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Social Work with Families

Content and Process

Robert Constable and Daniel Lee

Publication Date - 01 May 2015

ISBN: 9780190656416

372 pages

In Stock


Social Work with Families illustrates how social work practice can identify, utilize, build upon, and reinforce the unique strengths of families to help family systems become more effective in the face of certain challenges. Constable and Lee integrate the most recent developments in theory, technique, and research into the century-old tradition of social work practice with families and couples. They have developed a clear, flexible, strengths-based approach that accommodates family and individual intervention and multiple methodologies, as well as the social institutional contexts in which social workers practice. This new edition focuses on the current trends in family therapy and explores the possibilities of broadening the scope of services that social workers can provide to families and couples in all settings.

New to this Edition

  • Relects recent clinical trial research on couples' and family interventions
  • Incorporates family life education, broadening the focus into newly developing areas with greater potential for sustainable practice


  • Employs a transcultural perspective that assumes cultural diversity as a constant reality of current family practice and provides a bridge for working with couples and families in diverse cultures
  • Presents case studies of situations which involve the reader and make the content both teachable and, at the same time, open to different interpretations of the complexity of family life
  • Develops theory and practice for work with families in different fields of practice such as school social work, health care, mental health, the judicial system, child welfare and more

About the Author(s)

Robert Constable (MSW, Loyola University Chicago; DSW, University of Pennsylvania) is professor emeritus in the School of Social Work at Loyola University in Chicago. In addition to his work in academia, he has practiced with families in various settings and in private practice for more than forty years. Professor Constable has published extensively in social work with families, school social work, and in values and ethics in social work.

Daniel B. Lee (MSW, Florida State University; DSW, University of Utah) is professor emeritus in the School of Social Work at Loyola University in Chicago. He has been a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy since 1972. Professor Lee is the founder of the Transcultural Family Institute and co-founder and former president of the Global Awareness Society International and is currently a member of the journal editorial board of NACSW.


Constable and Lee do a masterful job of clearly presenting traditoinal family therapy theories and intervention techniques.... Based on a transcultural approach to understanding behavior in family constellations, this book successfully makes a case for assessment and intervention adopting family therapy approaches. --Social Development Issues

...Social Work with Families, by Robert Constable and Daniel B. Lee, advances family-centered social work practice for the 21st century. In this updated version of their earlier volume, they deconstruct, integrate, and synthesize core approaches and present evidence-based practices in soical wokr practice with families. But unlike a traditional text that provides analytic and integrative frames based solely on the work of other theorists and disciplines, Constable and Lee advance practice by drawing on their own key frameworks such as building family solidarity and relationship justice. --Journal of Teaching in Social Work

"Constable and Lee do a masterful job of clearly presenting traditional family therapy theories and intervention techniques... Using this book as a tool to supplement lectures and practice exercises in the classroom would improve the understanding of advanced students interested in social work practice with families." --Social Development Issues

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: The Strengths of Families and the Practice of Social Work
    Chapter 2: The Relational Person: Differentiation, Attachment, Interdependence
    Chapter 3: The Family Life Cycle, Relational Tasks, Language and Communication
    Chapter 4: Family Interaction and Structure
    Chapter 5: Assessment and Intervention with Families in a Multicultural World
    Chapter 6: Beginning Phases with Couples: Process and Theory
    Chapter 7: Middle Phases with Couples
    Chapter 8: Beginnings and Middle Phases with Families of Two or
    More Generations
    Chapter 9: Radical Family Reconstruction: Toward Middle-Phase Work
    Chapter 10: Working Between Families and Outside Social Institutions: Schools, Child Welfare and the Juvenile Court
    Chapter 11: Working Between Families and Outside Social Institutions: Health Care, Mental Health and Community Resource Networks
    Chapter 12: Ending Processes with Families and Evaluation

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