Functional Family Therapy

Functional Family Therapy is a part of Evidence-based Practices.

Functional Family Therapy (FFT) is built on an integrated theoretical foundation, and systematic research evidence that demonstrates its efficacy and effectiveness for reducing serious criminal behavior in youth. As a true family therapy, FFT targets the family relational system as the entry point and primary target for systematic and individualized treatment. FFT is:

  • A clinical core consisting of a integrated set of guiding theoretical principles,
  • A systematic clinical intervention program that relies upon phase-based change mechanisms,
  • A well-developed multi-domain clinical assessment and intervention techniques,
  • A systematic quality improvement system that monitors case planning, client progress and process changes, model specific adherence, and client outcomes

Functional Family Therapy was developed in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s by Jim Alexander and Bruce Parsons. Since that time, a number of model developers have contributed to the model (Barton, Waldron, Turner, Sexton, among others).  The most recent published independent manual for FFT was by the Institute for the Prevention of Violence (Blueprints) (Alexander, Pugh, Parsons, & Sexton, 2000).  That manual is the basis for the Annie E. Casey sponsored FFT Clinical Training Manual (Sexton & Alexander, 2004).  The recent book, FFT in Clinical Practice (Sexton, 2011) brings the lessons of practicing FFT to the theory and science.