Normal Family Processes, Second Edition

Front Cover
Froma Walsh
Guilford Publications, Jun 1, 1993 - Psychology - 511 pages
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Over the past decade, social changes have redefined the boundaries of "normal family life," calling for a reexamination of assumptions, both explicit and implicit, embedded in our cultural and clinical beliefs. Offering groundbreaking perspectives from leading clinical educators and researchers, this second edition of a classic work addresses the vast diversity of family forms, life challenges, and value systems in our rapidly changing society. The first edition of NORMAL FAMILY PROCESSES is recognized as a milestone in the clinical literature. Completely updated and expanded, this volume continues its pioneering work, covering the current concepts of family functioning and frameworks for assessment and treatment.

The book opens with a comprehensive overview of recent conceptual advances regarding normal family functioning. Bridging clinical and social science perspectives, Dr. Walsh places the consideration of normality into a sociohistorical perspective, reminding us that families in our society have always been diverse, and that our idealized model of the "normal family" may have blinded us to the potential for healthy functioning in a variety of family arrangements. Several leading family systems investigators then present state-of-the-art research models that delineate attributes of well-functioning families, discuss the efficacy of numerous clinical assessment instruments, and propose questions and suggestions for guiding intervention and future research.

Addressing the diversity of contemporary family functioning patterns, the following two parts focus on family structure, sociocultural context, and developmental context. Chapters cover the challenges faced by dual-earner, single-parent, and gay and lesbian families, as well as normative processes in divorced, remarried, and adoptive families. and lesbian couples and their families. A broad, cross-cultural perspective on family normality is presented, with consideration given to ethnic differences, the impact of social class and race, and changing gender norms. Normal challenges in the family life cycle are explored, as are the stresses of serious illness on family functioning. The book concludes with an examination of the impact of social policy for families and recommendations for supporting healthy family functioning.

Bringing an important work completely up to date, the second edition of NORMAL FAMILY PROCESSES is an excellent basic text for the education and clinical training of a wide range of mental health professionals and social scientists concerned with healthy family functioning. An invaluable sourcebook for clinicians and researchers alike, it provides a means to compare and utilize leading assessment models; to develop new concepts, assessment tools, and intervention strategies; and to inform all family research, policy, and practice.

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About the author (1993)

Froma Walsh, PhD, is Professor in the School of Social Service Administration and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago. She is also the founding Codirector of the University-based Center for Family Health and its affiliated family therapy training institute, the Chicago Center for Family Health. She is the Editor of the Journal of Marital & Family Therapy, past president of the American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA), recipient of AFTA's Award for Distinguished Contribution to Family Therapy Theory and Practice, and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. Her edited or coedited publications include Normal Family Processes, Second Edition; Women in Families; Living Beyond Loss; and a forthcoming book on spirituality and family therapy.

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