This book is a challenge to the silos in our human services that an ‘atomized’ focus gives rise to. They are evident in the chasm that can exist between child and adult mental health care, between competing therapeutic approaches and, most importantly for this volume, in the segmentation of support for adults who are partners as well as parents.
The contributors, all with substantial experience of providing front-line services, identify the problem their intervention is designed to address, provide a conceptual justification for the approach they have used and supply evidence for its effectiveness. Vivid illustrations bring the work to life and provide examples of best practice whose relevance can readily be transported to different settings. Unusual in bringing together approaches that encompass internal and external realities in responding to the challenges of physical constraint, emotional distress and an often-volatile social environment, the contributions are assembled to highlight a common thread that can inform services at different stages of the life course. Each chapter is accompanied by a commentary from specialists in their field who elucidate and critique the key points made by the authors and help the experience of reading the book to be one of dialogue.
Engaging Couples: New Directions in Therapeutic in Work with Families explores new ways of approaching some of the key issues of contemporary family life, including depression, living with long-term conditions, inter-parental conflict and domestic abuse to name but a few, refracting them through a lens that sees our relationships as fundamental to the fabric of our lives – the most important social capital of all.
It represents essential reading for clinicians and family practitioners of all persuasions, and those that train and support them in their work.
Andrew Balfour is Chief Executive at Tavistock Relationships, and a Fellow at St George’s House, Windsor. He is a clinical psychologist, a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and couple psychotherapist. With Mary Morgan and Christopher Vincent, he co-edited How Couple Relationships Shape our World: Clinical Practice, Research and Policy Perspectives.
Christopher Clulow is a Consultant Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, a Senior Fellow of the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology, London, and a Fellow of the Centre for Social Policy, Dartington. He has published extensively on marriage, partnerships, parenthood and couple psychotherapy.
Kate Thompson is a psychoanalytic couple psychotherapist, head of Tavistock Relationship’s strategic development and Couple Therapy for Depression training, Kate has worked with couples for over 20 years and specializes in the impact of mental health difficulties on relationships.