Chapter 56. Family Therapy

Richard Wendel, D.Min.; Karen R. Gouze, Ph.D.
DOI: 10.1176/appi.books.9781585623921.477813



What is the place of family therapy in child and adolescent psychiatric practice? The practice parameters of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) repeatedly emphasize the critical role families play in the treatment of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders. The Practice Parameter on Family Assessment (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 2007) states: "A family assessment is always indicated in the psychiatric evaluation of a child or adolescent" (p. 922); "The family assessment must recognize and describe family strengths as well as identify family problems" (p. 922). The 10 "principles" of the family assessment parameter call for a high level of skill in family assessment and treatment in child and adolescent psychiatry. AACAP regards the family assessment and treatment as indispensable for child and adolescent mental health practice.

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Table Reference Number
TABLE 56–1. Integrative module-based family therapy: step-by-step assessment
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TABLE 56–2. Sample assessment questions for integrative module-based family therapy modules
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TABLE 56–3. Examples of best practice and empirically supported treatments per module


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Sample questions:
Which form of family therapy uses the emotional reactions of family members to guide assessment and intervention?
Who is viewed as the originator of structural family therapy?
A number of frameworks and models have been developed for use in assessing and conceptualizing family issues and problems. Which of the following models asks the questions "Why can't people solve their own problems? What is constraining a person or family from overcoming the difficulty?"
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