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5 Books Every Family Therapist Needs in Their Collection

Five Essential Books on Every Family Therapist’s Shelf

  • The Family Therapy Treatment Planner
  • Play in Family Therapy
  • The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert
  • Theory-Based Treatment Planning for Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Loving with the Brain in Mind: Neurobiology and Couple Therapy

Family therapists have a difficult job because they treat a wide variety of clients, so it is important that they utilize different resources including websites and books for family therapists. Although challenging, this career is a popular one, and the U.S. News and World Report ranks it the fourth best social service job in 2018. More people are choosing to attend therapy than before, and the field is expected to grow 20% between 2016 and 2026. Both new and veteran therapists can benefit from the books listed below.

1. The Family Therapy Treatment Planner

Written by Frank Dattilio, this book is a comprehensive guide for dealing with the paperwork aspect of therapy. Record-keeping is essential for insurance companies, liability protection, and to help objectively measure clients’ progress. The book includes customizable treatment plan worksheets for common situations related to blended families, grief, parent-child relationship issues, and spousal disputes. This streamlines this part of the process freeing up more time for patient interaction.

2. Play in Family Therapy

Realizing the difficulties many children have in engaging in family therapy, author Eliana Gil describes some techniques to involve the entire family in interactive play. This is a popular book for family therapists who have clients between ages 3 and 12. Gil emphasizes that the solutions to some of the major problems in relationships involve skills that can be learned through play including communication skills, cooperation, and inclusion.

Read: 5 Best Online Ph.D. Marriage and Family Counseling Programs

3. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert

Authors John Gottman and Nan Silver compiled extensive data about relationships, collected over many years, to arrive at the conclusions detailed in this book. While geared toward the couple, not a therapist, this is a commonly found book on every family therapist’s bookshelf. Since each of the principles are thoroughly backed up by scientific evidence, some skeptical clients may respond to therapy better by discussing the ideas in the book as a group.

4. Theory-Based Treatment Planning for Marriage and Family Therapists

This essential family therapy book is written by Diane Gehart and Amy Tuttle in an attempt to help professionals relate cases back to specific theories. Then, they can work from the theory to create a logical, objective treatment plan. The book helps new professionals connect theories they learned in school with the clients they see, and it also reminds long-time therapists of the theory behind their practice.

5. Loving with the Brain in Mind: Neurobiology and Couple Therapy

This book takes a different view of relationships, focusing on the biochemical processes occurring in the brain in response to different interactions. Dr. Mona DeKoven Fishbane and Dr. Daniel Siegel provide a neuroscience explanation to help explain why relationships become dysfunctional and how a couple can intentionally rewire their brains. This is a fresh perspective on the subject, and every family therapist needs this book in their collection.

With a job that is both rewarding and challenging, counselors must employ a variety of tactics depending on the needs of their particular clients. Books for family therapists help professionals find ways to connect with their clients as well as complete all other required tasks.

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