Short-Term Couple Therapy

Edited by James M. Donovan

August 23, 2002
ISBN 9781572308336
Price: $45.00
417 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
Copyright Date: 1999

This unique guide brings together representatives of the major family therapy approaches to demonstrate the nuts and bolts of their brief work with couples. The time- and cost-effective models discussed are explicitly short-term—not long-term on fast forward—and detailed case excerpts and clinical examples highlight how each form of therapy is actually conducted. Noted contributors include Susan Johnson, Philip Guerin, Michael Nichols and Salvador Minuchin, Simon Budman, Andrew Christensen and Neil Jacobson, James Keim, and many others.

“Anyone who has worked with couples who are in enough pain to go to a therapist knows how challenging this work can be. Doing couples work within the reality of today's marketplace is even more challenging. [This book] succeeds in making the challenge seem less daunting....I highly recommend this book for experienced clinicians who work with couples regardless of whether they have managed care clients....I consider it a valuable addition to my library.”

Journal of Family Psychotherapy

“Donovan's book is a treasure trove of maps, guides, and directions for finding our way through the tricky terrain of couples treatment using brief therapy models....[The book] repeatedly demonstrates that even within the complex context of brief couple therapy, a powerful therapeutic relationship based on a profound sense of empathy can allow a wide array of approaches to be quite successful.”

Journal of Systemic Therapies

Table of Contents

1. Short-Term Couple Therapy and the Principles of Brief Treatment, Donovan

I. Psychodynamic Methods

2. Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy: Straight to the Heart, Johnson

3. Short-Term Couples Group Psychotherapy: A Tale of Four Fights, Donovan

4. A Control Mastery Approach to Short-Term Couple Therapy, Vogel

II. The Systemic Approach

5. Brief Marital Therapy: The Story of the Triangles, Guerin, Fay, Fogarty, and Kautto

6. Short-Term Structural Family Therapy with Couples, Nichols and Minuchin

7. Psychoanalytically Informed Short-Term Couple Therapy, Cohen

8. Time-Effective Couple Therapy, Budman

III. Collaborative Models

9. Collaborative Couple Therapy, Wile

10. Integrative Couple Therapy: The Dyadic Relationship of Acceptance and Change, Lawrence, Eldridge, Christensen, and Jacobson

IV. The Postmodern Schools

11. Brief Strategic Marital Therapy, Keim

12. Narrative Solutions in Brief Couple Therapy, Eron and Lund

13. A Time-Effective, Solution-Focused Approach to Couple Therapy, Friedman and Lipchik

14. Couples, Culture, and Discourse: A Narrative Approach, Neal, Zimmerman, and Dickerson

15. Short-Term Couple Therapy: The Present and the Future, Donovan

About the Editor

James M. Donovan, PhD, received his undergraduate education at Stanford University and his doctorate from the University of Michigan. A veteran of HMO mental health work, he has served as staff psychologist at Harvard Community Health Plan, now Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, for over 25 years. Dr. Donovan is founder and codirector of the Mental Health Fellowship at Harvard Vanguard and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in Psychology at Harvard Medical School.


All clinicians who treat couples; students of family therapy, clinical psychology, psychiatry, and social work.

Serves as a text in graduate-level family therapy courses.

Course Use

Serves as a text in graduate-level family therapy courses.