1. Explanation of the Practice
According to Virginia Satir, family therapy is necessary to address family pain and heal a family wounds.
Family therapy is a form of treatment that is designed to address specific issues affecting the health and functioning of a family. The family is involved across all 7 treatment components. According to Danielson et al.(2012), the Risk Reduction through Family Therapy (RRFT) protocol is devised into 7 components: Psycho-education, Coping ,Family communication, Substance abuse, PTSD, Healthy dating and Sexual Decision Making, and Victimization Risk Reduction and is administered through weekly , 60-90 minute sessions with adolescents and caregivers ( meeting individually with the therapist and as a family).
Family therapy can be used to help a family through a difficult time, a major transition, or mental or behavioral health problems in family members.(“Family Therapy, 2014”). Family therapy views individual’s problems in the context of the large unit: the family, (Dr Michaela Herkov. 2016). This type of therapy is that problems cannot be addressed or solved successfully without understanding the dynamics of the group.
Techniques and exercises from cognitive therapy, interpersonal therapy, behavioral therapy, or any other type of individual therapy can be employed by Family therapy. Therefore the techniques employed will depend on the specific problems the clients present with.
Emotional and behavioral problems in children are common reasons to visit a family therapist. According to Herkov (2016), children’s problems do not exist in a vacuum; they exist in the context of the family and will need to be addressed within the context of the family.
The reason behind this pilot randomized controlled trial study was to evaluate the feasibility and efficiency of reducing substance use risk and trauma- related mental health problems among sexually assaulted adolescents in which Risk Reduction through Family Therapy (RRFT) was administered as the main therapy and the Treatment as Usual (TAU) was the control therapy. (Danielson, 2012)
They used 30 adolescents participants aged 13-14 years, who had experienced at least one sexual assault and their caregivers were randomized to RRFT or TAU conditions and risky behaviors at four time points thus baseline, post-treatment, and 3-6 months follow up. Participants were assigned to condition using a computerized block randomization method. The experiment was done in a clinical setting, 30participants were split into 15 RRFT and 15 TAU. Upon completion of RRFT therapy, the sexually assaulted youth showed more evidence of potentially reduction in substance use and mental health problems compared to TAU. However further studies are needed to ensure equality on key variables across the two conditions. (Danielson, 2012)