Doing Family Therapy. Craft and Creativity in Clinical Practice. 4th Edition


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Engaging, practical, and infused with clinical wisdom, this widely used text and practitioner guide helps therapists working with families to hit the ground running. The revised and updated fourth edition brings fresh insights into the issues families bring to therapy and the therapist’s moment-to-moment decision making. Rather than advocating one best approach, Robert Taibbi shows that there are multiple ways to guide parents, children, and adolescents and harness their strengths. The beginning, middle, and end stages of treatment are richly illustrated with chapter-length case examples. End-of-chapter learning exercises help readers build key skills and creatively develop their own clinical style.

New to This Edition

  • All chapters revised, with new case studies throughout.
  • Sidebars on common challenges facing new clinicians: self-doubt, the emotional experience of working with distressed families, and more.
  • Increased attention to what the therapist can say and do to actively shape each session.
  • Heightened focus on process – helping families explore the “how” of problem solving as much as the “what.”


  • 1. Family Therapy: Welcome to Oz
  • 2. Core Concepts: Problems, Process, Patterns, and Resistance
  • 3. The Basic Seven: What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do sample
  • 4. In the Beginning: Great Expectations
  • 5. In the Beginning: Running the Sessions
  • 6. The Middle Stage: Are We There Yet?
  • 7. Endings: Enough Already?
  • 8. Jack Has a Problem: Kids in the Family
  • 9. Jack: The Story Continues
  • 10. Maggie: It’s Not About Food
  • 11. Helping Maggie: Unraveling Adolescence
  • 12. Getting to the Core: Couple Work in Family Therapy
  • 13. The Power of One: Individual Work in a Family Context
  • 14. Staying Sane: Survival Tips for Therapists
  • References
  • Index

Author Bio:

Robert Taibbi, LCSW, is an experienced clinician, supervisor, and clinical director who has been practicing since the 1970s. He is the author of numerous books, including Doing Family Therapy, Fourth Edition, and Doing Couple Therapy, Second Edition, as well as over 300 magazine and journal articles, and writes a column entitled “Fixing Families” for Psychology Today online. Mr. Taibbi provides training both nationally and internationally in couple therapy, family therapy, brief therapy, and clinical supervision. He has a private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia.


“The fourth edition of the classic Doing Family Therapy is a joy to read. When I read Taibbi’s work, I often find myself smiling and nodding in agreement. Taibbi has that rare combination of being gifted not only as a clinician, but also as a writer. Time spent in this book’s pages feels like having a conversation with a wise, caring colleague. This is an ideal text for family therapy courses. It has plenty to offer beginning and experienced clinicians alike.” – Sean D. Davis, PhD, LMFT, Distinguished Professor, Couple and Family Therapy Program, Alliant International University.