Functional Family Therapy (FFT)is an empirically-grounded, family-based intervention program for acting-out youth. A major goal of Functional Family Therapy is to improve family communication and supportiveness while decreasing the intense negativity so often characteristic of these families. Other goals include helping family members adopt positive solutions to family problems, and developing positive behavior change and parenting strategies.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a therapy designed to help people change patterns of behavior that are not helpful, such as self-harm, suicidal thinking, and substance abuse. This approach works towards helping people increase their emotional and cognitive regulation by learning about the triggers that lead to reactive states and helping to assess which coping skills to apply in the sequence of events, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to help avoid undesired reactions. DBT assumes that people are doing the best they can but are either lacking the skills or influenced by positive or negative reinforcement that interfere with their ability to function appropriately.
Structural family therapy (SFT)is a method of psychotherapy developed by Salvador Minuchin which addresses problems in functioning within a family. Structural Family Therapists strive to enter, or "join", the family system in therapy in order to understand the invisible rules which govern its functioning, map the relationships between family members or between subsets of the family, and ultimately disrupt dysfunctional relationships within the family, causing it to stabilize into healthier patterns. Minuchin contends that pathology rests not in the individual, but within the family system.
As important as personal characteristics are in a therapist, it is vital that he have a solid grasp of evidence-based practices and family therapy techniques. Here are a few of the models I have successfully used in therapy:
"Many things contribute to a meaningful and possibly life-changing therapeutic experience for patients. It involves contributions by both patient and therapist. Twenty years of direct work with individuals and families has provided me the opportunity to observe and understand the full range of human behavior. There is no substitute for experience. However, I sincerely believe that it still comes down to creating the conditions for people to feel safe, secure, comfortable, and understood as they face their unique challenges.
My personal goal for people is that they believe and trust in their decisions no matter what they are. This may be accomplished by problem-solving, learning/practicing and employing the skills learned in session to real -life situations outside of session, and sometimes.........sometimes.......simply accepting circumstances as they are without trying to control them. I feel like I can help people learn how to improve the quality of their lives if they are so inclined.
My relational style is to use irreverence, humor, story-telling, self-disclosure, directness, and genuine curiosity.
I look forward to working with you. "
Christopher Dumas, LMFT
A few thoughts.......