Children in Family Contexts

Second Edition
Perspectives on Treatment

Edited by Lee Combrinck-Graham

Hardcovere-bookprint + e-book
March 16, 2006
ISBN 9781593852634
Price: $80.00 $68.00
524 Pages
Size: 6⅛" x 9¼"
December 17, 2013
Price: $80.00 $68.00
524 Pages
print + e-book
Hardcover + e-Book (PDF) ?
Price: $160.00 $88.00
524 Pages

Now in a fully revised and updated second edition, this text and professional resource provides a practical guide to family-based therapy for childhood emotional and behavioral problems. Presented are innovative assessment and treatment strategies that take into account children's developmental needs, different family forms, health and environmental challenges, and relationships with larger systems. Reflecting 15 years of clinical advances and the changing contexts of family life, the second edition features many new chapters and new authors. New topics include gene-environment interactions, integrating family therapy with child pharmacotherapy, working with foster families, and treating disrupted attachments.

“This is a diverse text whose authors present a variety of theoretical ideas and practical ways of working. The first part of the book offers a useful textbook style approach to promoting child-in-family thinking and working and would be of interest and potential value to anyone involved in working with children and their families. In my opinion, the most interesting sections of the book followed, in the chapters referring to specific or specialist areas for service provision. Although these chapters will be more or less relevant to professionals working in different services, the authors present a depth of knowledge, experience, and reflection about the different issues presented, alongside on obvious enthusiasm for improving the understanding of children and the contexts of their lives and incorporating this into clinical work. The chapters stand alone, so are easily accessible and the style of the collection makes the book alive and interesting enough to be read as a whole.”

Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry

“Emphasizing the transactional relationship between child development and family process, this book provides broad and deep coverage of contemporary families. Each chapter offers specific approaches to intervention. In this new edition, the chapters on attachment disorders, school-based interventions, family violence, and legal issues are particularly relevant and valuable. This book will be useful in graduate family therapy courses in all the mental health disciplines, and will also be a valued reference for child and family therapists.”

—Douglas Davies, MSW, PhD, School of Social Work, University of Michigan

“This thoughtfully revised and significantly expanded volume continues to support clinicians who seek to bridge theory and practice in our increasingly complex ecology. It offers important perspectives on children in all contexts, within the widened scope of school, court, and other community systems, as well as the intrafamilial. The editor not only selects developmental and other theoretical lenses to facilitate understanding, but also provides data-based models with which to intervene. This book can help shape more apt interventions for families dealing with life’s vicissitudes, both acute and chronic—for example, single parenthood, parental divorce and remarriage, family illnesses and deaths, alcoholism, violence, and immigration.”

—Fred Gottlieb, MD, Family Therapy Institute of Southern California

“This second edition is an excellent successor to a classic work in the field. The volume focuses on issues pertinent to children and their families in the 21st century, paying thoughtful attention to such new topics as children in foster families and the many cultures of child protection. Consistent with the current zeitgeist, an emphasis is now placed on the biology of family culture and family therapy in an age of biological psychiatry. This highly readable book is an absolute 'must' for all family therapy educators. As a text, it will help students develop a child-in-family way of thinking and learn to apply this approach in assessment and intervention with families. Practicing clinicians will appreciate this book as well, and will find it comprehensive, informative, and engaging.”

—Nadine J. Kaslow, PhD, ABPP, Department of Psychiatry, Emory University; past president, American Psychological Association

