Fortress Press

Couples in Conflict: A Family Systems Approach to Marriage Counseling

Couples in Conflict

A Family Systems Approach to Marriage Counseling

Ronald W. Richardson (Author)


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Perhaps no single issue is of greater importance for families in Western culture than the one of marital conflict. When couples fail to successfully negotiate the emotional difficulties of their relationship, it can lead either to years of unhappiness within the marriage or to the breakdown of the marriage and to divorce. Unhappy couples negatively affect their families and even their communities.

Couples in Conflict describes the nature of the emotional process leading to marital difficulties and how a minister or counselor can be a resource to help couples in conflict. The minister/counselor will be able to help them improve their lives personally, as well as their relationship and family life. By extension, couples will also develop skills that will improve their work life and their life in the community. The book provides practical and specific approaches to helping these couples and the issues that a minister must deal with in order to be useful to them.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800696283
  • eBook ISBN 9781451417746
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 272
  • Publication Date October 1, 2010


"Richardson does an intriguing pastoral integration of Murray Bowen's family systems approach to counseling couples in conflict with superb clinical illustrations. His writing reflects clear scholarship and pastoral and psychological wisdom."
—Merle Jordan
Professor of Pastoral Psychogy Emeritus
Boston University School of Theology

"Richardson is thorough in his description of Bowen family systems theory and its use in marital counseling. His use of case material makes the theory come alive, illustrating the practical application of the theory. He challenges pastors and others doing marital counseling to rethink their assumptions and role, providing an alternative model that is both authentic and effective. An excellent resource for anyone working with couples in conflict."
—Teresa E. Snorton
Executive Director
Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.

"Richardson has written a supremely practical, theory–rich book—subtly theological yet full of down–to–earth protocols for what the counselor can do and when to do it. A fine theoretical introduction for the beginner and a practical manual for the person already versed in Bowen theory."
—Brian Grant
AAPC Diplomate
AAMFT Approved Supervisor
Professor Emeritus at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis
HSPP Psychologist

"Ron Richardson's newest book offers a clear, straightforward guide to pastors who want to use a Bowen family systems approach to working with conflicted couples. His experience and wisdom are evident throughout as he describes the theory and practice of this approach and then methodically walks the reader through the entire counseling process. Since pastors often have to deal with couples in distress, this is a significant contribution to the pastoral counseling literature."
—Christie Cozad Neuger
Senior Scholar in Pastoral Care and Director of the Institute for the Support of Pastoral Ministries
United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, New Brighton, Minnesota