Book: Olson, D.H., DeFrain, J., Skogrand, L. (2014). . New …

Title: Marital and Family Therapy: An Introduction


Marital and family therapy has emerged as a prominent approach in addressing relational issues and promoting well-being within the family unit. The book “Marital and Family Therapy: An Introduction,” written by authors Olson, DeFrain, and Skogrand, is a comprehensive resource that explores the theoretical foundations, methods, and techniques used in marital and family therapy. With its focus on understanding and enhancing family dynamics, this book provides valuable insights into the complexities of human relationships and offers practical strategies for therapists working with diverse populations.

Summary of Chapters:

Chapter 1: Introduction to Marital and Family Therapy.

This chapter provides an overview of the field of marital and family therapy, highlighting its historical development, theoretical underpinnings, and current trends. It elucidates the importance of understanding families as interconnected systems and emphasizes the role of the therapist in fostering change and promoting healthy family functioning.

Chapter 2: Systems Theory and Family Therapy.

In this chapter, the authors delve into the foundational principles of systems theory and its application in family therapy. They discuss how systems thinking guides the therapist’s understanding of family dynamics and provides a framework for intervention. The chapter also explores key concepts such as circular causality, homeostasis, and feedback loops.

Chapter 3: The Basic Concepts of Family Systems.

Building upon the framework established in the previous chapter, this chapter examines foundational concepts in family systems theory. Key topics include boundaries, subsystems, and triangles. The authors highlight the significance of these concepts in understanding family functioning and offer clinical examples to enhance comprehension.

Chapter 4: The Basic Techniques of Marriage and Family Therapy.

This chapter provides an overview of fundamental techniques used in marital and family therapy. It introduces approaches such as reframing, joining, tracking, and redefining problems. The authors emphasize the importance of tailoring interventions to meet the unique needs of each family and discuss the ethical considerations inherent in therapeutic practice.

Chapter 5: Research and Assessment in Marital and Family Therapy.

Research and assessment play a crucial role in informing therapeutic interventions. This chapter explores various methods of data collection and assessment tools used in marital and family therapy. The authors discuss the importance of evidence-based practice and provide guidance on integrating research findings into clinical decision-making.

Chapter 6: Models of Family Therapy.

This chapter presents an overview of different models of family therapy, including psychodynamic, experiential, narrative, and cognitive-behavioral approaches. The authors highlight the key principles and techniques associated with each model and offer insights into their respective strengths and limitations.

Chapter 7: Integration, Evaluation, and Future Directions in Marital and Family Therapy.

As the field of marital and family therapy continues to evolve, this chapter examines emerging trends, challenges, and potential future directions. It discusses the integration of multicultural perspectives, technology-assisted therapy, and the importance of ongoing evaluation to ensure effective therapeutic outcomes.


The book “Marital and Family Therapy: An Introduction” provides an in-depth exploration of the foundations, techniques, and applications of marital and family therapy. It equips therapists with a comprehensive understanding of systemic thinking and offers practical strategies for working with diverse populations. By integrating research findings with clinical practice, this book aims to enhance therapeutic skills and promote positive changes within the family system. It serves as an invaluable resource for both students and practitioners seeking to deepen their knowledge and effectiveness in the field of marital and family therapy.