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Contemporary Family Therapy
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.413
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 3  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1573-3335 - ISSN (Online) 0892-2764
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2467 journals]
  • Body Image and Gay Men: Adaptation of Emotionally-Focused Family Therapy
           for Gay Clients with Negative Body Image

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      Abstract: Abstract Gay men report higher levels of body dissatisfaction and negative body image than heterosexual men. These trends are closely linked to cultural pressures, sexual identity development, family relationships, and attachment style. However, despite this link, few therapeutic resources exist that address the unique stressors of gay men struggling with body image and body image-related factors as well as family influence on these stressors. This article outlines an adaptation of Emotionally-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) for therapists working with gay clients struggling with body image. We address the restructuring of negative interaction cycles related to parental rejection and body image and demonstrate how an enactment intervention can be utilized as a tool for healing.
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
       
  • Supervising with a Feminist Lens: Improving Transgender Competency

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      Abstract: Abstract Although the AAMFT Code of Ethics encourages therapists to become competent in working with gender identity, transgender care is an area that often receives little attention in traditional therapy education and training programs. Consequently, it is essential that supervisors are competent and skilled in helping supervisees navigate, process, and increase their own competencies in working with transgender populations. A framework would help supervisors to navigate transgender competency development with supervisees. Feminist models of supervision have been shown to provide frameworks, guidance, and language for facilitating the exploration of critical issues for marginalized and diverse populations. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how a feminist approach to supervision can empower supervisors to help marriage and family therapy trainees develop competency in transgender care. Domains of intersectionality, power, gender, diversity, emotion, and socialization are discussed, along with a vignette that demonstrates the application of the proposed model to transgender care.
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
       
  • Exploring the Stable and Changing Beliefs of Middle Class Urban Hindu
           Couples in New Delhi about Opposite Sex Marriage

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      Abstract: Abstract This study explores the beliefs of middle class urban Hindus (MCUHs) about the meaning and purpose of the institution of heterosexual marriage. The intention was to develop a foundation for assessment tools valid for India’s population. Individual semistructured interviews were conducted in the homes of 32 MCUH in New Delhi who had been married for at least seven years. Qualitative methodology along with the constant comparison method was used to analyze the data. This sample conceived of marriage, both as a noun and a verb, differently than the theoretical models underlying Western assessment tools. To these MCUH, marriage is a sacred, inescapable, socially-sanctioned, developmental stage in which pragmatic collectivist rationales exclude romantic motives. Accordingly, the researchers found probes about marital “satisfaction” to be largely unfruitful. Some MCUH described minor changes driven by formal education, Western thinking, and technological development. Implications for family clinicians and future research are given.
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
       
  • Sexuality of Aging Adults: A Case Study Using Narrative Therapy

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      Abstract: Abstract For those who experience sexual desire, sexuality and sexual expression are a vital part of their emotional well-being at every age. Prevailing discourses have created an ageist mentality against older people maintaining a sexual identity. The research states that older people who identify as sexual continue to desire, long for, and enjoy a variety of sexual activities, despite and sometimes because of increasing physical health concerns. In sex therapy, older clients that examine their dominant discourses and find that they desire a change that is more sex positive can become sexually empowered through a narrative approach. This article includes a review of the current literature and clinical practices which can enhance therapeutic outcomes for older couples and individuals who identify as sexual and desire sexual improvement. A case study example is included as well.
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
       
  • Catfish: Exploring the Individual Predictors and Interpersonal
           Characteristics of Deceptive Online Romantic Relationships

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      Abstract: Abstract Catfish refer to people who use a false online persona to engage in one or more romantic relationships. The present study was guided by the Couple and Family Technology Framework to conduct a triangulation mixed-methods design. Data were collected from catfish perpetrators (n = 156) and targets (n = 826) via a web-based survey. Perpetration was positively associated with being a man, having a high education level, high religiosity, and negatively with being heterosexual and Hispanic/Latin American. Perpetration was predicted by impression management and narcissism and negatively by mate value and conscientiousness. Compared to face-to-face relationships, catfish unions were characterized by low levels of satisfaction and passionate love. The most common communication methods used in these relationships included text and instant messaging, and targets reported significantly greater self-disclosure than perpetrators. The top reasons for perpetrators’ identity selection included emulating an ideal self and enhancing mate value. Among perpetrators, a majority (55%) did not feel guilty about their identity misrepresentation but those who did primarily reported guilt resulting from the betrayal and keeping the relationship secret from other people. Clinical implications are provided for therapists working with clients who experience catfishing as a target and/or perpetrator.
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
       
