Couple and Family Therapy

Myrna L. Friedlander, Gary M. Diamond

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The conceptual underpinnings, fundamental assumptions, and interventions used in couple and family therapy (CFT) are consistent with counseling psychology's traditional emphasis on normative development and person- environment fit, and its focus on clients' problems in living, resilience, and cultural context rather than psychiatric diagnoses. In this chapter, we begin by outlining the history of the couple and family therapy movement, identifying the central systems constructs and assumptions, and providing an overview of several classic and contemporary approaches to conjoint treatment. Next, we describe eight exemplary programs of efficacy research that address the question, "For whom does CFT work?" Finally, addressing the question, "How does CFT work?," we summarize the theory and research on three basic mechanisms of change in conjoint treatment: therapeutic alliance, reframing, and enactment. The chapter concludes with recommended future directions for the field-theoretical, empirical, and practical.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Counseling Psychology
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940240
ISBN (Print)9780195342314
StatePublished - 18 Sep 2012


  • Couple and family therapy
  • Enactment
  • Psychotherapy outcome
  • Psychotherapy process
  • Reframing
  • Systems theory
  • Therapeutic alliance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)


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