Treating Couples Well : A Practical Guide to Collaborative Couple Therapy book cover
1st Edition

Treating Couples Well
A Practical Guide to Collaborative Couple Therapy

ISBN 9781315225753
Published July 25, 2019 by Routledge
184 Pages

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Book Description

Treating Couples Well shows clinicians how to create a collaborative approach to couple therapy, which will empower couples to take charge of their own treatment.

Written in an engaging and conversational style, the book carefully explains how to help couples choose between a variety of clinical approaches and offers effective treatment strategies for a wide range of issues, including infidelity, intimacy and sexuality, communication, mental illness, and addiction. Chapters also explore the importance of considering the therapist’s own life experience and its impact on working with couples. Practical interventions, clinical vignettes, and homework exercises are included throughout to help therapists to successfully support the needs of each couple and to encourage meaningful work between sessions.

Drawing on a plethora of case examples from the career of a leading couple therapist, Treating Couples Well will be a valuable resource to couple and marriage and family therapists at all levels.

Table of Contents



1. The Normal Challenges of Long-Term Relationships 

2. Creating Collaborative Couple Therapy: First Interview 

3. Effortful Love: Behavioral Change in the Here and Now  

4. The Homework That Works Well for My Clients 

5. Behind Closed Doors: The Intimacy/Sexuality Conundrum 

6. Camp Treadway 

7. The Amends and Forgiveness Protocol 

8. The Challenges of Infidelity  

9. Working with Couples' Family of Origin Issues

10. Divorce: The Sword of Damocles  11. When One Spouse Is the "Problem" 

12. Mayhem, Moves, Mistakes, Mismatches

13. The Elephant in the Therapist’s Chair 

14. The Therapeutic Use of Self-Disclosure

15. Our Calling


Appendix: Homework Handouts



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David C. Treadway, PhD, is a nationally known couple therapist and author who has been teaching workshops and conducting training around the USA for the past forty years. He has written four other books and is the award-winning author of over thirty articles. Dr. Treadway has appeared on Good Morning America, 20/20 and other television and radio shows, and formerly hosted his own radio program on family communications.


"David Treadway is known far and wide as a therapist’s therapist. He is a consummate clinician whose fingerprints have become an indelible mark on thousands of therapists across North America. Treating Couples Well is the summation of his life’s work - an inside look at what actually goes on behind closed doors - how a highly gifted healer thinks blow by blow. Brimming with insight and practical tips, Treadway makes a superb guide for any couple therapist new and overwhelmed or experienced and in need of inspiration." - Terry Real, author of The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work                                                                   

"Bravo! This book is a clinical game-changer! It teaches readers that couple therapy is not simply a matter of teaching relationship skills or following a strict, unvarying protocol with every couple; it's about the artful blend of utilizing theory and more importantly, the healing therapeutic relationship. As Treadway unpacks his therapy approach, readily apparent are his vast expertise from years of being in the trenches with couples along with his own long-term marriage, his warmth, vulnerability and profound respect for clients.

As a therapist specializing in on-the-brink couples for nearly 4 decades, as well as someone who is also in a very long-term marriage, the lessons in this book ring true and are invaluable. Anyone working with couples (or for that matter, in a relationship themselves) will benefit from Treadway’s astute perspectives on how to help people love each other more completely." - Michele Weiner-Davis, author of Divorce Busting and Healing from Infidelity

"This is the kind of wisdom we hope for from our old masters. Psychotherapists of all ages, but especially the young, will feel informed, held, pushed, and pushed again. Every one of them will emerge from this plunge into the living heart of marital therapy a more confident and competent professional." - Barry Dym, PhD, co-author of Couples: Exploring and Understanding the Cycles of Intimate Relationships

"Like a master chef opening his book of favorite recipes, David Treadway invites us to sample and savor a collaborative approach to caring for couples. Treating Couples Well is a personal and practical guide for new and seasoned therapists alike. The 'art and the mystery' that comprise the craft of couples therapy are well situated within a collaborative framework for those whose love’s been lost, hidden, or awaiting the hope of transformation. Treats are best enjoyed when they are shared - our thanks to David Treadway for sharing his life’s wisdom. - Jay Lappin, MSW, LCSW, Minuchin Center for the Family