  • Narrative Couple Therapy with Sexual Minority Couples: Exploring Sexual
           Intimacy

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      Abstract: Abstract Sexual intimacy is an essential experience to many romantic relationships, encompassing sexual identities, sexual desires, and sexual behaviors. Historically, people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or questioning have been marginalized, tabooed, and illegalized in many societies, which have significantly shaped sexual minority (SM) couples’ views and experiences of sexual intimacy. When working with distressed SM couples, providing culturally sensitive and affirmative services is both necessary and effective considering the long-existing social stigma against sexual minorities and the imposed expectations by heterosexual norms. With the legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.S., working with SM couples is becoming an increasingly important practice in the U.S. However, many therapists receive little guidance in conceptualizing and treating SM couples and their experiences of sexual difficulties. The narrative therapy model has shown its theoretical advantages in working with couples with minority status, given its non-pathologizing stance in viewing minority experience. This paper proposes using a narrative couple therapy framework as a guide to help both therapists to explore sexual intimacy with SM couples. A case illustration is included.
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
       
  • Learning to Embody a Social Justice Perspective in Couple and Family
           Therapy: A Grounded Theory Analysis of MFTs in Training

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      Abstract: Abstract This action research study explores how four MFT students shifted from a cognitive understanding of equity and power to an intrinsic and automatic internalized process as we participated in research in which we observed, coded, and engaged in structured reflexive conversations about relational power using a data bank of Socio Emotional Relationship Therapy sessions. We reviewed and analyzed ten of our recorded two-hour reflexive conversations to develop grounded theory that explains our experience of learning to embody a relational power lens, which consists of five interconnected phases: (a) developing a theoretical understanding of relational power, (b) critically observing live therapy, (c) noticing and attending to the felt sense of witnessing power, (d) engaging in transformative conversation, and (e) applying to personal practice. Our findings provide guidance for clinical training programs who wish to facilitate the experience for clinicians-in-training to understand and address societal power processes in clinical practice.
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
       
  • Parental Alienating Behaviors in Noah Baumbach’s High-Conflict Divorce
           Films, the Squid and the Whale and Marriage Story: A Cinematherapy Tool
           for (Training) Mental Health Providers

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      Abstract: Abstract In this assessment of Noah Baumbach’s films, The Squid and the Whale and Marriage Story, the use of parental alienating behaviors is examined. Examples are organized according to Darnall’s (Darnall, D. (1998). Divorce casualties: Protecting your children from parental alienation. Taylor Trade Publishing.) types of alienators – naive, active, or obsessed – and across Baker and Fine’s (Baker, A. J. L., & Fine, P. R. (2014). Co-parenting with a toxic ex: What to do when your ex-spouse tries to turn the kids against you. New Harbinger Publications.) categories: (a) poisonous messages, (b) interfering with contact and communication, (c) erasing or replacing the targeted parent, (d) enlisting the child to betray the targeted parent, and (e) undermining the targeted parent’s authority and fostering dependence in the child. Implications of this review are two-fold - examples across categories and types of alienating behaviors can be utilized in mental health training programs to help identify and understand the dynamics of parental alienation. Early detection of alienating behaviors is imperative to safeguard children and foster the overall relational health of divorcing families. Secondly, mental health providers may find these films useful as cinematherapy to facilitate growth and healing in families affected by parental alienation.
      PubDate: 2022-11-28
       
  • Solution Focused Brief Therapy Presuppositions: A Comparison of 1.0 and
           2.0 SFBT Approaches

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      Abstract: Abstract Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) has consistently emphasized the importance of utilizing language to co-construct with clients. This microanalysis study looks specifically at presuppositions, one linguistic tool, and investigates how SFBT therapists use presuppositions in their co-constructive work. This study compares three 1.0 SFBT therapists and three 2.0 SFBT therapists regarding their use of presuppositions. Results from this study support McKergow’s (J Solut Focus Brief Ther 2:1–17, 2016) claims that an evolutionary change has already taken place within the practice of SFBT. 2.0 SFBT therapists are more likely to use presuppositions in general, and are more likely to use conditional presupposition specifically to build descriptions rather than focusing on action toward goals. Also, 2.0 therapists are also more likely to dedicate time to asking relationship-oriented presuppositional questions than 1.0 therapists.
      PubDate: 2022-11-03
       
  • Comparing Family Functioning in Usual Care Among Adolescents Treated for
           Behavior Problems

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      Abstract: Abstract Healthy family functioning is important for successful adolescent development and serves as a protective factor against adolescent behavior problems. When adolescent behavior problems exist, family therapy can help promote warmth and cohesiveness in the family, which results in healthier family functioning. Furthermore, family therapy is the gold standard for treating adolescent behavior problems. However, most of the research on family therapy for adolescents are with manualized models that have difficulty being implemented in usual care. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of family therapy in improving family functioning as compared to individually-based treatments, all of which were offered in usual care settings. Participants were 205 adolescents and their caregivers living in a large, metropolitan area. Data were collected at four time points (baseline, 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-up) and analyzed using latent growth curve modeling. Family functioning was assessed by separate caregiver and adolescent reports of cohesion and conflict subscales on the Family Environment Scale and caregiver-reported parent-adolescent domain of the Stress Index for Parents of Adolescents. Across treatments, caregivers reported improvement in family cohesion and decreases in family conflict and parental stress. Similarly, adolescents across treatments reported a decrease in family conflict but no concomitant increase in family cohesion. Overall, there was no between-treatment differences in overall change with both conditions showing improvement in family functioning. Results indicate that both family therapy and non-family treatment in usual care for adolescent behavior problems are effective for improving family functioning, suggesting that existing treatment services are viable options for adolescent behavioral health when offered under monitored conditions.
      PubDate: 2022-10-27
       
  • Development and Validation of the Flexibility in Partner Perspectives
           Scale

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      Abstract: Abstract The ability to respond flexibly in situations is critical to individual well-being and couples’ functioning in romantic relationships. The Flexibility in Partner Perspectives Scale (FiPPS) was developed and validated so that two key aspects of relational flexibility—specifically the ability to generate alternative perspectives and respond non-defensively when alternative perspectives are raised within challenging partner situations—can be studied and targeted in interventions for distressed couples. We introduce the FiPPS as an 8-item self-report questionnaire composed of two 4-item subscales that measure these aspects, respectively. In Study 1, individuals (N = 208) in committed relationships were recruited online to answer questionnaires relating to relational flexibility and various aspects of the couple’s and individual’s functioning. We used parallel analysis and exploratory factor analysis to examine the psychometric properties of the 25 items developed for the FiPPS and to reduce the number of items retained in the final measure. The FiPPS was then validated in Study 2 using confirmatory factor analysis with a separate online sample of individuals (N = 430) in committed relationships. A subset of Study 2’s sample (N = 196) was used to establish test–retest reliability. Studies 3 and 4 demonstrated FiPPS’ predictive validity by showing in two additional samples (N = 260 treatment-seeking couples, N = 85 Hispanic/Latinx couples) that individuals who scored higher on the FIPPS scale also reported greater relationship satisfaction. Taken together, the FiPPS appears to be a brief and useful measure that predicts relationship satisfaction above and beyond general cognitive flexibility and perspective taking.
      PubDate: 2022-10-23
       
  • Perspectives of Mainline Protestant Christian Pastors on the Consequences
           of Familial Acceptance and Rejection of LGB Members: Understanding the
           Role of Religion for Family Therapists

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      Abstract: Abstract When therapists are working with families with lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) members, discussions of family acceptance and rejection can be salient to the therapeutic process. For many families, decisions around acceptance and rejection are often informed by Christian religious beliefs. However, little is known about how Christian pastors conceptualize consequences associated with family acceptance and rejection and how religious involvement can be both a source of help and harm. This queer theory informed qualitative study utilized in-depth interviews with 21 mainline Protestant Christian pastors to understand their perspectives, informed by their faith, on the consequences of family acceptance and rejection of LGB family members. Using thematic analysis, four themes were identified that highlighted participants’ understandings of (1) how family acceptance can change relationships within and outside of the family; (2) how rejection harms LGB individuals and their family system; (3) how rejection harms LGB peoples’ relationships with multiple aspects of religiosity; and (4) how familial rejection can liberate LGB people to create chosen families and find affirmative religious communities. Findings from this study provide support for family therapists to explore the role of religion in familial processes of acceptance and rejection of LGB members, as well as how religious faith and communities can be a positive resource or source of harm for LGB individuals.
      PubDate: 2022-10-20
       
  • Queering Relationships: Exploring Phenomena of Asexual Identified Persons
           in Relationships

