FUNCTIONAL FAMILY THERAPY - FFT
The FFT program is supported by 30 years of clinical research, which supports its foundation as an evidence based child welfare programs for youth with substance abuse problems or antisocial behavior problems. FFT has been applied to a wide range of youth and their families in various multi-ethnic, multicultural contexts and with pre-adolescents and adolescents diagnosed with conduct disorders, violent acting out and substance abuse.
The FFT intervention averages 8 - 12 family sessions over 3 to 4 months. All FFT services are provided in the family’s home and community. Each phase of FFT includes assessment, development of family goals, specific intervention techniques, and therapist skills necessary for success.
The program serves youth ages 11-17, and their families, whose problems range from acting out to conduct disorder to alcohol/substance abuse. Often these families tend to have limited resources, histories of failure, a range of diagnoses and exposure to multiple systems. FFT can be provided in a variety of contexts, including schools, child welfare, probation, parole/aftercare, mental health, and as an alternative to incarceration or out-of-home placement.
In December of 2000, Office of Juvenile Justice of Delinquency Prevention issued a Juvenile Justice Bulletin on FFT by the founders of FFT. The OJJDP Bulletin cited recidivism rates for the FFT treated population at just over 20% while the residential treatment cases had a recidivism rate of approximately 90%. These figures are not inconsistent with the New York State experience where estimates of recidivism after placement in a juvenile justice facility approach or exceed 90% while some intensive aftercare models have succeeded in reducing recidivism rates to approximately 20%. Outcome studies suggest that FFT can
reduce recidivism between 25% and 60% (Sexton & Alexander, 2000).
What Others Are Saying About Us
- Mom reports (Therapist) did an excellent job engaging a reluctant client! (Therapist) facilitated communication between mom and (Youth) that wasn’t formerly possible. Mom reports (Therapist) was "a godsend." Mom reports that, "(Therapist) really pulled things together for us." (Probation staff)
- Father reports, "(Therapist) was quite helpful in getting (Youth) and her mother to communicate." (Youth) and mom believe FFT was very helpful. (Probation staff)
- All members of (the Family) loved (Therapist) and felt FFT was very helpful. Best of all, (Youth) is going to school again! (Probation staff)
- "Absolutely excellent. (Therapist) was totally professional, but made you feel comfortable enough to talk about things. (Therapist) was a huge part of (Youth’s) and our family’s success and (Youth’s) getting back on track. She greatly helped with our family’s communication." (Family Member)
- "(Therapist) was a really good listener. Appreciate her tweaking the message she heard if it wasn’t quite right. Dispute Resolution Exercise – made me think about my assumptions and erroneous thinking. Still helps me reflect and feel less angry." (Family Member)