Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Conjoint Couple and Family Therapy

  • Ronald ChenailEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_574


Conjoint couple and family therapy refers to couples and families treatment wherein the clinician sees two or more family members in the same session simultaneously. Conjoint treatment differs from collaborative approaches (i.e., different therapists who collaborate on the treatment see individual family members separately) or concomitant approaches (i.e., one therapist sees members of the families separately in individual sessions). All three approaches may be employed in the same case depending on the presenting problem or treatment process.

Prominent Associated Figures

In 1959, Donald Jackson first used the term “conjoint family therapy” and Virginia Satir produced the first conjoint family therapy book in 1964 (Olson 1970).

Theoretical Framework

Therapists use a conjoint approach when they want to focus on the relationship between a couple or among family members. From a relational perspective, the therapist theorizes the family or couple as a system in which...

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  1. Olson, D. H. (1970). Marital and family therapy: Integrative review and critique. Journal of Marriage and Family, 32(4), 501–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Sprenkle, D. H. (2012). Intervention research in couple and family therapy: A methodological and substantive review and an introduction to the special issue. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38(1), 3–29.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1752-0606.2011.00271.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Rachel Diamond
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Saint JosephWest HarfordUSA