Clinical Handbook of Couple Therapy

Sixth Edition

Edited by Jay L. Lebow and Douglas K. Snyder

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October 21, 2022
ISBN 9781462550128
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728 Pages
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Now in a significantly revised sixth edition with 70% new material, this comprehensive handbook has introduced tens of thousands of practitioners and students to the leading forms of couple therapy practiced today. Prominent experts present effective ways to reduce couple distress, improve overall relationship satisfaction, and address specific relational or individual problems. Chapters on major approaches follow a consistent format to help readers easily grasp each model's history, theoretical underpinnings, evidence base, and clinical techniques. Chapters on applications provide practical guidance for working with particular populations (such as stepfamily couples and LGBT couples) and clinical problems (such as intimate partner violence, infidelity, and various psychological disorders). Instructive case examples are woven throughout.

New to This Edition

“The book is exactly what therapists interested in couple therapy should read as they embark on a career in the field....This text is ideally suited as an introduction to couple therapy for students....A ‘must’ for any couple therapist's library.”

Journal of Marital and Family Therapy (on the fourth edition)


“Offers novices and seasoned clinicians a fine reference book to guide them, whether they are interested in learning about a specific approach to couple therapy, or about how to think about or treat a specific issue. The book will always have a place on my clinical bookshelf.”

The Family Psychologist (on the fifth edition)


“Clearly the definitive reference book in this field....Psychiatrists of any persuasion will find an abundance of valuable pearls.”

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (on the fourth edition)


“The sixth edition of this classic handbook is a feast for every student and practitioner of couple therapy. It demonstrates the growing depth and the extraordinary range of the field. The chapter authors are the top people in their specialties, and the editors pull it all together with wisdom and perspective. This will be my go-to source for contemporary developments in couple therapy.”

—William J. Doherty, PhD, Department of Family Social Science, University of Minnesota


“Our program has used this book for our Couples Therapy class for many years, and the sixth edition will continue to be the definitive text. When I was starting out as a therapist, this book was the primary source for me to learn how to treat couples effectively; I'm so pleased that my students can have the same exposure to state-of-the-art work in the field. It is great to see a chapter on teletherapy in the sixth edition, as well as coverage of how therapy models have evolved over time. Chapters that discuss social forces such as gender, class, and race highlight how assessment must include context as well as relational processes. I've been struck by the recent literature on the powerful impact that relationships can have on both mental and physical health. This is the essential guide for therapists looking for ways to address their clients’ relationships.”

—JoEllen Patterson, PhD, LMFT, Marital and Family Therapy Program, University of San Diego


“The sixth edition continues the Handbook’s essential tradition of presenting a wide scope of approaches to couple therapy. The Handbook does an excellent job of presenting each approach, including core concepts, the science and the art of implementation, and how to tailor treatment for common couple and individual problems. The book also considers developmental and sociocultural differences between clients and therapists. The sixth edition’s particular strengths include timely coverage of established individual approaches being applied to couples, integrative approaches, and navigation of the ethics of couple therapy, including the telehealth and digital couple therapy landscape. The Handbook is a 'must-have' resource for graduate students and professionals.”

—Shalonda Kelly, PhD, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey


“Once again, Lebow and Snyder, following in the superb tradition of Alan Gurman, have produced a volume that uniquely defines couple therapy at this time. The sixth edition of this handbook covers the latest developments in the field with clarity, comprehensiveness, and depth. Along with presenting guiding theory, the chapters discuss practical aspects of the various approaches, providing insights that can be used immediately to improve clinical work and teaching. The book gives students the lay of the land. Experienced practitioners, too, will expand their knowledge and their repertoires of strategies and techniques to help couples resolve their problems.”

—William Pinsof, PhD, LMFT, ABPP, Founder and Past President, The Family Institute at Northwestern University


“For decades, this handbook has been the authoritative reference on clinical work with couples, and the sixth edition follows in this tradition by providing the most current, comprehensive knowledge. The highly respected editors have engaged the finest practitioners to write on every important topic in the field. In addition to traditional approaches and evidence-based models, it is good to see discussion of innovative integrative approaches. The sixth edition covers critical relational issues that frequently come up in couples work—such as intimate partner aggression, infidelity, divorce, and mental health problems—as well as key contemporary topics like telehealth. This is the ideal text for beginning or advanced couple therapy classes and for experienced therapists who want to stay up to date on the latest perspectives.”

