Therapy with Single Parents: A Social Constructionist Approach

1st Edition

Joan D Atwood, Frank Genovese

Published May 23, 2006
Reference - 342 Pages
ISBN 9780789004079 - CAT# HW14924

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Provide effective counseling to members of single-parent families

With more than half of all first marriages ending in divorce, it’s time to re-think the notion that “divorce” means “failure.” Therapy with Single Parents focuses on the strengths of the single-parent family rather than its weaknesses, stressing the need to look at the socially constructed norms, values, and definitions associated with marriage and family in order to provide effective counseling. This unique book examines experiences that are common to single parents and presents interventive strategies for treating single-parent family issues, drawing on clinical case studies to provide technical knowledge in everyday language.

Current research shows that single parents account for 27 percent of family households that include children under 18 and that the number of single mothers in the United States more than tripled between 1970 and 2000. Therapy with Single Parents challenges outdated notions that the single-parent family is somehow deficient and associated with adjustment problems in children. It doesn’t ignore the anger, pain, sadness, and guilt experienced by many members of single parent families but offers therapeutic considerations from a more balanced approach. The book examines the social, psychological, and sexual experiences of newly single parents and addresses the ups and downs they’ll face in dealing with schools, the workplace, and social services.

Therapy with Single Parents examines:
  • social and psychological differences between divorce and widowhood
  • cognitive-behavioral principles of single-parent families
  • what children can learn from divorce
  • dealing with the ghosts of past relationships
  • relationship rules
  • dealing with adult children and extended families
  • the effect of change in divorcing families
  • the feminization of poverty
  • the therapeutic value of social networks
Therapy with Single Parents is an invaluable resource for psychologists, professional counselors, social workers, and marriage and family therapists. The book presents a thorough, in-depth examination of the single-parent family system as a viable, healthy family form.


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