Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Canadian Scholars’ Press
192 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
May 2015
Print ISBN: 9781551307176
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Forthcoming New Edition in Spring 2020


This accessible manual provides both students and health and human services professionals with a wealth of information about the issues and challenges facing families. Drawing from clinical and sociological perspectives and employing an empowerment approach, Spindel provides practical strategies for promoting resilience and positive family functioning.

The chapters cover a wide spectrum of topics, including diverse family structures, healthy and unhealthy forms of communication, family culture and beliefs, couple dynamics, addiction, and developmental and psychiatric disabilities. The book also pays special attention to military families, the effects of violence and trauma, and professional ethics and self-care.

Working with Families is an indispensable resource for students of social services, child and youth work, and early childhood education, as well as for faculty and practitioners in the helping professions.

Related Titles

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: The Changing Structure of Families
Chapter 2: Building on Family Strengths and Promoting Resilience
Chapter 3: Developmental Stages in Families
Chapter 4: Family Communication Styles and Couple Dynamics
Chapter 5: Family Roles, Diversity, and Gender Issues
Chapter 6: Family Scripts, Myths, Beliefs, Secrets, and Legacies
Chapter 7: Family Functioning, Scapegoating, and Attachment Issues
Chapter 8: Couple Relationships
Chapter 9: Families and Disability
Chapter 10: Family Violence
Chapter 11: Addiction and the Family
Chapter 12: Family Assessment
Chapter 13: Positive Strategies for Working with Families
Chapter 14: Working with Parents with Complex Needs
Chapter 15: Working with Military Families
Chapter 16: Grieving Families
Chapter 17: Common Pitfalls in Working with Families

Patricia Spindel

Dr. Patricia Spindel has worked with children, adolescents, and families for over thirty-five years. She taught at both the University of Guelph-Humber and the Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, where she also coordinated the Social Services Worker Program and was an Associate Dean of Health Sciences.

Working with Families, Working with Families, Second Edition


"Working with Families is an excellent textbook. It is incredibly up-to-date and provides academic and theoretical information in an accessible manner."
Angie Murie, Social Service Worker Program, Humber College

"The Canadian family is complex and diverse. This book presents the founding principles of family work and provides the reader with theoretical frameworks and personal examples in a thorough and thoughtful manner."
Kelsey Shay Regnier, Child and Youth Care Program, Red River College

"I am quite impressed by the amount of relevant Canadian research.… I would definitely teach with this book."
Meredith Pilley, Social Worker Program, Fleming College

Instructor Resources

Adopt Working with Families, and you will benefit from supplementary materials including PowerPoint slides and an Instructor's Manual containing suggested activities, suggested assignments, and additional resources for every chapter.

See sample

Student Resources

General Student Resource - Download

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