Family Therapy: A Systemic Integration, 8th Edition

Dorothy Stroh Becvar all

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Family Therapy: A Systemic Integration, 8th Edition

By Dorothy Stroh Becvar, Raphael J. Becvar
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Dorothy Stroh Becvar all
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A comprehensive, user-friendly guide to marriage and family therapy that takes a holistic view to look at people within the context of their environment.


Family Therapy helps students understand the process of shifting from an individual psychology paradigm to a cybernetic or systems paradigm. The text is divided into three sections: "The Systemic Framework," "The Practice of Family Therapy," and "The Systemic Practitioner,” and it includes historical information, current developments, and ongoing debates.


Various family and developmental theories are examined. The family therapy models considered include psychodynamic, natural systems, experiential, structural, communications, strategic, behavioral/cognitive, and several post-modern approaches. Assessment, intervention, training and supervision, research, and epistemological challenges are discussed within the context of practice.


Learning Goals

Upon completing this book readers will be able to:

  • Describe and compare various family therapy models
  • Discuss practical applications for different family and developmental theories
  • Review and assess unique family systems to determine the appropriate family therapy model
  • Understand how concepts with the same name differ in meaning at different levels (i.e. 1st order versus 2nd order cybernetics)

Dorothy S. Becvar, Ph.D., is a Professor in the School of Social Work at Saint Louis University.  A Licensed Marital and Family Therapist and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, she also has maintained a private practice, either full or part-time, since 1980  and is President/CEO of The Haelan Centers, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to facilitating growth and wholeness in body, mind and spirit.  Dorothy has published extensively and in addition to many journal articles and book chapters is the author of three books, and the editor of two books. With her husband, Raphael J. Becvar, she has co-authored four books and is co-editor with others of two additional books.  She has just completed a five-year term as Editor of Contemporary Family Therapy:  An International Journal, and is a member of the editorial boards of several professional journals.   


Raphael J. (Ray) Becvar received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Minnesota.  He has been a Professor at St. Louis University, Texas Tech University, Lindenwood University, and the University of Louisiana, Monroe where he held the Distinguished Scholar’s Endowed Chair in Marital and Family Therapy.  At St. Louis University and the University of Louisiana, Monroe he developed doctoral programs in Marital and Family Therapy.  He has been a part-time faculty member of Walden University since 2000 in Health and Human Services.  Ray’s philosophical/theoretical interests include systems theory, postmodernism, social constructionism, and constructivism as applied to work in Health and Human Services, Marriage and Family Therapy and Education.  He has authored/coauthored 10 books as well as numerous articles in professional and popular journals.  He maintains a small private practice specialising in Marital and Family Therapy. 

  • Learning Objectives encourage students to think critically about the content they read to achieve chapter goals (ex. p. 3).
  • Questions for Reflection are included in all the chapters describing therapeutic approaches (ex. p. 190).
  • Essential information for individuals preparing to take the national licensing exam in marriage and family therapy is provided.
  • Vignettes, examples, illustrations, and applications are provided to enhance understanding of family therapy from a systems theory perspective (ex. p. 144-154).
  • A Summary and Practice Test are included at the end of each chapter (ex. p. 81-83).
  • The instructor supplements package for this text includes:
    • Instructor’s Manual and Test Bank
    • MyTest computerized Test Bank
    • PowerPoint Presentations
  • Create a Custom Text: For enrollments of at least 25, create your own textbook by combining chapters from best-selling Pearson textbooks and/or reading selections in the sequence you want. To begin building your custom text, visit You may also work with a dedicated Pearson Custom editor to create your ideal text–publishing your own original content or mixing and matching Pearson content. Contact your Pearson Publisher’s Representative to get started.
Table of contents
  • Chapter 1: Two Different Worldviews  
  • Chapter 2: The Historical Perspective  
  • Chapter 3: The Paradigmatic Shift of Systems Theory  
  • Chapter 4: Postmodernism and Family Therapy 
  • Chapter 5: The Family: Process, Development, and Context  
  • Chapter 6: Psychodynamic Approaches  
  • Chapter 7: Natural Systems Theory  
  • Chapter 8: Experiential Approaches  
  • Chapter 9: The Structural Approach  
  • Chapter 10: Communication Approaches  
  • Chapter 11: Strategic Approaches and the Milan Influence  
  • Chapter 12: Behavioral/Cognitive Approaches  
  • Chapter 13: Postmodern Approaches  
  • Chapter 14:  Family Assessment  
  • Chapter 15: Therapeutic Intervention/Perturbation  
  • Chapter 16: Training and Supervision  
  • Chapter 17: Research in Family Therapy  
  • Chapter 18: Epistemological Challenges: Thinking About Our Thinking  
  • References  
  • Name Index 
  • Subject Index