In This Chapter

Integrative Approaches to Couple and Family Therapy

Authored by: Jay Lebow

Handbook of family therapy

Print publication date:  December  2015
Online publication date:  December  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415518017
eBook ISBN: 9780203123584
Adobe ISBN:


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Writing a chapter on integrative methods in couple and family therapy presents a significant challenge. The practice of family therapy has substantially come to be synonymous with the practice of integrative methods. Just as Alan Gurman has pointed out that family therapy is almost intrinsically short-term therapy (Gurman, 2002), family therapy has emerged as largely integrative practice. Although there continue to be adherents to the first generation schools of family therapy and new models that have emerged over the last decade such as narrative approaches, even the approaches that retain a core of school-based underpinnings often now include a great deal of what is termed assimilative integration (Goldfried & Norcross, 1995); that is, the inclusion of methods drawn from other approaches around the foundation of a host approach. Most of the methods catalogued in this volume are integrative approaches. Sometimes integrative approaches are labeled as empirically supported treatments; sometimes as treatments for specific disorders; sometimes as ways of intervening with clients from specific cultures; and sometimes as integrative and eclectic treatments, but these methods are now everywhere. Both the methods presented by the leaders in the field and the practice of most couple and family therapists are now primarily integrative or eclectic (Lebow, 2014).

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