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Collaborative Therapy with Multi-Stressed Families, Second Edition (Guilford Family Therapy) 2nd Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1593854348
ISBN-10: 159385434X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you read this second edition, you are in serious danger of being inspired by Madsen's clear thinking and practical guidance for working with families that we professionals tend to label 'untreatable.' Madsen's conviction that it is possible to work constructively in 'impossible' situations--which is drawn from experience, and demonstrated in the many case studies--is energizing news. This is the best of books, shot through with compassion and grounded optimism."--Andrew Turnell, MA, author of Signs of Safety
 
"Highly readable and brimming with ideas, this book is an invaluable guide for contemporary clinicians working with multi-stressed families. Madsen provides a way of thinking about families that reflects narrative concepts and theories, coupled with practical steps and techniques designed to enhance and solidify therapeutic gains. Clinicians will welcome the many case examples as well as the specific, step-by-step guidance in such areas as therapeutic letter writing and report writing. Drawing on his extensive experience as a consultant to organizations, Madsen also includes an unusual chapter on how to address organizational issues and professional expectations in order to function effectively in partnership with families."--Rachel T. Hare-Mustin, PhD, coauthor of Making a Difference: Psychology and the Construction of Gender
 
"This second edition of Collaborative Therapy with Multi-Stressed Families couldn't be more timely. Why? It goes to the heart of the most venerable tradition of social work concern--providing services and support to families in crisis, in the face of diminished resources and continually shifting mandates. Simultaneously, the book provides practice guidance based on approaches that deeply engage postmodern scholarship and its implicit politics. Recently, social work as a profession has become dispirited. This book breathes new life into its moral and political foundations."--David Epston, MA, Family Therapy Centre, Auckland, New Zealand
 
"In this second edition of his groundbreaking book, Madsen captures the joys and heartaches of working with multi-stressed families living in frequent crisis. Although the book is filled with useful ideas and specific therapeutic practices, its primary gift is more fundamental and profound: Madsen offers a compassionate, attentive, slowed-down way of being in relation to families in urgent situations that embodies the deepest respect, care, appreciation, and enjoyment of them as full persons, rather than as narrowly described bearers of problems. This engaging book is essential reading for all mental health, social service, health, education, legal, and other professionals who work with families in distress. Like the previous edition, it will hold a central place in my doctoral-level course in family therapy."--Peter Fraenkel, PhD, Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, City College of the City University of New York
 
"This new edition is invaluable for all human service practitioners working with multi-stressed, under-resourced families. Too often therapy, like family life, can become problem-saturated, leaving clients and workers feeling overwhelmed and defeated. Madsen's strengths-oriented, collaborative approach addresses cultural and institutional constraints as it develops clients' potential to envision and realize more empowering life stories and possibilities. This book's clear, practical guidelines and case illustrations will be immediately useful for both beginning and seasoned therapists."--Froma Walsh, PhD, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago
 
"In this era of manualized social work 'treatment,' it is both refreshing and essential to have a textbook that encourages progressive thinking. Madsen's approach integrates the dominant themes in social work education--such as best practices and an emphasis on assessing outcome--with progressive ideas adopted from narrative and solution-focused approaches. The result is a text that offers students an opportunity to think about process, relationship, and use of self, at the same time as it emphasizes contemporary priorities."--April Fletcher, MSW, Boston College Graduate School of Social Work


"The most refreshing aspect of this book is that it pays more than lip-service to genuinely working 'with' families; it is also brimming with motivating clinical case material and is written in an easily readable style....[A] thread of connectedness to professionals' everyday experience runs throughout."
(Journal of Family Therapy 2007-02-08)

"Madsen's writing style is very conversational and engaging. His years of practice and supervisory experience are evident in his ability to make salient points regarding practice. The text is rich with diverse examples illustrating key concepts. Madsen clearly links his framework to the theory and models he is building upon. He maintains a strong connection among ideas, creating an intuitive flow from beginning to end. With this strong connection, each chapter could easily stand alone. Because the book emphasizes collaborative work, the client-centered outcomes in this text could be used in many fields where person-centered approaches are practiced. Beyond the arenas of counseling and family therapy, professionals in the fields of education, medicine, nursing, and even business could benefit from the ideas presented in this book."
(Best Practices in Mental Health 2007-02-08)

About the Author

William C. Madsen, PhD, is Founder and Director of the Family-Centered Services Project in Watertown, Massachusetts, an organizational change initiative dedicated to helping state and provincial organizations and community agencies develop more respectful and responsive ways of serving youth and families. Since the 1980s, he has developed, administered, and consulted to many innovative programs. He currently provides international training and consultation regarding collaborative approaches to therapy and the development of institutional structures and organizational cultures that support family-centered work.

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Product Details

  • Series: Guilford Family Therapy
  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press; 2nd edition (February 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159385434X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593854348
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Karen Ziminski on February 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Collaborative Therapy with Multi-Stressed Families (second edition) by William C. Madsen, Ph.D., © 2007, The Guilford Press, reviewed by Karen Ziminski, LMFT.

The title is key. Not "multi-problem families," but "multi-stressed families." The mind set of considering people as being problem families or even having problems is not terribly hopeful. Collaborative therapy is about the therapist working with the family to draw out their strengths to deal with the stresses that confront them. This book gives many verbatim examples of how subtle differences in the therapist's phrasing can have a substantial effect on the family's perception of being respected and expected to attain their goals.

I last heard Bill Madsen speak in 1997, I believe, and what I still remember about that talk was his emphasis on the importance of treating clients with respect. Unfortunately, the world of community mental health care where I spend three days a week is not always conducive to this. I am often frustrated by the dilemma of trying to establish a strengths-based, culturally curious, collaborative relationship (p. 12) with a client while by the end of the first session I have to come up with a diagnosis for the insurance company based on symptoms, not strengths. Then typically by the end of the second session I must have the data for the intake evaluation and treatment plan. While the intake evaluation makes a nod to client strengths and supports, it mostly has blanks to be filled in with problems, past and present. Madsen writes with understanding about documentation requirements that make it very difficult to get therapy off on the right foot, and offers some solutions.
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I have been doing in home child and familiy therapy for years and you don't realize it, but after a while when working with these kinds of families you become jaded and you still have empathy but its easy to get burnt out. This book really helped me to refocus, gave me fresh ideas to work with some of my more resistant groups, and helped me to recenter my perspective of this population...basically it strengthened my empathy and renewed my objectivity. It was such a fantastic source for me that I copied chapters of it and shared with coworkers.
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The book provided useful and clear processes that can work in helping clients live better lives. The author does not bury you in psycho-babble, but presents a clear, and well formed, process to make his theoretical basis really work. This is uncommon with Post Modern authors.
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Not a whole lot of innovation, but some novel ideas about counseling people and families in distress. The reviews of different methodologies is comprehensive enough but not overly wordy-effective usage of language is used in the book. I found it helpful for my review to take the LSW exam recently as well.
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