Know all About Functional Family Therapy

Functional Family Therapy is a treatment model for youths having a criminal record or some other significant misconduct to help them have a better life by involving their families in the programme. Functional Family Therapy was a concept introduced by Dr James F. Alexander and Bruce Parsons in the year 1970.  The therapy includes conducting some trainings and dissemination and it has also made a considerable success in mitigating youth crimes.

This therapy includes on an average of 12-14 sessions that happens once a week for about 3-5 months. The programme mainly caters to the juvenile (11-18 yrs of age). Below given is more detail on the therapy:

functional family therapy


The aim of the Engagement procedure includes listening to the family members to know their perceptions about this therapy. Therapists need to hear, assist, be patient and comply to what family members has to say. The therapist’s objective must be to instantly respond to family requirements and conserve a powerful focus. The therapists should make be always available as in person and over telephone, and must be respectful towards the family members.


The objective of motivation procedure includes boosting positivity by mitigating family fights and the blame games among family members. It involves enhancing hope and creating a friendly relationship with the family members. Therapists must function to reform the adverse family relationships to ensure positivity through a non-judgmental behavior, value a person as he/she and be sensitive to their feelings.

Relational Assessment

The vision of this phase is to point out the kinds of interaction within the family to understand the relational “functions” .The therapist must consider about values, attributions, functions, interaction patterns, sources of resistance, resources and limitations. The therapist must promote generalization among the family members.

Behavior Change

Behavior change optimizes family functioning through skillful trainings and organizing behavioral tests .Followed by training to maintain standard communication, technical assistance,  and on  how to manage and resolve a conflict etc. Positive behavior is motivated in the phase as well as interpersonal skills between the members is taken care of.

Generalization Phase

The aim of this phase is to develop the positivity in the behavior change of the family members. Generalization activities include comprehending the community, improving and maintaining contacts, initiating clinical linkages, creating relapse prevention plans, and assisting the family develop freedom.

Thus the proper implementation of functional family therapy will surely help the person in several ways.


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