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      Abstract: Abstract This phenomenological study explored experiences of asexual identified persons within the context of relationships. Thirty-five asexual spectrum identified participants took part in semi-structured interviews that focused on how they viewed themselves and their uniquenesses within relationship dynamics. Queer theory guided the research design and analysis. Findings include a movement towards understanding and experiencing relationships that extend beyond heteronormativity. Themes included: (a) evolving asexual identity development, (b) conscious adapting and communication within relationships, (c) reconsidering amatonormativity, and (d) therapeutic recommendations. Participants identified that their relationships were distinctly different from social expectations; however, overall, partners adapted successfully to these differences with communication and understanding. Findings contribute to a greater competency in asexual identities.
      PubDate: 2022-10-20
       
  • “We Need to State it Overtly”: MFT’s Rationales for Labeling SOCE
           and GICE as Unethical in the Code of Ethic

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      Abstract: Abstract This study sought to explore the beliefs of marriage and family therapists (MFTs) about why sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE; i.e., conversion therapy) and gender identity change efforts (GICE) should be labeled as unethical in the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Code of Ethics. Utilizing an online survey, this study collected data from 208 clinicians with a range of therapeutic experiences and social location identities. Participants responded to open-ended questions, which were analyzed using thematic analysis. The analysis revealed four themes describing why MFTs support GICE and SOCE being labeled as unethical in the AAMFT Code of Ethics: (1) Does not fit the values/roles of being an MFT; (2) Does not fit the ethics of being an MFT; (3) Is harmful and ineffective; and (4) AAMFT has an ethical imperative. Finally, a fifth theme emerged representing the responses from three participants who felt that SOCE and GICE may be ethical practices. Implications for therapists and MFT training programs are discussed.
      PubDate: 2022-10-20
       
  • Refining the Meta-Theory of Common Factors in Couple and Family Therapy: a
           Deductive Qualitative Analysis Study

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      Abstract: Abstract Common factors in couple and family therapy (CFT) have been discussed theoretically and clinically, with limited direct empirical support for CFT-specific common factors. The purpose of this study was to empirically examine the meta-theory of common factors unique to CFT. To do so, we used deductive qualitative analysis (DQA), a methodology suited for research that aims to evaluate, refine, and expand existing theory. Our sample consisted of fourteen (n = 14) video-recorded therapy sessions (videos and transcripts) conducted by therapists with expertise in seven CFT models: Bowenian family therapy, emotionally focused therapy, experiential therapy, narrative therapy, solution-focused brief therapy, strategic therapy, and structural family therapy. Following the procedures of DQA, we conducted an in-depth analysis of the data using CFT common factors as sensitizing constructs (deductive), along with open (inductive), focused, and theoretical coding. Results show (a) strong support for certain previously identified CFT common factors (expanded direct treatment system, expanded therapeutic alliance), and (b) partial support for and refinement of other CFT common factors (conceptualizing and reframing difficulties in relational terms, facilitating constructive interactions, and valuing clients’ perspectives). Results also support the moderate view of CFT common factors – that they work through therapy models. This paper offers an empirical examination of common factors in couple and family therapy that clarifies, deepens, and refines previous iterations of CFT common factors. We conclude with a discussion of the results in the context of CFT literature and provide implications for clinical practice, training, and research.
      PubDate: 2022-10-12
       
  • Meaning and Experience of International Migration in Black African South
           African Families

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      Abstract: Abstract This article explores the experiences of some Black South African families affected by international migration. Historically, emigration from South Africa has occurred in waves, and has been associated with specific political moments. Such migration has often been perceived as a predominantly “White phenomenon”, but recent trends reveal a more complex picture. Prior research on Black migration has focused primarily on internal labour migration, exilic migration and the “brain drain” phenomenon of medical professionals. So far, little research has been done on the impact of international outward migration on the Black family system. This article addresses this gap, drawing on a larger qualitative project exploring the impact of South African emigration on elderly family members staying behind. The findings highlight the significance of close relational ties in the Black South African family system. Familial separation through emigration brings feelings of loss and apprehension for the wellbeing of family members living abroad, including potential racism in destination countries. Migrants abroad highlighted the value of family and of maintaining a Black South African identity, despite separation from the country of origin and the extended family. Significantly, migration is often perceived as a temporary state, in contrast to White South African counterparts. Given increased international migration, the results shed light on the interplay between racial identity and emigration, and the impact of international migration by Black South Africans on family that they leave behind.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • Attachment, Depression, and Health: A Longitudinal Analysis of Those with
           A Chronic Disease

