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Clinical Psychology Professor’s Report on Functional Family Therapy

Tue, 14 April 15 10:09

Professor Carr’s team conducted a retrospective evaluation and a prospective randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of Functional Family Therapy in reducing behaviour problems and improving family adjustment in disadvantaged families of teenagers at risk for juvenile delinquency. They found that Functional Family Therapy, an evidence-based intervention developed in the USA, was highly effective in an Irish context. Functional Family Therapy was provided by Archways Families First, an Atlantic Philanthropies funded treatment centre. Family therapists at Archways Families First were trained by Professor Tom Sexton from Indiana University, who has played a central role in the development and international dissemination of Functional Family Therapy.

Speaking at the launch, John Lonergan said ‘Professor Carr’s report highlights the value treating young people at risk for juvenile delinquency within a family context. It shows that this approach to working with young people can be highly effective. I am certain that in the long term it reduces costs  - human costs in terms of suffering, and economic costs in terms of keeping young people out of detention centres and later keeping them out of prison. The team at Archways Families First have done a remarkable job.’

Professor Carr’s  report recommends the national roll out of a Functional Family Therapy service, and the evaluation of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of this service within the context of a multi-site randomized controlled trial.