—Adrian Blow, PhD, LMFT, Professor and Chair, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Michigan State University


“This fabulous book has everything that a clinician could need for helping couples in distress in the 21st century. Chapters are consistently beautifully and clearly written, with case illustrations that bring the material to life. The contributing authors are global experts in their fields and the result is an authoritative, comprehensive text.”

—Roz Shafran, PhD, Professor of Translational Psychology, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, University College London, United Kingdom

Table of Contents

I. Overview and Guiding Principles

1. Couple Therapy in the 21st Century, Jay L. Lebow & Douglas K. Snyder sample

2. Couple Assessment, Douglas K. Snyder & Christina Balderrama-Durbin

II. Models of Couple Therapy

- Behavioral Approaches

3. Cognitive-Behavioral Couple Therapy, Donald H. Baucom, Norman B. Epstein, Melanie S. Fischer, Jennifer S. Kirby, & Jaslean J. LaTaillade

4. Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy, Andrew Christensen, Sona Dimidjian, Christopher R. Martell, & Brian D. Doss

5. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Couples, Erika Lawrence, Aaron Samuel Cohn, & Samuel H. Allen

- Emotion-Centered, Psychodynamic, and Multigenerational Approaches

6. Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy, Susan M. Johnson, Stephanie A. Wiebe, & Robert Allan

7. Object Relations Couple Therapy, Judith P. Siegel

8. Mentalization-Based Couple Therapy, Efrain Bleiberg, Ellen Safier, & Peter Fonagy

9. Intergenerational Factors in Couple Therapy, Mona DeKoven Fishbane

- Poststructural Approaches

10. Narrative Couple Therapy, Jill Freedman & Gene Combs

11. Solution-Focused Couple Therapy, Cynthia Franklin, Anao Zhang, Kristin Bolton, & Helen Taylor Yates

12. Socioculturally Attuned Couple Therapy, Carmen Knudson-Martin & Lana Kim

- Integrative Approaches

13. Common Factors in Couple Therapy, Sean Davis

14. Integrative Systemic Therapy for Couples, Douglas C. Breunlin, William P. Russell, Anthony L. Chambers, & Alexandra H. Solomon

15. Therapeutic Palette Integrative Couple Therapy, Peter Fraenkel

16. Gottman Method Couple Therapy, John Mordechai Gottman & Julie Schwartz Gottman

III. Applications of Couple Therapy

- Specific Relational Issues and Populations

17. Couple Therapy for Partner Aggression, Norman B. Epstein, Jaslean J. LaTaillade, & Carol A. Werlinich

18. Couple Therapy for Infidelity, Kristina Coop Gordon, Erica A. Mitchell, Donald H. Baucom, & Douglas K. Snyder

19. Couple Therapy and Sexuality, Kathryn S. K. Hall & Daniel N. Watter

20. Therapy with Older Adult Couples, Bob G. Knight

21. Divorce Issues in Couple Therapy, Jay L. Lebow

22. Therapy with Stepfamily Couples, Patricia L. Papernow

23. Therapy with Queer Couples, Deb Coolhart

- Couple-Based Therapy for Individual Problems

24. Couple Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Candice M. Monson & Steffany J. Fredman

25. Couple Therapy for Alcohol Problems, Barbara S. McCrady, Elizabeth E. Epstein, & Cathryn Glanton Holzhauer

26. Couple Therapy for Depression or Anxiety, Mark A. Whisman, Steven R. H. Beach, & Joanne Davila

27. Couple Therapy with Parents of Youth with ADHD or Disruptive Behavior Disorders, Frances A. Wymbs, Brian T. Wymbs, & Will H. Canu

28. Couple Therapy and Medical Issues, Nancy Breen Ruddy & Susan H. McDaniel

- Special Topics

29. Relationship Enhancement and Distress Prevention, Ryan G. Carlson, Galena K. Rhoades, Sabrina Johnson, Scott M. Stanley, & Howard J. Markman

30. Telehealth and Digital Couple Interventions, Brian D. Doss, Kayla C. Knopp, Elizabeth R. Wrape, & Leslie A. Morland

31. Ethical Issues in Couple Therapy, Gayla Margolin, Elana B. Gordis, & Hannah F. Rasmussen


About the Editors

Jay L. Lebow, PhD, ABPP, LMFT, is Clinical Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University and Senior Scholar at The Family Institute at Northwestern. He is also editor-in-chief of the journal Family Process. Dr. Lebow has engaged in clinical practice, supervision, and research on couple and family therapy since the 1970s, and is board certified in family psychology and an approved supervisor and clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). His numerous publications focus on the practice of couple and family therapy, the relationship of research and practice, integrative practice, and intervention strategies with divorcing families. Dr. Lebow served as president of Division 43 (Society for Couple and Family Psychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA) and on the board of directors of the American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA). He is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from AFTA and the Family Psychologist of the Year Award from Division 43 of APA.

