Unified therapy (Allen, 1988, 1991) is an eight-stage approach to the treatment of neurologically intact adults between the ages of 21 and late midlife who exhibit repetitive self-destructive behavior, chronic affective symptomatology, or long-term overt family discord. These three phenomena are seen as three separate manifestations of the same underlying process. All three are assumed to be present and occurring simultaneously, even if one or two of them are covert and/or unacknowledged at the time patients first present themselves for therapy. Therapy is done with one individual, but aims to impact both the individual and his or her family system in such a way as to make any divergence between the interests of the two converge. The theory behind unified therapy can be adapted for use in family and couples therapy, as well as for other age groups; that will not be discussed here.


Family System Role Function Couple Therapy Role Behavior Paternal Grandfather 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allen, D. (1988). Unifying individual and family therapies. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  2. Allen, D. (1991). Deciphering motivation in psychotherapy. New York: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Basseches, M. (1986). Dialectical thinking and young adult cognitive development. In R. Mines and K. Kitchener (Eds.), Adult cognitive development (pp. 33–56). New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  4. Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: Jason Aronson.Google Scholar
  5. Edelman, G. (1989). The remembered present. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  6. Ellis, A., & Grieger, R. (1977). Handbook of rational emotive therapy. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  7. Fromm, E. (1969). Escape from freedom. New York: Avon Books. (Originally published 1941.)Google Scholar
  8. Ivey, A. (1986). Developmental therapy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  9. Kerr, M., & Bowen, M. (1988). Family evaluation. New York, W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  10. Kohut, H. (1977). The restoration of the self. New York: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  11. McGoldrick, M., & Gerson, R. (1985). Genograms in family assessment. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  12. Slipp, S. (1984). Object relations: A dynamic bridge between individual and family treatment. New York, Jason Aronson.Google Scholar
  13. Weston, D. (1985). Self and society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Watzlawick, P., Beavin, J., & Jackson, D. (1967). Pragmatics of human communication. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  15. Wile, D. (1981). Couples therapy: A nontraditional approach. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Allen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TennesseeMemphisUSA

Personalised recommendations