Table of Contents

I. Child Mental Health Fundamentals in Family Context

1. The Child in Family Therapy: Guidelines for Active Engagement across the Age Span, Tanya B. White and Richard Chasin

2. Development in Family Contexts, Geri Fox

3. Guidelines for a Family Assessment Protocol, Edith Catlin Lawrence

4. Family Therapy in an Age of Biological Psychiatry: Diagnostic and Treatment Considerations, Allan M. Josephson

5. The Biology of Family Culture, Douglas A. Kramer

II. Different Family Structures

6. Two-Parent Families, or How To Love a Two-Headed Monster, Douglas A. Kramer

7. Successful African American Single-Parent Families, Marion Lindblad-Goldberg

8. Remarried Systems, Mary F. Whiteside

9. Children in Foster Families, Kim Sumner-Mayer

III. Children in Families Facing Specific Challenges

10. Children with Chronic Illness and Physical Disabilities, Judith A. Libow

11. Families with Children with Disrupted Attachments, Lee Combrinck-Graham and Susan B. McKenna

12. Children of Parents with Mental Illness, Alan Cooklin

13. The Invisible Illness: Children in Alcoholic Families, Stuart A. Copans

14. Families Coping with the Death of a Parent: The Therapist's Role, Joan C. Barth

IV. Families and Larger Systems

15. The Family's Own System: The Symbolic Context of Health, David V. Keith

16. Partners for Success: A Collaborative Project in School-Based Mental Health Practice and Training, Phebe Sessions and Verba Fanolis

17. Children in Placement: A Place for Family Therapy, Ann Itzkowitz

18. The Family and the Legal System: The Search for an Intelligent Integration, G. Pirooz Sholevar

V. Larger Issues Affecting Children in Families

19. A Model for Disrupting Cycles of Violence in Families with Young Children, John Brendler

20. Of Two Worlds: Working with Children in Immigrant Families, Veronica Barenstein and Ema Genijovich

21. The Many Cultures of Child Protection, Begum Maitra

About the Editor

Lee Combrinck-Graham, MD, is a child and adolescent psychiatrist in the public sector. Her training at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic under Salvador Minuchin's direction led her always to wonder, "How can you work with children without their families?" She is still wondering more than 30 years after finishing her training, but she has learned that many do not see it this way; that question became the basis for this book. Dr. Combrinck-Graham lives and works in Fairfield County, Connecticut, a county with some of the greatest wealth in the United States, yet her work as a psychiatric consultant to family service agencies takes her into inner-city homes and schools. This work, though often executed with a prescription pad, affirms daily the importance of social context in understanding and treating the most confounding of child and adolescent emotional and behavioral problems.


Veronica Barenstein, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Geffen School of Medicine, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

Joan C. Barth, PhD, private practice, Doylestown, Pennsylvania

John Brendler, MSW, private practice, Media, Pennsylvania

Richard Chasin, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Lee Combrinck-Graham, MD, private practice, Stamford, Connecticut

Alan Cooklin, ChB, The Family Project, Camden and Islington Mental Health and Social Care NHS Trust, and Department of Psychiatry, University College, London, United Kingdom

Stuart A. Copans, MD, Division of Child Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire

Verba Fanolis, MSW, School for Social Work, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts

Geri Fox, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Institute for Juvenile Research, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Ema Genijovich, Lic, The Minuchin Center for the Family, New York, New York

Ann Itzkowitz, MA, Philadelphia Child and Family Training Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Allan M. Josephson, MD, Bingham Child Guidance Center, University of Louisville Medical School, Louisville, Kentucky

David V. Keith, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Family Medicine and Pediatrics, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York

Douglas A. Kramer, MD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, Wisconsin

Edith Catlin Lawrence, PhD, Curry Programs in Clinical and School Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Judith A. Libow, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Children’s Hospital and Research Center at Oakland, Oakland, California

Marion Lindblad-Goldberg, PhD, Philadelphia Child and Family Training Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Begum Maitra, MD, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Lower Clapton Child and Family Consultation Service, London, United Kingdom

Susan B. McKenna, PhD, Regional Resource Team, Department of Children and Families, Millford, Connecticut

Phebe Sessions, PhD, School for Social Work, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts

G. Pirhooz Sholevar, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, and Nueva Vida Behavioral Care, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Kim Sumner-Mayer, PhD, Children of Alcoholics Foundation, New York, New York

Tanya B. White, PhD, private practice, Lexington, Massachusetts

Mary F. Whiteside, PhD, Ann Arbor Center for the Family, Ann Arbor, Michigan


Students and practitioners in family therapy, clinical social work, clinical child psychology, child psychiatry, and related fields.

Course Use

Serves as a text in such courses as Family Psychology, Child Psychology, Social Work Practice with Families, Social Work for Children and Juveniles, Child Welfare Practice, Family Counseling and Therapy, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Previous editions published by Guilford:

First Edition, © 1989
ISBN: 9780898627329
New to this edition: