The Couple and Family Technology Framework
Intimate Relationships in a Digital Age
Routledge – 2014 – 234 pages
Couples and families worldwide have a constant electronic connection to others, a fact that is influencing the concerns and issues they bring to therapy. The authors of this resource help mental health practitioners to better deal with concerns such as online infidelity, online dating, internet addictions, cyber bulling, and many more by introducing the Couple and Family Technology (CFT) framework, a multi-theoretical approach that doesn’t require clinicians to change their preferred clinical approach.
The CFT framework acknowledges the ways in which couples navigate their relationship with technology and a partner simultaneously, and it attends to, and in some cases incorporates the role of technology in therapeutic ways. Included in the authors’ discussion of how different technologies affect relationships is
• a survey of what individuals’ motivations of usage are
• an examination of the specific issues that emerge in treatment
• a study of the risks particularly relevant to intimate relationships, and
• an introduction of the first-ever technology-based genogram.
They also examine technological usage across different developmental points in a couple’s lifespan, with attention given throughout to people from various cultural backgrounds.
Along with the CFT framework, the authors also introduce a new discipline of family research: Couple and Family Technology. This discipline integrates three broad perspectives in family science and helps therapists maintain a systemic focus in assessing and treating couples where issues of the Internet and new media are problematic. Online resources can be accessed by purchasers of the book and include videos, additional case studies, glossary, and forms.
"This groundbreaking book is very well written and comprehensive in its conceptualization. It is a must-read for couple and family therapists who work in the 21st century." - Volker Thomas, PhD, LMFT, Associate Professor and Coordinator, Couple and Family Therapy Program, The University of Iowa; Editor, Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy
"Couple and family therapists wake up and enter the 21st century! If you think that technology is not going to come into your office, you are absolutely wrong! This book attests to the entrance of 21st century technology in your office. If you think for one moment that you can continue to work and possibly help couples and families using the traditional face-to-face, talk-based approach, you are wrong. If you want to enter and join the present century and update your online therapeutic skills, then this is the book for you…You will not be able to practice in this century without it." - Luciano L'Abate, PhD, ABEPP, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Georgia State University
"Hertlein and Blumer have provided an accessible and workable approach to assisting couples and families in improving their relationships and lives while still being able to benefit from the advantages of technology." - Craig W. Smith, Director of the Medical Family Therapy Program in the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, PsycCRITIQUES
1. Couple and Family Technology: The Emergence of a New Discipline 2. The Basics of Online Coupling 3. Issues E-merging in Couple Life 4. The Couple and Family Technology Framework 5. Ecological Influences on the Couple System 6. The Interactional Nature of Structure and Function 7. Assessment in the CFT Framework 8. Treatment of Internet-Based Problems Through the CFT Framework 9. Toward a Developmentally Diverse E-Couple Lifespan 10. Technology, Risks, and Relationships Appendices.
Katherine M. Hertlein, PhD, is an associate professor and program director of the Marriage and Family Therapy program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Markie L. C. Blumer, PhD, is an assistant professor and the Delta Kappa (International Marriage and Family Therapy Honor Society) Zeta chapter faculty advisor in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.