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Research in Family Therapy

I think of family therapy models as being on a continuum from “theory based” to “research based.” Of course, most models fall somewhere in between, rather than at the extremes, but the distinction is not that different than that seen in individual therapy, with psychodynamic falling more toward the theory based end, and cognitive behavioral falling more toward the research end. 10 factors in Family Therapy Research While it may be easy to look first to the “proven”... more

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Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples

Review of Susan Johnson and Leslie Greenberg’sApproach to Couples Therapy Notes from my Couples Therapy Class To hear you say my name, to see you search my eyes…To feel you touch my hand, it more than satisfies.If I was not the first, just say I’ll be the last. It’s too much to expect, but it’s not to much to ask. Now I can only dream of being all you need, And I can only try to be the reason why. You think about today, and forget about the past. It’s too much... more

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Dysfunctional Families

What do we know about parents from maltreating families? They are often socially isolated, and have little emotional and financial support. Depression is a common factor in the neglect of children; Chaffin and colleagues found in a study of over 7,000 parents in five major cities that depressed parents are 3 times more likely to neglect their children. They sometimes were abused or neglected themselves as children. Jaffe says that 30% of abusive parents were themselves abused as children. Mothers... more

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Dysfunctional Relationships

What is a dysfunctional relationship? A dysfunctional relationship is one where two people make an emotional “contract” and agree to meet each other’s needs in what end up being self-destructive ways: Example 1: I feel unable to take care of myself, you feel inadequate. If you take care of me, I’ll make you feel better about yourself. I’ll give up my independence, let you run my life, and remain loyal to you. In return, you meet all of my emotional and dependency... more

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Domestic Violence – Types, Theories, and Assessment

Domestic violence in heterosexual relationships is a serious issue, with 20% of women reporting they have been assaulted by their partners, and this is true among married adult women as well as dating college women (IPARV, 2002). Stats are that 3 in 10 couples walking the street have had a violent episode at some point in the relationship, but 1 in 2 couples in your office have had an incident of violence. Worse, Williamson (2000) reports that two-thirds of couples seeking therapy did not report... more

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“Dr. Laura” – The Mental Health Demon

Media personality “Dr. Laura” Schlessinger once wrote a commentary Evil Among Us in March 1999, and discussed it on her radio show. This was her response to a research study about child sexual abuse, conducted by a scholar named Rind, and published by the American Psychological Association. “Dr. Laura” stirred up fans, who contacted politicians, who started talking about congressional hearings, and eventually did pass a resolution condemning child sexual abuse. The controversy... more

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Corporal Punishment in Children – What Does It Accomplish?

How Many Parents Spank Their Children? Gershoff reports that Straus and Stewart (1999) found that 94% of American parents spank their children by the ages of 3 or 4. Primarily they spank children up to age 5, one to two times per month. Gershoff notes too that the US Department of Health and Human Services (2001) indicated that 13 of every 1000 children are abused or neglected. Thinking that spanking leads to abuse, Gershoff investigated the effectiveness of spanking by conducting a meta-analysis.... more

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Dating at the Office: Fine, Bad Idea, or Really Bad Idea

More and more you hear about coworkers dating. For some, it’s just hard to meet new people, and after-work-socializing functions provide an easy way to do that. For others, at an after-work-event for the first time they see a relaxed, funny, or witty side of a coworker that suddenly makes that person attractive. For others, they have very specific areas of interest or expertise in both their work and personal life, are so work settings allow them to meet people with these same areas of interest.... more

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What’s the Difference Between Couples and Individual Therapy?

Basic Differences Between Couples and Individual Therapy Some look at couple and family therapy as primarily problem-focused (or tertiary prevention), while others see it as prevention-focused (primary or secondary prevention). Thus, working with parents to help them work collaboratively to gain control of teen acting-out behavior is a problem-focused intervention for that couple. However, it is a prevention-focused intervention for his/her 10 year old sibling, as we hope the parents will not... more

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The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better off Financially

The Case for MarriageWhy Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better off Financially by Linda J. Waite and Maggie GallagherReview by Richard Niolon This is an excellent source of information for the married couple on the benefits of marriage, and why it is not the same as “living together.” they provide a wealth of statistics, sound reasoning to explain them, and detailed readings into 100s of published studies to make sense of the impact of marriage. However, while the authors... more

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