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Family-focused therapy (FFT)

FFT focuses on educating patients and their families about the patient’s mental illness.1 It also targets any family dynamics that can negatively impact recovery by helping improve skills in communications and problem-solving.1,2 The goal is to reestablish and improve family relationships and communication after a mental illness episode to support patient recovery.2 This can be especially helpful when family dynamics are already impaired.1 Family-focused therapy is typically administered in 21 sessions over 9 months, although programs with fewer sessions have been tested.1,3 FFT can occur in either a single-family or multi-family format.1
Description: FFT focuses on educating patients and their families about the patient’s mental illness.1 It also targets any family dynamics that can negatively impact recovery by helping improve skills in communications and problem-solving.1,2 The goal is to reestablish and improve family relationships and communication after a mental illness episode to support patient recovery.2 This can be especially helpful when family dynamics are already impaired.1 Family-focused therapy is typically administered in 21 sessions over 9 months, although programs with fewer sessions have been tested.1,3 FFT can occur in either a single-family or multi-family format.1
Potentially effective for the following mental health concerns: Bipolar disorder, Depressive disorders
Potentially effective in the following age groups: Adolescent, Adult, Pediatric
Treatment setting options: Group, Family
Treatment format options: In-person
Typical treatment duration: 20+ sessions, Variable
Potential limitations: Family members need to be willing to participate1
 

Footnotes:

Supporting references for the filters are as follows:
Potentially effective for the following mental health concerns: Bipolar disorder1, Depressive disorders4 ; Potentially effective in the following age groups: Pediatric, Adolescent, Adult2,4; Treatment setting options: Group1, Family1; Treatment format options: In-person2; Typical treatment duration: 20+ sessions1, Variable3

References:

  1. Swartz, HA & Swanson, J. Focus (Am Psychiatr Publ). 2014;12(3):251-266.
  2. Miklowitz, DJ & Chung, B. Fam Process. 2016;55(3):483-499.
  3. Morris, CD et al. J Clin Psychol. 2007;63(5):433-445.
  4. Tompson, MC et al. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2017;56(6):515-523.<

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