Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Collaboration with Clients in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Donna BaptisteEmail author
  • Trang Nguyen
  • Kesha Burch
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_173

Name of Concept

Collaboration in couple and family therapy


In psychotherapy, collaboration refers to a philosophical stance or framework as well as a broad range of strategies that therapists use to build alliances, engender trust, converse with clients, and engage them in their recovery (Kazantzis and Kellis 2012). In couple and family therapy, collaboration involves forging alliances with each member of the dyad or family, and with the whole system, while respecting developmental hierarchies and boundaries. Collaboration can be considered to be a framework guiding therapy as well as a common therapeutic factor. For example, postmodern scholars Harlene Anderson and Harry Goolishian developed Collaborative therapy, a framework that encourages therapists to co-create the therapy process with families through dialogue (Anderson 2007). Therapeutic conversations integrate values around therapist-family co-equality, therapist attunement to clients’ worldviews, and...

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  1. Anderson, H. (2007). The heart and spirit of collaborative therapy: The philosophical stance – “A way of being” in relationship and conversation. In H. Anderson & D. Gehart (Eds.), Collaborative therapy: Relationships and conversations that make a difference (pp. 43–59). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Kazantzis, N., & Kellis, E. (2012). A special feature on collaboration in psychotherapy. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68(2), 133–135.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kelley Quirk
    • 1
  • Adam Fisher
    • 2
  1. 1.Human Development and Family StudiesColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA