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About the Founder of

Workbooks for Better Living

Workbooks for Better Living was founded in 1996 by Luciano L'Abate, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Georgia State University.

Brief Biography

Luciano L'Abate was born in Brindisi, and educated in Florence, Italy.  He came (1948) to the USA as an exchange student under the auspices of the Mennonite Central Committee to Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas from which he graduated with high honors in two years with majors in English and  Psychology (1950).  After receiving a UNESCO  scholarship at Wichita (State) University where he received a M.A.(1953),  he earned a Ph.D. from Duke University (1956).  After working for two years as a clinical psychologist at the Pitt County Health Department (Greenville, NC) and teaching in the extension division of East Carolina College (now University) (56-57), he received a USPHS postdoctoral fellowship in child psychotherapy at Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, Illinois (1958-59). After this training, he became Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri (1959-64). Moved to Atlanta, Georgia when he became Associate Professor and Chief Psychologist in the Child Psychiatry division of the Department of Psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine (64-65).  Professor of Psychology at Georgia State University since 1965, where  he was Director of the Family Psychology Training Program and the Family Study Center. Retired as Professor Emeritus  of Psychology from  GSU on December 1990.

Diplomate and Examiner of the American Board of  Professional Psychology; Fellow and Approved Supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy;  Fellow of Divisions 12 and 43 of the American Psychological Association. Life Member of American Orthopsychiatric Association. Charter  Member of the American Family Therapy Academy.  Past member of the National Council on Family Relations.  Co-founder and  past-president of the International Academy of Family Psychology. Charter Member of  the American Association for the  Advancement  of  Preventive Psychology. Worked for 25 years as Abstractor for Psychological Abstracts.

Formerly on  Editorial Boards of   national and foreign professional and scientific  journals. Consultant also to  various publishing houses.  Author and coauthor of over 300  papers, chapters, and book  reviews in professional and scientific journals. Author, co-author, editor, and co-editor of  45  books, two other books are in press. His work has been translated into Chinese, Danish, Finnish, French-Canada, German,  Japanese, Korean, Polish,  and Spanish languages. Four  books  have been published in his native Italy. Two are used as textbooks in the Department of General Psychology at the University of Padova.

Awarded the 1983 GSU  Alumni Distinguished Professorship in the School of Arts and Sciences. Named "Outstanding Citizen" by the House of Representatives in the State of Georgia  in 1984.  In 1986  received the "Outstanding Achievement and Service" award by the Tabor College Alumni Association. In 1987 received recognition by the Georgia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy for "Outstanding Contribution." Named "Family Psychologist of the Year for 1994" by Division 43 (Family Psychology) of the American Psychological Association. In 2003 received a medal from the President of the University of Bari (Italy) for “Outstanding Achievement.” On October 28,  2006   he was awarded the Renoir Prize at the University of Lecce (Italy) for creative and outstanding contributions to humanity. In 2009 Dr. L'Abate received the Award from the American Psychological Association for Distinguished Professional Contribution to Applied Research.

Lectured extensively in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Spain, and Italy. Given workshops in many states of the Union, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Visiting professor to American and foreign institutions: in 1991  at the University of Santiago de Campostella (Spain) in May, in July 1991 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver (Canada),  In  August 1991  he was the keynote speaker for the German National Conference in Developmental Psychology at the University of Cologne, and lectured at the University of Munich in Germany, University of Padova (Italy), and the Center for the Family in Treviso (Italy) in September of the same year.

In 1992  invited Keynote  Speaker for the 10th Anniversary Conference of the Japanese Association of Family Psychology at Showa Women's University (Tokyo), giving additional workshops on prevention for the the Yasuda Life Welfare  Foundation of  Japan, and one workshop on "Love and Intimacy" for the Tokyo Family Therapy Institute. Invited to lecture at the Universities of Bari and Padova  (Italy) in  July 1994 and as keynote speaker for the Second International Congress  of Family Psychology. In November 1994 keynote speaker for the annual conference of the Penn Council on Relationships, formerly the Philadelphia Marriage Council. In May 1996 lectured at the Universities of Urbino,  Rome, Catholic University of Milan, Padova, and Bari. In October 1999, he  lectured  at the Catholic University of Milan, the Scientific Institute "La Nostra Famiglia" in Lecco, and  the Universities of Bari and Padova. In October   2000, he   lectured and gave workshops to mental health organizations and educational  institutions in Warsaw, Krakow, Lublin, Poznan, and Rzeszow,  Poland. In June 2002  and December 2003, he lectured in various clinical institutions in and around Milan (Italy), the Catholic University of Milan, and the Universities of Padua and Bari, as well as  professional, post-graduate  schools in Mestre (Venice) and Florence. On 28 October 2006 he received the Renoir Prize from the University of Lecce for outstanding contribution to psychological sciences, lecturing there as well as in the Chemistry and Psychiatry Departments at the University of Bari. On October 2007, he lectured at the Catholic University of Milan and the University of Padua. He gave workshops at a counseling convention in Milan and in a post-doctoral specialization program in Prato. He was featured as main speaker at a Symposium at the University of Bari on "Science, MInd, and Creativity" sponsored by the Graduate School and the Departments of Physics, Chemistry, and Psychiatry, which will be published by Nova Science Publishers (see Publications)." On October 10, 2008 he was the keynote speaker for the Second Conference on Writing and Wellness in Atlanta, GA.

Full time clinical practice 1956-1964.  Part-time clinical practice from 1965  to 1998. Consultant to Cross-Keys  Counseling  Center in  Forest Park, GA from  1978 to 1998. From  1993 to 1998,  Clinical Director for  Multicultural Services in  a  mental health center for ethnic communities  developed jointly by Cross Keys Counseling Center and a local Presbyterian Church (Doraville, GA).

In 1996 he founded "Workbooks for Better Living," to make available to qualified professionals low-cost, self-help mental health workbooks through the Internet <http://www.mentalhealthhelp.com> He has produced over 100  workbooks, 8 have been translated into Spanish. They will be published by Springer in 2009  as  a Sourcebook of Self-help Protocols in Mental Health.

After retirement from clinical practice (December 1998), he has taught one course on Personal Writing for senior citizens, and was a volunteer with the  Diversification  Program of  DeKalb County Juvenile Court from 1999 to 2003. In 2009 Dr. L'Abate received the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Professional Contribution to Applied Research.

Now involved in full-time writing and research.

Hobbies: Reading, cooking, playing cards, music, and travel.


Workbooks for Better Living is the outcome of 15 years of clinical work using workbooks with individuals, couples, and families, as presented in the following publications by L'Abate:

  1. 1964. Principles of clinical psychology. New York: Grune & Stratton (Translate in Argentina, 1968).
  2. 1975. with L. T. Curtis. Teaching the exceptional child. Philadelphia: W. D. Saunders.
  3. 1976. Understanding and helping the individual in the family. New York: Grune & Stratton.
  4. 1977. Enrichment: Structured interventions with couples, families, and groups. Washington, D. C.: University Press of America.
  5. 1977. with B. L. L'Abate. How to avoid divorce: Help for troubled marriages. Atlanta, GA. John Knox Press. (translated into French in Quebec, Canada)
  6. 1981. with G. Rupp. Enrichment: Skill training for family life. Washington, D. C. University Press of America.
  7. 1982. with J. C. Hansen. Approaches to family therapy. New York: Macmillan.
  8. 1982. with G. Weeks. Paradoxical therapy: Theory and practice with individuals, couples, and families. New York: Brunner/Mazel (translated into Chinese, Finnish, German, Japanese, Polish, and Italian).
  9. 1982. Editor. Values, ethics, and legalities in family therapy. Rockville, MD: Aspen Publications.
  10. 1983. Family psychology: Theory, therapy, and training. Washington, D. C. University Press of America.
  11. 1983. with S. McHenry. Handbook of marital interventions. New York: Grune & Stratton.
  12. 1985. Editor. Handbook of family psychology and therapy. Volumes I & II. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
  13. 1985. with R. S. Sauber, and G. Weeks. Family therapy: Basic concepts and terms. Rockville, MD: Aspen Publications.
  14. 1985. Editor, with M. Milan. Handbook of social skills training and research. New York: Wiley.
  15. 1986. Systematic family therapy. New York: Brunner/Mazel.
  16. 1986. with G. Ganahl and J. C. Hansen. Methods of family therapy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
  17. 1987. Family psychology II: Theory, therapy, enrichment, and trainWashington, D. C. : University Press of America. (Pp. 1-289).
  18. 1987. with S. E. Weinstein. Structured enrichment programs for couples and families. New York: Brunner/Mazel (Pp. 1-505).
  19. 1987. with L. Young. Casebook of structured enrichment programs for couples and families. New York: Brunner/Mazel (Pp. 1-387).
  20. 1990. Building family competence: Primary and secondary prevention strategies. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Published also as: Le risorse della famiglia: Prevenzione primaria e secondaria con famiglie. Bologna, Italy: Il Mulino.
  21. 1992. Programmed writing: A self-administered approach for interventions with individuals, couples, and families. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole. .
  22. 1992. Editor, with J. E. Farrar and D. A. Serritella (Eds.). Handbook of differential treatments for addictions. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
  23. 1993. with D. A. Bagarozzi. Sourcebook of marriage and family evaluation. New York: Brunner/Mazel.
