Therapeutic Alliances with Families

Empowering Clients in Challenging Cases

  • Valentín Escudero
  • Myrna L. Friedlander

Part of the Focused Issues in Family Therapy book series (FIFT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Valentín Escudero, Myrna L. Friedlander
    Pages 1-35
  3. Valentín Escudero, Myrna L. Friedlander
    Pages 37-54
  4. Valentín Escudero, Myrna L. Friedlander
    Pages 55-81
  5. Valentín Escudero, Myrna L. Friedlander
    Pages 83-98
  6. Valentín Escudero, Myrna L. Friedlander
    Pages 127-155
  7. Valentín Escudero, Myrna L. Friedlander
    Pages 157-180
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 181-229

About this book


This practical breakthrough introduces a robust framework for family and couples therapy specifically designed for working with difficult, entrenched, and court-mandated situations. Using an original model (the System for Observing Family Therapy Alliances, or SOFTA) suitable to therapists across theoretical lines, the authors detail special challenges, empirically-supported strategies, and alliance-building interventions organized around common types of ongoing couple and family conflicts. Copious case examples illustrate how therapists can empower family members to discover their agency, find resources to address tough challenges, and especially repair their damaged relationships. These guidelines also show how to work effectively within multiple relationships in a family without compromising therapist focus, client individuality, or client safety.

Included in the coverage:

  • Using the therapeutic alliance to empower couples and families
  • Couples’ cross-complaints
  • Engaging reluctant adolescents…and their parents
  • Parenting in isolation, with or without a partner
  • Child maltreatment: creating therapeutic alliances with survivors of relational trauma
  • Disadvantaged, multi-stressed families: adrift in a sea of professional helpers
  • Empowering through the alliance: a practical formulation
Therapeutic Alliances with Families offers powerful new tools for social workers, mental health professionals, and practitioners working in couple and family therapy cases with reluctant clients and seeking specific, practical case examples and resources for alliance-related interventions.         


Therapeutic alliance Working alliance Resistance Unwilling clients Mandated clients Child maltreatment Multi-stressed families High conflict couples High conflict families

Authors and affiliations

  • Valentín Escudero
    • 1
  • Myrna L. Friedlander
    • 2
  1. 1.University of A CoruñaA CoruñaSpain
  2. 2.University at Albany/SUNYAlbanyUSA

Bibliographic information