Higher Education

Mastering Competencies in Family Therapy: A Practical Approach to Theory and Clinical Case Documentation, 2nd Edition

  • Diane R. Gehart California State University, Northridge
  • ISBN-10: 1285075420  |  ISBN-13: 9781285075426
  • 688 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2010
  • © 2014 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $95.25
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Now in its Second Edition, MASTERING COMPETENCIES IN FAMILY THERAPY: A PRACTICAL APPROACH TO THEORY AND CLINICAL CASE DOCUMENTATION is one of the first textbooks designed to teach the majority of skills and knowledge outlined in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Core Competencies. Using a light and inviting tone, author Diane R. Gehart engages students while providing a comprehensive five-step model for competent treatment. The model guides students in case conceptualization, clinical assessment (diagnosis) and case management, treatment planning, evaluation of progress, and documentation. The book also includes an introduction to the importance of theory and evidence-based practice in all five steps, and a set of useful clinical forms that can be applied in practice environments. Available with InfoTracĀ® Student Collections http://gocengage.com/infotrac.

Features and Benefits

  • The book is designed to teach the majority of skills and knowledge outlined in the AAMFT Core Competencies (70 of the 128 competencies); an estimated 70% of these skills are likely to overlap with the forthcoming general counseling ACA/CACREP competencies.
  • The design of the book allows you to easily measure students' mastery of competencies and learning outcomes, which are now required for both university and professional accrediting bodies. To this end, the author provides related assignments and rubrics.
  • The book incorporates both traditional marriage and family therapy theories as well as newer evidenced-based therapies. Rather than presenting these theories in the traditional historical fashion, theories are introduced from a practical perspective: how does it look in the therapy room?
  • A comprehensive set of clinical forms, incorporated into the text, can be used in practice environments, either in university training clinics or community agencies.

Table of Contents

1. Competency and Theory in Family Therapy.
2. Research and Ethical Foundations of Family Therapy Theories.
3. Philosophical Foundations of Family Therapy Theories.
4. Systemic and Strategic Therapies.
5. Structural Family Therapy.
6. Experiential Family Therapies.
7. Intergenerational and Psychoanalytic Family Therapies.
8. Cognitive-Behavioral and Mindfulness-Based Couple and Family Therapies.
9. Solution-Based Therapies.
10. Collaborative and Narrative Therapies.
11. Evidence-Based Treatments in Couple and Family Therapy.
12. Evidence-Based Group Treatments for Couples and Families.
13. Case Conceptualization.
14. Clinical Assessment.
15. Treatment Planning.
16. Evaluating Progress in Therapy.
17. Document It: Progress Notes.

What's New

  • Practical, Significantly Expanded Diversity Sections: Diversity sections in each theory chapter now include applications of the theory with specific populations. Expanded discussions provide detailed suggestions, adaptations, and cautions for using a given theory with a specific population. Theory populations covered include African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans/First Nation/Aboriginals, biracial/multiethnic individuals, gay men, lesbians, and transgendered youth. Each chapter also discusses ethnic/racial diversity and sexual identity diversity.
  • New Organization: Based on feedback from instructors, the text has been reorganized to discuss theories before case documentation.
  • New Chapters on Evidence-Based Treatments: A new chapter on evidence-based treatments with couples and families (Chapter 11) covers emotionally focused couples therapy and functional family therapy. In addition, the chapter on group approaches (Chapter 12) now focuses on evidence-based group treatments for couples and families.
  • Internal Family Systems: The experiential chapter (Chapter 6) now includes a section on the internal family systems model of family therapy.
  • Treatment Plan Templates: In addition, the treatment plan template has been revised to more directly infuse considerations of diversity. Each theory now includes treatment plan templates for use with individuals struggling with depression or anxiety, and a template for working with couples and families who are reporting relational conflict. These templates better enable therapists to develop thoughtful, theory-based treatment plans for their clients.
  • Theory-Specific Case Conceptualization Templates: Each theory chapter now includes a theory-specific case conceptualization outline that students and therapists can use to develop case conceptualizations using a single theory.
  • Revised Case Conceptualization Form: The cross-theoretical case conceptualization form has been revised to be more succinct and easier to use with individuals, couples, and families. In addition, attachment patterns are now included along with more prompts to help students more easily complete the assignment.
  • Expanded Research Discussions: Chapter 2 and each of the theory chapters present an updated and expanded discussion of relevant research.
  • Expanded Discussion of Law and Ethics: A significantly expanded discussion of legal and ethical issues in family therapy includes unique ethnical issues for couple and family work as well as a discussion of contemporary issues in the field.
  • InfoTracĀ® Student Collections are specialized databases expertly drawn from the Gale Academic One library. Each InfoTracĀ® Student Collection enhances the student learning experience in the specific course area related to the product. These specialized databases allow access to hundreds of scholarly and popular publications - all reliable sources - including journals, encyclopedias, and academic reports. Learn more and access at: http://gocengage.com/infotrac.

