Chronically warring couples, children used as pawns, spouses who prolong the moment of separation-these are the components of the "difficult divorce." Although families caught in these dilemmas are familiar to every therapist, most divorce therapies either focus too much on the adults' conflicts or stress the children's plight without helping the parents reorganize their lives. Drawing on the authors' longitudinal Families of Divorce Project, this superb clinical book presents for the first time an empirically tested approach that goes beyond these limits.The authors found that both children and adults fare best when the spouses learn to control their anger and focus on their children's welfare. By integrating family-therapy principles and individual dynamics, they have devised a unique method of face-to-face problem solving, sometimes with the entire family, often in sessions with individual members, to help restore parental responsibility and to realign relationships within the divorcing family. Therapy of the Difficult Divorce is authoritative, humane, and above all practical. It will be welcomed by all therapists as the classic guide to treating families of divorce.
Marla Beth Isaacs, Ph.D., was the founder and director of the Families of Divorce Project at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic where the work of this book was conducted. She was the lead investigator on a study of the impact of divorce on children, and she has authored numerous publications on this subject. She appears on national television and has lectured widely throughout the country. Dr. Isaacs currently teaches forensic psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Associated Faculty of the School of Medicine. She maintains a forensic and psychotherapy practice, working with adults and children. Braulio Montalvo, M.A., is a pioneer in the field of family therapy. He was the recipient of the 1994 Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to theory and practice, awarded by the American Family Therapy Academy. He is co-author, along with Salvador Minuchin, of the classic book Families of the Slums, and was instrumental in developing the first family therapy video library at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic. He currently consults to physicians and therapists who are working with traumatized veterans and their families and to biomedical providers who are helping families with infants born at high risk. David Abelsohn, Ph.D., is the former director of Psychology Training at the Child Guidance Center of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He lives with his family in suburban Philadelphia, where he has a private practice in individual, couples, and family psychotherapy.