Applying Critical Social Theories to Family Therapy Practice

  • Teresa¬†McDowell

Part of the AFTA SpringerBriefs in Family Therapy book series (BRIEFSFAT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XV
  2. Teresa McDowell
    Pages 13-24
  3. Teresa McDowell
    Pages 25-34
  4. Teresa McDowell
    Pages 35-43
  5. Teresa McDowell
    Pages 53-66

About this book


This volume applies critical social theories to family therapy practice, using sociopolitical context for a clearer focus on the power dynamics of couple and family relationships. Its decolonizing approach to therapy is shown countering the pervasive cultural themes that grant privilege to specific groups over others, feeding unequal and oppressive relationships that bring families and couples to treatment. Therapy is shown here as a layered and nuanced process, with practitioners developing an ethical human rights perspective toward their work as they aid clients in negotiating for greater justice and equity in their relationships. The book bridges theory and practice by giving readers these essential tools:

  • Strategies for asking clients about social class.
  • A framework for understanding gender issues within the larger patriarchy.
  • Guidelines for relating concepts of race and class in therapy.
  • Structure for creating the family cartography.
  • Ways to utilize a queer perspective in therapy.
  • Illustrative case examples throughout.

Breaking new ground in family therapy, Applying Critical Social Theories to Family Therapy Practice challenges social workers, social work researchers, therapists, and psychologists to push beyond current ideas of social awareness and cultural competence toward truly liberatory client-centered practice.


Critical Race Theory Family Therapy in Practice Feminist Family Therapy Feminist Social Theory Gender Roles Neo-Marxist Social Theory Queering Family Therapy Race in Family Therapy Structural Family Therapy

Authors and affiliations

  • Teresa¬†McDowell
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Ed. & Counseling Dept of Counseling PsychologyLewis & Clark CollegePortlandUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information American Family Therapy Academy 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Behavioral Science
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-15632-3
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-15633-0
  • Series Print ISSN 2196-5528
  • Series Online ISSN 2196-5536
  • Buy this book on publisher's site