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    List Price = $133.00  | CengageBrain Price = $133.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $133.00
  • Mastering Competencies in Family Therapy: A Practical Approach to Theory and Clinical Case Documentation
    List Price = $126.95  | CengageBrain Price = $126.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $95.25

Efficacy and Outcomes


"I attribute my basis of knowledge and a comprehension of the theories to your excellent book. I even took your advice of refraining from reading fiction for a full two years. I loved that you wrote your book in a casual tone, and I love that you invited readers into the field. Your permission/invitation to us the reader fall in love with the theories completely transformed how I did school. I don't recall ever reading such a personal and comfortably written textbook in any of my past academic experiences."

— Sherri Jacobs, MS, LMFT, MA, ATR, Friends University


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Online Instructor's Manual  (ISBN-10: 1285175263 | ISBN-13: 9781285175263)

Online Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 1285175344 | ISBN-13: 9781285175348)

Online Test Bank for MASTERING COMPETENCIES IN FAMILY THERAPY: A PRACTICAL APPROACH TO THEORY AND CLINICAL CASE DOCUMENTATION, 2nd Edition INSTRUCTOR DESCRIPTION: For assessment support, the updated test bank includes true/false, multiple-choice, matching, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Diane R. Gehart

Dr. Diane R. Gehart is a Professor in the Marriage, Family, and Couple Counseling Program at California State University, Northridge. Having taught and supervised students in counseling and family therapy for 20 years, she has authored numerous books, including MINDFULNESS AND ACCEPTANCE IN COUPLE AND FAMILY THERAPY, THE COMPLETE COUNSELING ASSESSMENT SYSTEM, MASTERING COMPETENCIES IN FAMILY THERAPY, THEORY AND TREATMENT PLANNING IN COUNSELING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY, and THE COMPLETE MFT CORE COMPETENCY ASSESSMENT SYSTEM. She is also co-editor of COLLABORATIVE THERAPY: RELATIONSHIPS AND CONVERSATIONS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE and co-author of THEORY-BASED TREATMENT PLANNING FOR MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS. Her two newest books are forthcoming: THEORY AND TREATMENT PLANNING IN FAMILY THERAPY and CASE DOCUMENTATION IN COUNSELING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY. Dr. Gehart has written on postmodern therapies, mindfulness, mental health recovery, sexual abuse treatment, gender issues, children and adolescents, client advocacy, qualitative research, and education in family therapy. She speaks internationally, having conducted workshops to professional and general audiences in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Mexico. Her work has been featured in newspapers, radio shows, and television worldwide. She is an associate faculty member at three international post-graduate training institutes: the Taos Institute, Houston Galveston Institute, and the Marburg Institute for Collaborative Studies in Germany. Additionally, she is an active leader in state and national professional organizations. She maintains a private practice in Agoura Hills, California, specializing in couples, families, trauma, life transitions, and difficult-to-treat cases.