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Acclaim for Painful Partings ... A rare triple threat book--for professionals, students, and laypersons. Sensitive--wise--comprehensive, Schwartz and Kaslow's work represents a maturing of a realistic stance toward divorce. --William C. Nichols, EdD, ABPP Atlanta, Georgia This articulate, compassionate, and informed book is essential reading for all therapists who work with divorced or divorcing families. Scholarly, yet readable, its developmental framework gives coherence to an often confusing area of practice. --Augustus Y. Napier, PhD Director, The Family Workshop, Atlanta, Georgia [Painful Partings] masters both the legal and mental health issues of divorce. --Judge Joseph L. Steinberg Superior Court, State of Connecticut, Regional Family Trial Docket Obtaining a legal divorce may seem fairly straightforward. Emotional divorce, on the other hand, is a much more complicated process. In this book, the reader is taken step by painful step into the process of helping couples become emotionally divorced. --Luciano L'Abate, PhDProfessor Emeritus, Georgia State University This book achieves a remarkable result in explaining sophisticated family-system concepts ...into practical clinical suggestions. --Barry Bricklin, PhD Wayne, Pennsylvania. This book is a must for professionals, but is also important for those who are contemplating or in the process of divorcing. --Hon. Walter M. Schackman, JSC Supreme Court of the State of New York Must reading for clinicians and professionals working with and teaching about divorce and for those going through the process. --Clifford J. Sager, MD Director of Marital and Family Services, Payne Whitney Clinic The journey [toward divorce] seems analogous to a prolonged roller coaster ride--at the beginning, climbing up and out is laborious and slow, followed by brief periods of respite and relief at the apex, and then a rapid descent into what may seem like a bottomless pit of pain and despair. As the months pass by, the ride becomes less turbulent as the highs and lows become less extreme, and ultimately, the travelers alight from the tempestuous ride, and establish a stable postdivorce existence. --from the Preface For those who have made the difficult decision to end their marriage, emotional divorce can be as difficult to achieve as legal divorce. This timely and compassionate book shows couples, their families, and their therapists how best to navigate the bumpy terrain of the road to divorce. In their 1987 classic, The Dynamics of Divorce, family-systems experts Lita Linzer Schwartz and Florence W. Kaslow offered a provocative analysis of how life-cycle stages impact the decision to divorce, and how divorce affects individual development. In this groundbreaking new volume, the authors look at changing life-cycle trends in divorce and explore a host of new economic, cultural, and social issues confronting a highly mobile generation of divorced spouses and parents. The book covers emerging alternatives to litigation--like mediation, and looks at sensitive legal matters, such as physical and emotional abuse and child custody. It also examines timely issues like fathers' rights, mid-life divorce, and what happens when one partner exits a marriage in order to lead a homosexual lifestyle. Painful Partings shows marriage and family therapists how to help clients marshal their energies toward constructive closure, rather than destructive resolution. For example, there is a full chapter on the religious aspects of divorce, including conducting a Ritual of Release--a departure ceremony paralleling the original marriage. Essential reading for therapists who work with divorced and divorcing families, the book is also a compassionate guide for spouses and parents negotiating the painful process of divorce.