  24. 1993. with S. R. Sauber, G. Weeks, & W. Buchanan. Dictionary of family psychology and family therapy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  25. 1994a. A theory of personality development. New York: Wiley. Translated in Italy, Edizioni Borla, Rome.
  26. 1994b. Editor, Handbook of developmental family psychology and psychopathology. New York: Wiley.
  27. 1994c. Family evaluation: A psychological interpretation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Translated in Korean, 2003.
  28. 1997. The self in the family: Toward a classification of personality, criminality, and psychopathology. New York: Wiley. (Italian translation, 2000) Milan: Francangelo).
  29. 1998. Editor. Family Psychopathology: The relational roots of dysfunctional behavior. New York: Guilford.
  30. 2001. Editor, Distance writing and computer-assisted interventions in psychiatry and mental health. Westport, CT: Ablex.
  31. 2002. Beyond psychotherapy: Programmed writing and structured computer-assisted interventions. Westport, CT: Ablex.
  32. 2003. Family Psychology III: Theory-building, theory-testing, and psychological interventions. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
  33. 2003. with Piero De Giacomo. Improving intimate relationships: Integration of theoretical models with preventions and psychotherapy applications. Westport, CT: Praeger.
  34. 2004a. A guide to self-help mental health workbooks for clinicians and researchers. Binghamton, NY: Haworth.
  35. 2004b. Editor. Using workbooks in prevention, psychotherapy, and rehabilitation: A resource for clinicians and researchers. Binghamton,, NY: Haworth.
  36. 2005a. Personality in intimate relationships: Socialization and psychopathology. New York, NY: Springer-Science.
  37. 2005b. with N. Kazantzis, F. P. Deane, K. R. Ronan. (Edis). Using homework assignments in cognitive behavior therapy. New York; Routledge.
  38. 2007. with N. Kazantzis (Eds.). Handbook of homework assignments in psychotherapy: Theory, research, and prevention. New York: Springer.
  39. 2007. (Editor). Low-cost interventions to promote physical and mental health: Theory, research, and practice, New York: Springer.
  40. 2008. Sourcebook of interactive exercises in mental health. New York: Springer.
  41. 2008. (Editor). Toward a science of clinical psychology: Laboratory evaluations and interventions. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.
  42. 2009. The Praeger Handbook of Play across the Life Cycle: Fun from infancy to old age. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publications.
  43. 2009. With Mario Capitelli, Piero De Giacomo, & Savino Longo (Eds). Science, mind, and creativity: The Bari Symposium. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
  44. 2010. With T. Harwood. Self-help in Mental Health: A Critical Evaluation. New York: Springer-Science.
  45. 2010. With Mario Cusinato, Eleonora Maino, Walter Colesso, & Claudia Scilletta. Relational Competence Theory: Research and Applications in Mental Health. New York: Springer-Science.
  46. 2011. Sourcebook of interactive exercises in mental health. New York: Springer-Science.
  47. June 2011. The Seven Sources of Pleasure. Westport, CT: Praeger.
  48. September 2011. Hurt Feelings in Intimate Relationships: Theory, Research, and Applications. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  49. October 2011. With L. S. Sweeney (Eds). Research on writing approaches in mental health. Birney, UK: Emerald Group Publications Limited.
  50. In Press. With Mario Cusinato (Eds). Advances in Relational Competence Theory: With special attention to alexithymia. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
  51. In Press. With David A. Kaiser (Eds). Handbook of technology in psychology, psychiatry, and neurology: Theory, research, and practice. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
  52. In Press. Editor. Paradigms in Theory Construction. New York: Springer-Science.
  53. In Press. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy as a Science. New York: Springer-Science.

Correspondence/Communications

In addition to the offerings presented here, Workbooks for Better Living is available for consultation to develop workbooks for other psychological assessment tools or referral questions.  Please feel free to contact us at (404) 353-1065, or email on the contacts page.

This page last updated 04/01/11 .

Dr.  L'Abate

(404) 353-1065

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