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      Abstract: Abstract Despite previous literature illustrating strong links between social relations, mental health, and physical health, much remains unknown regarding the associations among adult romantic attachment, depressive symptoms, and reports of physical health within adults diagnosed with a chronic disease. The present study used a mediated latent growth curve analysis to examine to what extent trajectories of reported physical health across two years were a function of attachment and depressive symptoms among a sample of 197 individuals who were mostly White, middle class, college educated, in a committed heterosexual relationship, and reported a diagnosed chronic disease. Results indicated that as depressive symptoms increased, initial levels of physical health were worse. Higher attachment anxiety was linked with better initial rates of physical health. Further, higher depressive symptoms and attachment anxiety predicted a significant upward shift in the trajectory of improved physical health. Results offer merit to social and mental health professionals as well as researchers to understand and incorporate a biopsychosocial approach. Further clinical and research implications are considered.
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.1007/s10591-022-09647-4
       
  • Family Functioning Assessment in a Community Sample of African American
           Caregivers and Children

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      Abstract: Abstract Racial/ethnic minority youth receive approximately half of the mental health services of their non-minority peers. Improved methods for identifying African American families in need of behavioral health services are necessary. The Family Assessment Device and General Functioning subscale have been found to be reliable and able to detect family functioning impairment in a generalized sample, but less is known about the reliability and validity of the assessment with an African American community sample. Data from 53 African American caregiver-child (ages 7–13) dyads was collected including family demographics and the Family Assessment Device General Functioning (FAD_GF) scale. Confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to determine the minimal number of FAD_GF items (12 vs. 6 items) that were valid and reliable. The 12-item FAD_GF and the 6-item scale had acceptable psychometric properties, and the 6-item measure demonstrated improved model fit over the 12-item scale and identified more clinically impaired families (6-item: 28% vs. 12-item: 23%). The 6-item measure of family functioning was more sensitive 12-item FAD_GF. This brief measure may prove useful for identifying and assessing African American families.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10591-021-09604-7
       
  • National Guard Couples Communicating During Deployment: The Challenge of
           Effective Connection

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      Abstract: Abstract Communication during a combat deployment has changed significantly in current times. Couples can now communicate with each other frequently and through multiple modes. Despite this greater availability of communication options, there remain unanswered questions related to how healthy deployment communication is best achieved between couples, particularly regarding navigating the uncertainty of deployment. In this qualitative study, we report on the experiences of 31 National Guard couples who endured a combat deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Couples were interviewed three months after the soldier returned from deployment. Through the lens of relational turbulence theory, we provide a conceptual framework related to effective and non-effective deployment communication, along with structural communication barriers in the military that may negatively affect the mental well-being of partners. Finally, we provide recommendations to guide couples through these difficult deployments.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10591-021-09588-4
       
  • Investigating the Structural Model of the Relationship Between
           Self-Compassion and Psychological Hardiness with Family Cohesion in Women
           with War-Affected Spouses: The Mediating Role of Self-Worth

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      Abstract: Abstract The present study was conducted to investigate the structural model of the relationship between self-compassion and psychological hardiness with family cohesion about the mediating role of self-worth among women with war-affected spouses. The research method was descriptive and correlational. The statistical population comprised all women with war-affected spouses in Mashhad city (Iran) in 2019. Out of 1250 war-affected spouses, 294 were selected as the sample through voluntary and convenience sampling based on Morgan’s table. To measure the variables, Olson’s Family Cohesion Scale (1999), Neff’s Self-Compassion Scale (Neff, Self and Identity 2:223–250, 2003), Contingencies of Self-Worth Scale by Crocker et al. (Crocker et al., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 85:894–908, 2003) and Kobasa’s Psychological Hardiness Questionnaire-Short Form (Kobasa, Sander (ed), Social psychology of health and illness, Erbium, Hillsdale, 1982) were used. For data analysis, Pearson correlation tests and path analysis were used. The results demonstrated that self-compassion and psychological hardiness were directly related to family cohesion, and self-compassion and psychological hardiness indirectly affected family cohesion through self-worth and each of the components of self-compassion and psychological hardiness had a significant positive relationship with family cohesion. Based on the findings of this study, it can be concluded that the relationship between self-compassion and psychological hardiness with family cohesion is not simple and linear, and self-worth may mediate this relationship.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10591-021-09579-5
       
 
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