Author of the Month August 2015: Scott Browning and Kay Pasley

Scott Browning and Kay Pasley, co-authors and co-editors of Contemporary Families: Translating Research into Practice, are our Routledge Mental Health Authors of the Month for August! Read our exclusive interview and learn more about their fantastic new book!

Authors Kay Pasley and Scott Browning

Written for researchers, practitioners, and students in advanced courses, Contemporary Families: Translating Research into Practice furthers our understanding of the complexity of contemporary families. Seven types of families are the focus of this book, based on the research available and the challenges they present for mental health professionals. The family forms discussed are: adoption, foster care, interracial families, family members with special needs (with a focus on autism), families with LGBTQ members, grandparent-headed families and family members with chronic medical conditions.

Edited by Scott Browning and Kay Pasley, who are both noted authorities on the subject, Contemporary Families: Translating Research into Practice bridge the disconnection between clinical practice and research.

The decision to co-write and co-edit Contemporary Families: Translating Research into Practice was to maintain focus on the necessity of combining research and clinical scholarship in a practical manner. Too often books claim to be pursuing this integration, but in most projects, one side of the field (either research or clinical practice) is more fully realized. By creating a co-editing team of nationally renowned scholars, one a family researcher and the other a clinical psychologist, this book succeeds in creating an equal balance that pays tribute to both aspects of the field.

Contemporary families are rapidly becoming common in the United States. In order to offer these diverse families the best possible clinical support clinicians need to be familiar with the general nature of these families and only an understanding of the extant research will provide this level of understanding. For obvious reasons, this book is an edited volume in order to tap into experts from both research and clinical practice on the families examined. 

A reader of this book will have the necessary knowledge to offer evidence supported treatment to families that are often misunderstood. Reading a focused literature review on a family (e.g. the inter-racial family) and following this with a practical and theoretically-sound clinical procedure for treating this family type, is a means to insure high quality treatment. Researchers benefit as well by seeing how their work can be directly applied to practice. This interactive process, which created writing teams out of research and clinical scholars, has helped to create a comprehensive understanding of these families.

No type of family is insignificant. Whether the family in question is quite common (e.g. families with chronic medical concerns) or rare (e.g. foster families), therapists need to have some method to address their unique needs. In addition, researchers do important work, and the findings they establish should garner attention from a wide audience, not just a select few scholars.

Many clinicians believe that “a family is a family.” This belief suggests that as long as one knows the basic principles behind Family Therapy one can be useful to all those various families that come to treatment. While some common factors are universal and are useful to do good clinical work, an awareness of a family’s predictable developmental milestones, common concerns and strengths is necessary in order to provide professional and ethical treatment.

Scott Browning, Ph.D., ABPP is a professor in the Department of Professional Psychology at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, PA. He is the co-author of Stepfamily Therapy: A 10 Step Clinical Approach (APA Books, 2012) and has published widely on the topics of empathy, addiction, teaching practices and therapeutic interventions. His current co-edited book with Routledge is Contemporary Families: Translating Research into Practice (Routledge, 2015). He is a fellow in Couple and Family Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology and is the recipient of the 2003 Lindback Teaching Award. Scott has a training video from the APA Clinical Series on Treating Stepfamilies.

Kay Pasley was the Norejane Hendrickson Professor and Chair of Family and Child Sciences at Florida State University. She has published numerous refereed articles, book chapters, edited volumes, and publications for the general public. Since 1977, much of her work focused on understanding the challenges of stepfamily life, including recommendations for clinical practice and psychoeducation, with a secondary focus on fathering after divorce and remarriage/repartnering. She is a former Editor of Family Relations, a Fellow of the National Council on Family Relations, recipient of the 2012 Fellix Berardo Mentoring Award, serves on numerous editorial boards, and is part of the clinical training team associated with the National Stepfamily Resource Center.

Featured Book

  • Contemporary Families

    Translating Research Into Practice

    Edited by Scott Browning, Kay Pasley

    Written for researchers, practitioners, and students in advanced courses, this book furthers our understanding of the complexity of contemporary families. Seven types of families are the focus of this book, based on the research available and the challenges they present for mental health…

    Paperback – 2015-06-17
    Family Therapy and Counseling

Look Inside!

Contemporary Families: Translating Research into Practice is published by Routledge, July 2015.