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Handbook of Systemic Approaches to Psychotherapy Manuals

Integrating Research, Practice, and Training

  • Book
  • © 2021


  • Describes the history, value, and controversies of manuals
  • Examines manual use to guide and support systemic couples and family therapies
  • Explores experiences in creating manuals as well as identifies research issues related to their clinical use and evaluation
  • Reports on experiences with internationally established manuals, formulations of innovative practices by their founders, and specifications of training programs

Part of the book series: European Family Therapy Association Series (EFTAS)

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About this book

This handbook examines the development and use of manuals to guide and support systemic couples and family therapies. It addresses the process of manualizing, providing a secure base for therapist creativity rather than delineating prescriptive procedures. The volume addresses therapist and trainer concerns by demonstrating the value of sufficiently articulating clinical and teaching models to inform colleagues of what actually occurs during therapy. The book describes the history, value, and controversies of manuals. In addition, it explores issues and experiences in the creation of manuals, identifies research issues related to the use and evaluation of manuals, and addresses training as a context for the application of treatment manuals.

Key areas of coverage include:

  • Reports of experiences with major, internationally established manuals, formulations of innovative practices by their developers, and specifications of training programs.
  • Discussion of the various formats of manuals, demonstrating their benefit and transportability across different contexts.
  • Surveys of a broad selection of manuals, creating a flexible and diversified concept of what forms manuals may take.
  • Essential guidance for using manuals, which is an indispensable step for the field to progress and to claim to health resource commissioning, governments and insurance agencies that the systemic practice is evidence based and effective.

The Handbook of Systemic Approaches to Psychotherapy Manuals is an essential resource for researchers, professors, and graduate students as well as clinicians and related therapists and professionals in clinical psychology, family studies, public health, social work, psychotherapy, child and adolescent psychology and all interrelated disciplines.

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Table of contents (34 chapters)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Iscra, Institute of Systemic and Relational Psychotherapy, Modena, Italy

    Mauro Mariotti

  • Emeritus Professor of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, USA

    George Saba

  • Emeritus Professor of Family Therapy, Leeds Family Therapy and Research Centre, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

    Peter Stratton

About the editors

Mauro Mariotti, M.D., is a child psychiatrist, psychiatrist, and psychotherapist. He is the former Director of the Departments of Child and Maternal Health of Reggio Emilia and Child Psychiatry of Modena. He was a professor at University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. He is the Director of Institute of Systemic and Relational Psychotherapy (ISCRA) of Modena and Cesena. He founded the international association of systemic mediation. He is the past president of Italians society of research and systemic therapy, founded by Luigi Boscolo and Gianfranco cecchin. He is the author and editor of 12 books on psychotherapy, child psychology and psychiatry, and family and founder of the Journal Maieutica. He is a board member of the European Family Therapy Association. He was also a member of the Italian Society of Psychology and Relational Psychotherapy (SIPPR) research board for which he served as coordinator and as Secretary for 8 years during the Presidency of Gianfranco Cecchin.Heserved as secretary also for the European Society of Family Mediation and he is active as court expert on children and family matters.

George Saba, Ph.D., is a systemic family therapist and a clinical and counseling psychologist with a broad scope of research, training, and clinical interests in systemic and relational care. He has been a behavioral science faculty member in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, since 1983. For the past 30 years, he has served as the Director of Behavioral Sciences and the Associate Program Director at the Family and Community Medicine Residency. His clinical research has involved evaluating a systemic model of therapy for bulimia, substance use, chronic illness, and a relational oriented family medicine. His communication research has explored the physician-patient-family interaction in primary care. His educational research has included evaluating training models for systemic physicians, curriculum development and faculty development. He was the founding Associate Editor of the Journal of Family Psychology. He has developed a manual for the training of systemic physicians in a three-year family medicine residency program. He has served on numerous editorial boards, including Families, Systems and Health, Zeitschrifft Fur Systemische Therapie; Journal of Strategic and Systemic Therapies, and Journal of Families and Addictions and is an ad hoc reviewer for multiple journals. He was the lead editor of Minorities and Family Therapy, which was published as a special journal issue, a hardcover book, and a classroom text. He is a member of the UCSF Academy of Medical Educators. He was awarded Endowed Chair of Community Medicine from 2006-2016; since 2016 he has held the Endowed Chair in Teaching Primary Care. He received UCSF’s Excellence and Innovation in Graduate Medical Education in 2018 for his lifetime’s work in the education of health care professionals.

Peter Stratton, BSc, Ph.D., Dip Psychotherapy, FBPsS., is a systemic family therapist and developmental psychologist with broad research interests and involvement in statutory processes that affect families. His research includes development of an outcome measure for families in therapy (the SCORE project); the effects of basing training on concepts of active learning and the dialogical construction of self; the relationships of humour and creativity during psychotherapy; attributional analyses of family causal beliefs and blaming; public attitudes to terrorism by combining attributional coding with metaphor analysis. Joint Editor of Human Systems: The Journal of Therapy, Consultation and Training; Joint Editor of the EFTA-Springer Book series; Chair of EFTA Research Committee and Relate Research Advisory Group. Recently: Academic and Research Development Officer for the Association for Family Therapy;  Chair of the  UKCP ResearchFaculty and a member of the CAMHS Outcomes and Evaluations, the CYP-IAPT Critical Friends. Founding Director of Leeds Family Therapy & Research Centre and Managing Director of The Psychology Business Ltd. He led the teams that developed the Leeds Attributional Coding System (LACS) and The Leeds Systemic Family Therapy Manual and chaired the UK Skills for Health team that developed the specification of the competences of systemic psychotherapists. In 2013, his contributions to psychotherapy research were recognised with an award by EFTA and an Honorary Fellowship of UKCP.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Handbook of Systemic Approaches to Psychotherapy Manuals

  • Book Subtitle: Integrating Research, Practice, and Training

  • Editors: Mauro Mariotti, George Saba, Peter Stratton

  • Series Title: European Family Therapy Association Series

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Behavioral Science and Psychology, Behavioral Science and Psychology (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-73639-2Published: 18 February 2022

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-73642-2Published: 19 February 2023

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-73640-8Published: 17 February 2022

  • Series ISSN: 2569-877X

  • Series E-ISSN: 2569-8796

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVIII, 644

  • Number of Illustrations: 22 b/w illustrations, 33 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Clinical Psychology, Family, Public Health

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