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Family Functional Therapy

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Has anyone experience of this type of therapy. My 14 year old son's Psychologist feel that we as a family would benefit and is going to refer us.

I know that myself, husband, daughter and 14 year old son are willing to attend, but I'm not sure if the 16 year old boy will come. Can family therapy work with out a significant member of the family?



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Hi Goose,

FFT has been around for >30 years and is used heavily with families who have troubled teens, especially teens with juvenile records (tough kids), so it's extremely practical, realistic and focused on systems (the whole family system) change. The FFT model is designed for complex and multidimensional problems, is highly structured but is also flexible and takes into account cultural factors.

I use it often, especially b/c much of my work is with urban/inner city families and there are often issues of demestic violence, addiction, legal problems and other complexities.

The key, however, is to get someone who is very skilled and a veteran clinician in this area. It's amazing how much damage a poor family therapist can do, especially since many of those that do families were not well trained but like to venture into the area.

I've used it at times w/o the teen involved, or the identified client, it requires more work on everyone's part, but it can be done. The therapist can assist you in the development of a behavioral contract with your son, which will compel him to join if he wants to keep certain privileges (e.g., cell phone, money)-- this is generally very effective.

Good luck Goose. I know how difficult these things are, I've seen families torn apart by the problems that surface when a teen goes awry and becomes unmanageable.

David O.

Edited by David O
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