing on illustrated case examples throughout, Murray demonstrates the value of couples counseling for all by providing an adaptive structure to be applied across diverse contexts and circumstances. With chapters focused on areas of self and relational awareness, genuine engagement, vulnerability and responsiveness, sharing responsibility, and valuing one another, this book will help counselors guide couple discoveries and new relationship experiences. Each chapter is fully integrated with therapeutic techniques to realize this process.
Mobilizing the couple’s initiative to explore and develop their relationship, this book will aid counselors and marriage and family therapists alike to implement purposeful steps for helping couples change.
Table of Contents
Introduction; The Case of Joel and Lisa; Part I Hold; Chapter 1 Setting Foundations for Couple’s Counseling; Part II Discover; Chapter 2 Knowing One’s Self; Chapter 3 Histories and Contexts of Relating: Understanding Family Patterns and Stages; Part III Change; Chapter 4 Genuine and Authentic Engagement; Chapter 5 Responsiveness and Vulnerability; Chapter 6 Sharing Responsibility and Modeling Transformation; Chapter 7 Valuing One Another and The Relationship; Part IV Integration; Chapter 8 Considerations for Application
Kirsten Winther Murray, PhD, LPC is Associate Professor of Counselor Education at the University of Montana. A licensed counselor, she has taught, supervised, and practiced for 14 years, concentrating on present-focused relational work with couples and families.
Dr. Murray's book is an outstanding integration and application of skills and techniques for couples counselors. It offers a clear guide for counselors through the labyrinth of working with couples. I sincerely wish this book had been available to me and my students through the years. I believe it should be required for counseling students and new professionals to read and use in their practice of couples counseling.
Judith A. Crews, Ph.D., LCPC, LMFT, Associate Professor, Idaho State University
Kirsten Murray has written a magnificent roadmap for couples counselors and therapists who want to work from an integrative model that is both coherent and effective. Gregory Bateson was famous for talking about implementing a difference that actually makes a difference. This is the manual for doing just that in couples therapy.
James Robert Bitter, Ed.D., Professor, East Tennessee State University, and author of Theory and Practice of Family Therapy and Counseling
This gem of a book will be of practical value to beginning and seasoned couples counselors alike. Dr. Murray offers a strong foundational approach and explains fundamental skills with such clarity and memorable illustrations that readers will find they can more effectively help couples make deep and lasting changes in their relationships.
Laura Marshak, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and author of Married with Special-needs Children