Functional Family Therapy (2018)

Summary: An evidenced based programme that supports families in reducing the use of violence, offending and poor behaviour.
Age: 10-18
Sex: n/a
Cost: yes




  • Support families and children to reduce the use of violence, criminal behaviour, poor behaviour and conduct problems


Functional Family Therapy is a strength-based model, which offers short term, high quality intervention programme for children who are at risk or offending. In general the families have between 8-12 sessions, however, more complex families can have up to 30 sessions over a 3-4 month period, with sessions last around 1 hour.

The intervention programme works with the whole family and the sessions can be conducted in either clinical or home setting. Often the children and their families have histories of poor engagement, lack of access to resources and repeat contact with multiple services. FFT works with the whole family, aiming to reduce negative and defensive communication patterns, increase supportive innervations and promote effective parental discipline.

Please note that there are two strands of Functional Family Therapy (both have implemented FFT in the UK), which were created by the founding fathers of FFT:
Dr. James F. Alexander -
Thomas Sexton-





Dr. James F. Alexander:

Source Organisation: FFT Inc. (this is the main dissemination organisation)
Name: Holly DeMaranville


Thomas Sexton Strand:

Source Organisation: FFT
Name: Thomas Sexton 


Case Study:

Youth Offending Team: Lewisham Youth Offending Serevice
Name: Serena Mullings