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A Perfect Fit: Connecting Family Therapy Skills To Family Business Needs


  • Patricia Cole, PhD, is Associate Professor of Family Therapy and Family Business at Nova Southeastern University; Kit Johnson, PhD, is Part Time Faculty in the School of Public Service Leadership at Capella University and a family business consultant in Boca Raton, Florida.

  • Special thanks to Melissa Harper, PhD and Cynthia Somers, PhD.

Address correspondence to Patricia M. Cole, 1301 River Reach Dr. #202, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33315; E-mail:


The purpose of this article is to encourage family therapists to become more interested in family business practice. It does so in three ways: (a) highlighting the number of therapists already involved in family business issues; (b) showing the parallels between family business and family therapy by applying family business research findings to couples therapy; (c) discussing how family therapists already have the practice wisdom to be effective in working with family business clients. Limitations of this practice are also discussed along with suggestions for overcoming them.

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