Doing Family Therapy

Fourth Edition
Craft and Creativity in Clinical Practice

Robert Taibbi

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
March 23, 2022
ISBN 9781462549221
Price: $90.00
354 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
March 29, 2022
ISBN 9781462549214
Price: $40.00
354 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
January 23, 2022
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $40.00
354 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $80.00 $44.00
354 Pages
Check out a special package offer including this title!
Professors: free copies available for adoption consideration
Download an e-book copy now or order a print copy
See related items for this product

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 See also the author's Doing Couple Therapy, Second Edition: Craft and Creativity in Work with Intimate Partners.

“Frequently, the mere notion of managing more than one client in the room, managing clients of different ages, or managing the intensity of family interactions is intimidating for clinicians of any experience level who are just coming to family work. Taibbi's…book would be a useful place to start for beginning family therapists and clinicians from other disciplines beginning to do family therapy.”

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

“Robert Taibbi, a seasoned clinician, writes with an integration of intellectual confidence and empathy that is inviting to the beginning therapist. At the same time, this book provides an avenue for a more seasoned therapist to pursuing ongoing development. The text is substantive with a powerful reinforcement of pragmatic, sound principles that are integral to the practice of family therapy, regardless of the theoretical approach. The logical, organized presentation of topics helps organize the therapist's thinking about managing the family therapy process, beginning with the elements that serve as a foundation on which a family therapist develops skill, and progressing to strategies for ongoing skill development.”

Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic (on the second edition)

“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

“Family therapy can be messy for both newbies and experienced clinicians. Taibbi provides an indispensable map that honors the complexity of clinical practice while also highlighting the core of the family therapy tradition. The case examples, vignettes, and metaphors illuminate the concepts we use in the field. Taibbi is a good storyteller whose inviting style will inspire beginning therapists and will help seasoned ones to rethink their work back to the basics. I found the fourth edition's emphasis on context and process to be particularly valuable. I will use this text for my master's course on the theory and practice of family therapy. It provides lots of good advice and great starting points for all sorts of discussions.”

—Gonzalo Bacigalupe, EdD, MPH, Department of Counseling Psychology, University of Massachusetts Boston

“Engaging, pragmatic, and well written. In this fourth edition, Taibbi enhances what has been a wonderful resource for so many students of family therapy. As the title suggests, the book focuses on the actual doing of this extremely challenging and complex thing we call family therapy, rather than on promoting a particular approach. Taibbi helps therapists at all levels to better anticipate and work through common stuck points, and to create oases of safety where family members can finally face issues they have feared to address.”

—Richard C. Schwartz, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance

​"Taibbi’s wisdom and ingenuity is on full display in this fourth edition. He eloquently and pragmatically provides the knowledge needed to effectively work with diverse families experiencing varying issues. This is an excellent book for graduate students in an introductory family counseling class and for novice family counselors entering the field.”

—Tiffany Wilson, PhD, LCMHC, Professional Counseling Program, Middle Tennessee State University

Table of Contents

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



About the Author

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.


Students and practitioners in marriage and family therapy, clinical psychology, social work, psychiatry, mental health counseling, and pastoral counseling.

Course Use

Serves as a text in such courses as Family Therapy, Marriage and Family Therapy, Family Psychology, Social Work Practice with Families, and Family Counseling.

Doing Couple Therapy: Second Edition: Craft and Creativity in Work with Intimate Partners and Doing Family Therapy: Fourth Edition: Craft and Creativity in Clinical PracticeSpecial package offer: Robert Taibbi's Doing Family Therapy, Fourth Edition, and Doing Couple Therapy, Second Edition, combine practical clinical know-how with tips for becoming a more creative, self-reflective practitioner.

Order both items for $49.95, instead of $71.00 if bought separately!

order package

Previous editions published by Guilford:

Third Edition, © 2015
ISBN: 9781462521203

Second Edition, © 2007
ISBN: 9781593854775

First Edition, © 1996
ISBN: 9781572301818
New to this edition: