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Book Forum: Psychotherapies   |    
Marital and Family Therapy, 4th ed.
PIETER LE ROUX, D. LITT. ET PHIL.; MARVIN I. HERZ, M.D.
Am J Psychiatry 2002;159:507-508. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.159.3.507
View Author and Article Information
Rochester, N.Y.

By Ira D. Glick, M.D., Ellen M. Berman, M.D., John F. Clarkin, Ph.D., and Douglas S. Rait, Ph.D. Washington, D.C., American Psychiatric Press, 2000, 739 pp., $49.00.

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This broad-based and comprehensive text for students, clinicians, and teachers of family therapy covers a range of relevant topics presented in a well-organized format to guide the reader systematically through a vast amount of information. It is a companion text that readers will find useful in many different ways because it provides an up-to-date review of content areas and excellent suggestions for additional reading.

The book is divided into eight different sections with a total of 31 chapters. The sections cover topics related to the history of family therapy, family evaluation, treatment approaches, couples therapy, psychiatric disorders and family therapy, indicators for family therapy and outcome data, family therapy in medical settings, and professional and ethical issues. Each chapter starts with well-formulated reader objectives, which contributes to time-efficient reading and active processing of the material. There are specific chapters and references on issues related to ethnicity, gender, race, and culture as well as guidelines for being sensitive to the diversity of family life. The major theoretical models of family therapy are presented in a clear and systematic way. Well-formulated guidelines are provided for best practices when engaging families, planning treatment, and dealing with specialized areas such as violence, loss, and chronic mental illness.

The fourth edition of Marital and Family Therapy is an attractive and user-friendly text. The book is filled with useful summaries, tables, and graphs for quick referencing and easy access to information. It also provides a succinct and integrated view of the complex biopsychosocial continuum related to patient, context, and family. The strong interdisciplinary appeal of the book makes it an ideal text for training programs where the goal is to help students develop core competencies in marital and family therapy. The experienced family clinician may find some of the chapters too brief. However, the authors undoubtedly succeed in their goal of creating a "basic, but comprehensive textbook for individuals at different training levels and orientations" (p. xlvii).

We recommend the book highly for all mental health professionals and students in the mental health professions. It is especially useful for those individuals whose primary interests are in marital and family therapy.

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