Innovative Skills to Increase Cohesion and Communication in Couples
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Couples who enter therapy often view the endeavor as a last-ditch effort before seeking legal services, filing for divorce, and parting ways for good. Given this mentality at the outset, couples therapy is not always successful or enjoyable--for either the client or the therapist. It is also an area of practice that is often given short shrift in training programs that predominantly focus on clinical skills in working with children and adolescents, group work, practice in specific settings, and assessment and treatment of mental disorders. Innovative Skills to Increase Cohesion and Communication in Couples discusses evidence-based clinical techniques and skills that support and nurture couples in their relationship. Each chapter begins with a succinct overview of a technique, evidence that supports it, and ideas for assessment to ensure that it is appropriate for the couple. Subsequent sections of each chapter provide clear examples of approaches so that new or seasoned clinicians will have the requisite knowledge for effective implementation, required materials, suitable locations for use, and personal preparation. The text serves as an essential resource to clinicians and social work, counseling, or psychology students and professors.

Julie Anne Laser-Maira, PhD, LCSW, MSW, is both a clinician of experiential therapy and Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. Additionally, she researches the efficacy of experiential therapy in hopes of increasing its stature as a mainstream clinical intervention for children, youth, families, and couples. Laser-Maira's clinical expertise is in working with military families, PTSD and trauma focused therapy, parenting issues, child and adolescent healthy development, couples therapy, adolescent substance abuse, working with human trafficking victims, and well-being throughout the life cycle. Laser-Maira's overarching research focus is on resiliency, particularly the relevance of specific ecological and internal protective and risk factors by culture and gender.

Nicole Nicotera, PhD, LICSW, MSW, is Professor in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. She is the coordinator of the clinical skills training and mind-body courses for the MSW program, and she teaches mixed methods research for the PhD program. Nicotera's research foci include promoting well-being across the life span, trauma-informed mindfulness practices, and civic engagement. Her clinical practice experience spans work with youth and families, including experiential therapy with youth, family-youth groups, and couples.