Therapy of the Difficult Divorce

Therapy of the Difficult Divorce : Managing Crises, Reorienting Warring Couples, Working with the Children, and Expediting Court Processes

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Chronically warring couples, children used as pawns, spouses who prolong the moment of separation-these are the components of the "difficult divorce." Although families caught in these dilemmas are familiar to every therapist, most divorce therapies either focus too much on the adults' conflicts or stress the children's plight without helping the parents reorganize their lives. Drawing on the authors' longitudinal Families of Divorce Project, this superb clinical book presents for the first time an empirically tested approach that goes beyond these limits.The authors found that both children and adults fare best when the spouses learn to control their anger and focus on their children's welfare. By integrating family-therapy principles and individual dynamics, they have devised a unique method of face-to-face problem solving, sometimes with the entire family, often in sessions with individual members, to help restore parental responsibility and to realign relationships within the divorcing family. Therapy of the Difficult Divorce is authoritative, humane, and above all practical. It will be welcomed by all therapists as the classic guide to treating families of divorce.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 302 pages
  • 161.8 x 236.5 x 30.2mm | 653.18g
  • Northvale NJ, United States
  • English
  • 0765702126
  • 9780765702128
  • 1,204,608

Review quote

All too often children of divorce reflect the harmful effects of their parents' conflicts, the turmoil of the divorce itself, and the tensions and difficult adjustments that so frequently follow the family breakup. Therapy of the Difficult Divorce clearly presents a sound clinical approach to the identification of tangled motives in parents and the many ways in which the children attempt to cope with this stressful event. I highly recommend this excellent volume for all professionals concerned with the process of divorce and the needs and problems of the actors in this tragic drama. -- Stella Chess A sensible and practical guide for dealing with one of the most serious problems of our time-the divorce with a struggle over the children. This book is thoughtful and well-researched with clear examples. The authors guide the reader through different ways of dealing with these difficult situations that all therapists face these days. -- Jay Haley This is the first book to recognize that, at all stages of divorce, what was structurally a family always remains a family. Unlike many family therapist authors, Isaacs, Montalvo, and Abelsohn wisely advocate for the welfare of children, without ever losing a systemic perspective. The flexibility and variety in their thinking about divorce, and in actually treating divorcing families, is impressive and consistently coherent. Every therapist who reads this book will want to thank the authors for writing it. Therapy of the Difficult Divorce is a landmark work in the treatment of divorcing couples and their children. It is rich in clinical wisdom, candid in its analysis of treatment obstacles and alternatives, and deeply stimulating in its suggestions for helping to heal the wounds of the divorcing family. It is a must-read for family therapists, divorce lawyers, and divorce mediators. -- Kenneth Kressel
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About David Abelsohn

Marla Beth Isaacs, Ph.D., was the founder and director of the Families of Divorce Project at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic where the work of this book was conducted. She was the lead investigator on a study of the impact of divorce on children, and she has authored numerous publications on this subject. She appears on national television and has lectured widely throughout the country. Dr. Isaacs currently teaches forensic psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Associated Faculty of the School of Medicine. She maintains a forensic and psychotherapy practice, working with adults and children. Braulio Montalvo, M.A., is a pioneer in the field of family therapy. He was the recipient of the 1994 Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to theory and practice, awarded by the American Family Therapy Academy. He is co-author, along with Salvador Minuchin, of the classic book Families of the Slums, and was instrumental in developing the first family therapy video library at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic. He currently consults to physicians and therapists who are working with traumatized veterans and their families and to biomedical providers who are helping families with infants born at high risk. David Abelsohn, Ph.D., is the former director of Psychology Training at the Child Guidance Center of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He lives with his family in suburban Philadelphia, where he has a private practice in individual, couples, and family psychotherapy.
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