Douglas K. Snyder, PhD, is Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Texas A&M University, where he also served as Director of Clinical Training for 20 years. Dr. Snyder has engaged in clinical practice and training of couple therapists since the 1970s, and is a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). He is coauthor or coeditor of several books, including Helping Couples Get Past the Affair and Couple-Based Interventions for Military and Veteran Families. Dr. Snyder has served as editor of the Clinician’s Research Digest and as associate editor of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology and the Journal of Family Psychology. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Contribution to Research in Family Therapy Award from AAMFT, the Distinguished Contribution to Family Psychology Award from Division 43 (Society for Couple and Family Psychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA),and the Distinguished Psychologist Award from Division 29 (Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy) of APA.

Contributors

Robert Allan, PhD, School of Education and Human Development, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO

Samuel H. Allen, PhD, The Family Institute at Northwestern, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Christina Balderrama-Durbin, PhD,Binghamton University, State University of New York, Binghamton, NY

Donald H. Baucom, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Steven R. H. Beach, PhD, Center for Family Research and Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Efrain Bleiberg, MD, The Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Kristin Bolton, PhD, School of Social Work, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC

Douglas C. Breunlin, MSSA, The Family Institute at Northwestern, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Will H. Canu, PhD,Appalachian State University, Boone, NC

Ryan G. Carlson, PhD,University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

Anthony L. Chambers, PhD, The Family Institute at Northwestern, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Andrew Christensen, PhD,University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Aaron Samuel Cohn, PhD, The Family Institute at Northwestern, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Gene Combs, MD, Evanston Family Therapy Center, Evanston, IL

Deb Coolhart, PhD, Marriage and Family Therapy Department, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Joanne Davila, PhD,Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

Sean Davis, PhD, California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University, Sacramento, CA

Sona Dimidjian, PhD, Crown Institute and Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO

Brian D. Doss, PhD, University of Miami, Miami, FL

Elizabeth E. Epstein, PhD,University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, Worcester, MA

Norman B. Epstein, PhD,School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Melanie S. Fischer, PhD,Philipps-Universität Marburg, Marburg, Germany

Mona DeKoven Fishbane, PhD, Chicago Center for Family Health, Chicago, IL

Peter Fonagy, PhD,University College London, London, UK

Peter Fraenkel, PhD,The City College of New York, New York, NY

Cynthia Franklin, PhD, Steve Hicks School of Social Work, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Steffany J. Fredman, PhD,The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Jill Freedman, MSW, Evanston Family Therapy Center, Evanston, IL

Elana B. Gordis, PhD, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NY

Kristina Coop Gordon, PhD, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

John Mordechai Gottman, PhD, The Gottman Institute, Seattle, WA

Julie Schwartz Gottman, PhD, The Gottman Institute, Seattle, WA

Kathryn S. K. Hall, PhD, private practice, Princeton, NJ

Cathryn Glanton Holzhauer, PhD,University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, Worcester, MA

Sabrina Johnson, EdS,University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

Susan M. Johnson, EdD, International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Lana Kim, PhD, Graduate School of Education and Counseling, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR

Jennifer S. Kirby, PhD,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Bob G. Knight, PhD, School of Psychology and Counselling, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

Kayla C. Knopp, PhD,University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA

Carmen Knudson-Martin, PhD, Graduate School of Education and Counseling, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR

Jaslean J. LaTaillade, PhD, JBS International, Inc., North Bethesda, MD

Erika Lawrence, PhD, The Family Institute at Northwestern, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Jay L. Lebow, PhD, ABPP, LMFT, The Family Institute at Northwestern, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Gayla Margolin, PhD,University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Howard J. Markman, PhD,University of Denver, Denver, CO

Christopher R. Martell, PhD, Psychological Services Center, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA

Barbara S. McCrady, PhD,University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Audience

Therapists and counselors working with couples; instructors and graduate students in couple and family therapy, clinical psychology, clinical social work, psychiatry, mental health counseling, pastoral counseling, and nursing.

Course Use

Serves as a text in such courses as Couple Therapy, Social Work Practice with Families and Couples, and Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy.
Previous editions published by Guilford:

Fifth Edition, © 2015
ISBN: 9781462513925

Fourth Edition, © 2008
ISBN: 9781593858216

Third Edition, © 2002
ISBN: 9781572307582

Second Edition, © 1995
ISBN: 9780898628555
New to this edition: