A team of therapists from Minnesota and New York worked with labor union families of workers gone missing on September 11, 2001, after the attack on the World Trade Center, where they were employed. The clinical team shares what they did, what was learned, the questions raised, and preliminary evaluations about the multiple family meetings that were the major intervention. Because of the vast diversity, training of therapists and interventions for families aimed for cultural competence. The community-based approach, preferred by union families, plus family therapy using the lens of ambiguous loss are proposed as necessary additions to disaster work.
Guided by a family resiliency model grounded in systems theory and social constructionism, we conducted in-depth interviews to explore how 18 Arab American couples living in New York and New Jersey perceived and dealt with the terrorist attacks and aftereffects of September 11, 2001. Results are organized around five themes: Making sense of the attacks; the social environment after September 11, 2001; construction of identity: Arab and/or American; how couples cope: reactions and resources; and immigration and acculturation. Clinical recommendations include helping couples to uncover and to explore conflicts in both Arab and American identities, using genograms to deal with family-of-origin histories, recognizing specific couple dynamics linked to traditional gender roles, helping couples connect to religious and cultural communities, and assessing acculturation.
This article describes the application of Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT) to the treatment of a 13-year-old female adolescent presenting with high risk of suicide, complicated by a history of depression and sexual trauma. The article begins with an overview of ABFT, including (a) how attachment theory guides treatment; (b) the structure of the clinical model; and (c) the data that provide empirical support. A case example is then presented that exemplifies the primary clinical procedures used to reach therapeutic goals in ABFT, including attachment repair and autonomy/competence promotion. Weekly changes in suicide ideation and depression scores are presented. The article concludes with a discussion about implications for family-based treatment of suicidal youth.
The purpose of this article is to integrate science into clinical practice by introducing marriage and family therapists to the ideas of evidence-based practice (EBP). Evidence-based practice, which originated in the medical field, refers to the process of using research to make clinical decisions that best meet the needs of each client. Included in the description is a brief history of EBPs and ideas about learning EBPs. Suggestions are also made about the use of EBPs in MFT training programs, and resources are provided to enable clinicians to use EBPs in clinical practice.
This study assessed the frequency with which the marital and family therapy journal literature focused on problems associated with aging in a family context. Content analysis was used to assess the prevalence of later life family concerns in two leading journals, Family Process and the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, during a 10-year period (1976-1985). Results indicate that neither journal covered later life family issues to any appreciable degree. It is concluded that elders in marital and family relationships constitute a new frontier for the extension and elaboration of family therapy.
In the early 1990s, scholars from a variety of disciplines encouraged greater inclusion of qualitative research methodology in the mental health field. Moon, Dillon, and Sprenkle (1990) hoped their paper "Family therapy and qualitative research" would serve as a stimulus for further development of qualitative research in the field of family therapy. Ten years later, entering the new millennium, has the field been influenced by recommendations for an increase in use of qualitative methodology in family therapy? A content analysis was conducted on articles published in the marriage and family therapy literature from 1980 to 1999. Of the numerous articles examined in four journals, 131 articles were published using qualitative research methodology. Findings support the contention that qualitative research is increasing, but still accounts for a small number of research articles published in marriage and family therapy journals.
In this article, we present an analysis and comparison of published articles in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy (JMFT) between 1990-1995 and 1996-2000. This study focused on trends in author gender, highest degree, and professional affiliation, and article content on issues of cultural and family diversity (race/ethnicity, class, religion/spirituality, gender, sexual orientation, and varied family forms). Key findings show a significant shift from 69% male first authors in 1990-1995 to equal gender representation in authorship for 1996-2000 articles, with a particular increase in female PhDs. Articles addressing diversity issues doubled from 15.6% of all 1990-1995 articles to 31% in 1996-2000. Of note, women authored 73% of the 1996-2000 articles on the wide range of diversity issues. Implications for the field are discussed.
Just 15 years ago, Liddle and Dakof (Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 1995; 21, 511) concluded, based on the available evidence, that family therapy represented a "promising, but not definitive" approach for the treatment of drug problems among adolescents and adults. Seven years later, Rowe and Liddle (2003) review described considerable progress in this specialty with encouraging findings on adolescent-focused models based on rigorous methodology, as well as advances with adult-focused family-based treatments. The current review brings the field up to date with highlights from research conducted in the intervening 7 years, cross-cutting issues, recommendations for new research, and practice implications of these findings. Adolescent-focused family-based models that attend to the ecology of the teen and family show the most consistent and strongest findings in recent studies. Adult-focused models based on behavioral and systems theories of change also show strong effects with drug abusers and their families. The overarching conclusion is that family-based models are not only a viable treatment alternative for the treatment of drug abuse, but are now consistently recognized among the most effective approaches for treating both adults and adolescents with drug problems.
Family psychoeducation has emerged as a treatment of choice for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and other disorders. More than 30 randomized clinical trials have demonstrated reduced relapse rates, improved recovery of patients, and improved family well-being among participants. Interventions common to effective family psychoeducation programs have been developed, including empathic engagement, education, ongoing support, clinical resources during periods of crisis, social network enhancement, and problem-solving and communication skills. Application of family psychoeducation in routine settings where patients having these disorders are usually treated has been limited, reflecting attitudinal, knowledge, practical, and systemic implementation obstacles. Through consensus among patient and family advocacy organizations, clinician training, and ongoing technical consultation and supervision, this approach has been implemented in routine clinical settings.
A phenomenological research process was used to investigate the supervision experience for supervisors and therapists when supervisors use a social constructionist perspective. Participants of the one-to-one interviews were six AAMFT Approved Supervisors and six therapists providing counseling to individuals, couples and families. The findings suggest supervisors were committed to their self-identified supervision philosophy and intentionally sought out congruence between epistemology and practice. The shared experience of therapists indicates they associated desirable supervision experiences with their supervisors' social constructionist perspective. Our findings also indicated that supervisors' and therapists' understanding of social constructionism included the more controversial concepts of agency and extra-discursiveness. This research has taken an empirical step in the direction of understanding what the social constructionist supervision experience is like for supervisors and therapists. Our findings suggest a linkage between epistemology and supervision practice and a satisfaction with the supervision process.
Student members of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (n = 900) were randomly selected and surveyed regarding perceptions of certain MFT training program and graduate student lifestyle stressors. The return rate was 329 (37%) of the 900 students surveyed. The sample was 70% female and 30% male. Sixty-five percent of the sample were married. Sixty-one percent were in master's, 25% were in doctoral, and 12% were in other postgraduate programs. Potential high stressors were the number of hours students worked to support themselves and the number of hours spouses or significant others worked. Twenty-seven percent of students had considered dropping out due to program demands. Only 11.2% had actually done so. Nearly 11% reported current antidepressant use. Recommendations for further research directions on the topic of MFT trainee stress are provided.
Content analysis of 23 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Master Series tapes was used to determine how well feminist behaviors have been incorporated into "ideal" family therapy practice. Feminist behaviors were infrequent, being evident in fewer than 3% of time blocks in event sampling and 10 of 39 feminist behaviors of the Feminist Family Therapist Behavior Checklist. These eminent therapists most often dealt with empowerment of male clients and management of power differentials in the therapeutic relationship in a relatively feminist manner, but they tended to hold women responsible for family issues, endorsed traditional rather than egalitarian relationships, and overlooked how the social context affects families. Several of the therapists were blatantly sexist in their treatment of female clients, communicating disrespect of and pathologizing them. The few tapes portraying effective incorporation of feminist principles in family therapy indicate that a handful of behaviors are key to this approach.
This paper summarizes the experience of a two-year project to promote partnerships between 12 graduate Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) training programs and their 12 local Head Start partners. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) awarded 9 grants to MFT-Head Start partnerships that had established relationships with each other prior to the project. Three MFT-Head Start pairs that had no preexisting relationship but wanted to develop one received planning grants. The partnership project provided an exciting opportunity for MFT faculty and interns to integrate family systems theory into larger organizational settings and to enhance the capacity of MFTs to serve disadvantaged, low-income, culturally diverse families and the community agencies that work with them. Preparing MFT students to intervene and respond systemically both in organizations and with the families they serve represents a viable alternative to more traditional approaches to MFT that limit the focus to the family system. Survey results and interview data reflect the rich experiences of MFT faculty and supervisors, MFT interns, and Head Start staff. Implementation issues are discussed and recommendations are made to improve the collaboration between MFTs and community-based agencies such as Head Start.
This study examined the representation of minorities and minority issues in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. The relationship between AAMFT conference program content and changing social demographics from 1980 to 1996 was explored through an ecosystemic lens, and descriptive data were elicited through structured interviews with clinical members. Results indicated that there was a significant increase in the percentage of programming devoted to minority issues from 1980 to 1996 while the percentage of minorities in the population also rose dramatically in the same period. Salient themes from the interviews are presented. Recommendations are made for enhancing diversity within AAMFT.
Intimate justice theory is a set of nine interrelated concepts that describe the ethical dimensions of equality, fairness, and care in ongoing partnerships. Understanding ethical dimensions involves examining internalized beliefs and behavior in terms of their motivation and impact on the partner, particularly as they empower, disempower, or abuse power. The concepts of intimate justice theory are applied to confront disempowerment and abuses of power, to challenge internalized beliefs about how one should treat one's partner, to explore how internalized beliefs were developed through experiences in the family of origin, and to develop an awareness of the linkages between intimate partner abuse and social injustice. This article demonstrates how therapists can utilize three of the concepts --accountability, respect, and freedom--to structure the opening phase of treatment for abuse and violence. The primary focus of the opening phase is on establishing accountability for change in the abusive man and protecting the safety of the injured partner. This involves challenging the abuser's sense of entitlement and working to rethink what respect is and restoring freedom to his partner. The discussion incorporates the findings of an exploratory, qualitative study that investigated the experiences of 30 abusive men and their partners who were clients in a university-based counseling clinic. The article elaborates six interventions that can be utilized in clinical settings to structure treatment with abusive men.
This article presents an exploratory approach to couples therapy for abuse based on intimate justice theory. The article explains "the accountability axiom," which brings the relationship between the anguish of abuse and the anguish of accountability into focus. Understanding the accountability axiom can help therapists simultaneously engage both the victim of abuse and the abuser by creating two therapeutic environments in conjoint therapy--one environment that affirms the victim and one that challenges the abuser. The ideas are based on a qualitative study conducted by the authors, and the approach is illustrated with a clinical case involving psychological abuse.
This qualitative study investigates factors that may facilitate or impede awareness within couples regarding the sequelae of childhood sexual abuse for adult females and their partner. Six couples were interviewed about perceived effects of the abuse for self and partner and their perceptions regarding their awareness of these effects. Transcribed data were analyzed using grounded-theory methodology. Emergent themes regarding potential barriers to and facilitators of agreement are outlined in the context of the expressive and receptive abilities and motivations of each partner in communicating about the abuse. Preliminary implications for marriage and family therapy and further research are provided.
In order to compete in a financially sensitive health care system, family systems-based treatments must demonstrate effective clinical results as well as cost-effectiveness. Cost-effectiveness research can demonstrate to health care insurers and policy makers which treatments are viable options for implementation. The present literature review identified eight cost-effectiveness family-based substance abuse treatment studies. The results suggest that certain family-based treatments are cost-effective and warrant consideration for inclusion in health care delivery systems.
Despite its controversy, carefully conceptualized and delivered couples treatment appears to be at least as effective as traditional treatment for domestic violence, and preliminary data suggests that it does not place women at greater risk for injury. However, the body of research on which these conclusions rest is sparse. Only six experimental studies have been done, each using different eligibility criteria, outcome measures, and treatment approaches. Thus, further study of this modality is warranted. Marriage and family therapists have an important part to play in continuing to develop and test innovative ways of helping couples end violence and improve their relationships--an endeavor that promises to improve the quality of the partners' lives as well as those of their children.
This article describes development of the Intimate Justice Scale (IJS) and reports on a clinical study of the validity, reliability, and clinical usefulness of the instrument. Rather than measuring specific acts of abuse, the IJS measures ethical dynamics of couple relationships, which are evident in patterns of action and attitude expressed over the course of the relationship. Ethical dynamics appear to correlate with partner abuse. The study suggests that the IJS may reliably identify victims of abuse and may discriminate between minor and severe levels of abuse. The IJS can be completed and scored in less than 10 min and may be useful for screening in mental health, medical, and social service agencies. Clinical guidelines and a case example are presented.
This meta-analysis summarizes results from k = 24 studies comparing either Brief Strategic Family Therapy, Functional Family Therapy, Multidimensional Family Therapy, or Multisystemic Therapy to either treatment-as-usual, an alternative therapy, or a control group in the treatment of adolescent substance abuse and delinquency. Additionally, the authors reviewed and applied three advanced meta-analysis methods including influence analysis, multivariate meta-analysis, and publication bias analyses. The results suggested that as a group the four family therapies had statistically significant, but modest effects as compared to treatment-as-usual (d = 0.21; k = 11) and as compared to alternative therapies (d = 0.26; k = 11). The effect of family therapy compared to control was larger (d = 0.70; k = 4) but was not statistically significant probably because of low power. There was insufficient evidence to determine whether the various models differed in their effectiveness relative to each other. Influence analyses suggested that three studies had a large effect on aggregate effect sizes and heterogeneity statistics. Moderator and multivariate analyses were largely underpowered but will be useful as this literature grows.
Clinical literature suggests that those close to a trauma survivor may experience intrapersonal and interpersonal distress because of indirect or secondary effects of the trauma. The focus of this study is on the association between reported childhood physical and sexual abuse and current individual stress symptoms, relationship satisfaction, and family adjustment. The participants included 96 clinic couples who reported a history of childhood physical or sexual abuse in one or both partners and 65 clinic couples in which neither partner reported such abuse. Couples in which one or both partners reported childhood abuse reported significantly lower marital satisfaction, higher individual stress symptoms, and lower family cohesion than couples with no abuse history. No significant differences were found between individuals who reported a history of abuse and their partners who reported no history of childhood abuse, suggesting support for secondary trauma theory. Clinical and future research implications are discussed.
This study explored Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples with childhood sexual abuse survivors (CSA) and their partners. Half of the couples in this study reported clinically significant increases in mean relationship satisfaction and clinically significant decreases in trauma symptoms, and thematic analyses identified numerous areas where trauma survivors were challenged in fully engaging in the therapy process. In particular, trauma symptoms such as affect dysregulation and hypervigilance were identified to play a role in the challenges that survivors experienced in fully engaging in the EFT process. Results of these thematic analyses yielded clinical recommendations for working with CSA survivors and their partners in EFT for traumatized couples. Recommendations for future study were articulated.
We reviewed 38 controlled studies of marital and family therapy (MFT) in alcoholism treatment. We conclude that, when the alcoholic is unwilling to seek help, MFT is effective in helping the family cope better and motivating alcoholics to enter treatment. Specifically, (a) Al-Anon facilitation and referral help family members cope better; (b) Community Reinforcement and Family Training promotes treatment entry; and (c) the popular Johnson intervention apparently does not effectively promote treatment entry. Once the alcoholic enters treatment. MFT, particularly behavioral couples therapy (BCT), is clearly more effective than individual treatment at increasing abstinence and improving relationship functioning. BCT also reduces social costs, domestic violence, and emotional problems of the couple's children. Future studies need to specifically evaluate: MFT with women and with minority patients, mechanisms and processes of change, and transportability of evidence-based MFT approaches to clinical practice settings.
Treatment for women who are survivors of child sexual abuse and who have a history of substance abuse has largely involved gender-specific interventions. This study examines the use of conjoint couple therapy with a cohort of women who were survivors of child sexual abuse and who are in addiction recovery and with their partners. A comparative case study analysis incorporated standardized clinical measures with client and therapist interviews. Brief conjoint therapy was found to assist couples in the specific relationship skill areas of communication and mutual problem solving. Further, substantive gains were found in the realm of affective relations. The women reported an increase in support from their male partners, and the men reported a decrease in negative emotional atmosphere in the relationship.
Many clients who participate in family therapy have experienced trauma such as physical and sexual abuse in their families of origin. Extensive literature suggests that abusive experiences can result in post-traumatic stress disorders, depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and other long-term effects. Without recognition of the effects that abuse can have on individuals, it is possible to misdiagnose clients or fail to provide them with adequate assistance. This study is an attempt to compare the symptomology of nonabused clients with physically and sexually abused clients using an empirically sound measure. The results demonstrate that the majority of clients who experienced physical and/or sexual abuse in their backgrounds scored in the clinical range on scales from the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Instrument (MCMI) (Millon, 1984). In contrast, clients who did not report abuse had significantly lower scores than the abused clients, and the majority of the nonabused clients scored in the nonclinical range on the scales of the MCMI. Treatment and theoretical implications surrounding the issues of abuse are discussed, and recommendations for marriage and family therapists are provided.
Liddle and Dakof's (1995) comprehensive review of the status of family-based treatment for drug abuse concluded that this modality offered a "promising, but not definitive" approach to treating drug abuse among adolescents and adults. Less than a decade later, significant progress can be seen in the treatment of drug abuse problems using family-based approaches, particularly with adolescents. Family-based treatments are currently recognized as among the most effective approaches for adolescent drug abuse. Family-based treatment of adult drug abuse problems has also advanced in important ways with the recent systematic application and testing of engagement techniques and behavioral couples therapy approaches. The current review characterizes and discusses the developmental status of this subspecialty and outlines areas in which continued research attention is needed.
The role of the therapy alliance in therapy outcome for families dealing with child abuse and neglect was examined using the family as the unit of analysis. The alliance was tested as a moderator in relationship to posttreatment levels of symptom distress and physical violence. Results show that the bonds, goals, and tasks subscale scores are significantly related to posttreatment levels of symptom distress and that the goals subscale score is significantly related to posttreatment level of violence. There is an interaction between bonds and level of violence at intake, suggesting that the greater the level of violence at intake, the more important the bonds domain.
This article presents part of the findings of a study of psychological abuse and physical violence in couples who voluntarily entered therapy. The study found that most of the men exhibited patterns of deception, devaluation, and dictatorial attitudes with their women partners and that these patterns were a considerable barrier to mutuality, reciprocity, and accommodation in the partnership. The researchers developed four interventions to challenge the men to change these patterns: true intentions, no free rides, the perception paradox, and the infallibility fallacy. The study was based on intimate justice theory, a developing clinical approach to therapy based on ethical theory.
This study examined the relationship between a history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) for one or both members of a romantic couple and perceptions of contempt and defensiveness for self and partner. Data from the Relationship Evaluation (RELATE) were analyzed for 10,061 couples. The findings suggest that when either or both partner(s) has a history of CSA, contempt and defensiveness in the couple relationship are greater than when neither reports a history of CSA. Furthermore, the males' experience of CSA had a greater impact on their perceptions of self and partner's contempt and defensiveness than females' experience of CSA. Explanations of gender differences are offered and implications for future research and practice are suggested.
Partner abuse is an epidemic with potentially dire consequences for individuals, families, and society. Family therapists must be able to competently assess for and intervene in abuse situations. This article presents a curriculum designed to provide family therapists with introductory knowledge and skills for the assessment and intervention of partner abuse. The curriculum, which is informed primarily by feminist and multicultural theories and practices, can be used in graduate courses, professional workshops, and for self-study.
There is a dearth of research that examines the impact of family systems therapy on problems among sexually and/or physically abused youth. Given this void, differential outcome and predictors of substance use change were evaluated for abused, as compared with nonabused, runaway adolescents who were randomly assigned to family therapy or treatment as usual. Abused adolescents reported lower family cohesion at baseline, although both abused and nonabused adolescents showed similar substance use reductions. Utilizing hierarchical linear modeling, we found that substance use changed with change in cohesion over time. These findings link change in family functioning to change in adolescent substance use, supporting fiamily systems theory. Findings suggest that a potent target of intervention involves focus on increasing positive communication interactions.
This review examines the results from 19 outcome studies, involving 1,501 cases, within 10 different clinical approaches to getting alcohol or drug abusers to engage in treatment or self-help. Each approach is summarized and its "success rate(s)" presented. Comparisons are made across various subcategories, such as alcohol vs. drug abusers, adolescents vs. adults, and experimental conditions vs. controls. A distinction is drawn between "Dual-Purpose" approaches, which combine engagement with counseling of the concerned person who originally sought help for the substance abuser, and "Engagement-Primary" approaches, which generally confine their efforts (through working with family members and others) to getting the substance abuser into treatment/self-help. "Best bet" clinical options are presented in terms of which particular approach appears to have the edge with which kind of substance abuser.
The present study compared solution-focused group therapy (SFGT) with a traditional problem-focused treatment for level 1 substance abusers. Outcome research on the effectiveness of solution-focused group therapy is minimal, especially in treating substance abusers. In the present study, clients were measured before and after treatment to determine therapeutic effectiveness. Clients in the solution-focused group significantly improved on both the Beck Depression Inventory and the Outcome Questionnaire. The clients in the comparison group did not improve significantly on either measure. Therapist skill level and adherence to theoretical models were measured in each group to reduce confounding variables.
Treatment evaluation for alcohol problem, runaway adolescents and their families is rare. This study recruited primary alcohol problem adolescents (N = 119) and their primary caretakers from two runaway shelters and assigned them to (a) home-based ecologically based family therapy (EBFT), (b) office-based functional family therapy (FFT), or (c) service as usual (SAU) through the shelter. Findings showed that both home-based EBFT and office-based FFT significantly reduced alcohol and drug use compared with SAU at 15-month postbaseline. Measures of family and adolescent functioning improved over time in all groups. However, significant differences among the home- and office-based interventions were found for treatment engagement and moderators of outcome.
This study examined effects of cognitive-behavioral couple therapy (n = 25 couples) and a variety of systems-oriented couple therapy models (n = 30 couples) in reducing negative attributions and degrees to which decreases in negative attributions were associated with improvements in other aspects of relationship functioning. Couples seeking treatment at a university clinic and experiencing psychological and/or mild-to-moderate physical abuse completed 10 weekly sessions. Attributions, relationship satisfaction, psychological abuse, communication, and negotiation were assessed before and after treatment. Women and men in both treatments exhibited decreased negative attributions, which moderated increases in satisfaction and decreases in negative communication, as well as increases in positive communication for men. The findings reinforce the importance of modifying negative attributions when intervening to reduce abuse.
This article explores the author's experiences with the concepts of power and competition as they intersect with aspects of reflecting team practices in academic settings. It draws upon Bishop's (2002) work, the elements of which are based on Starhawk's (1987) ideas of power with and power over. The article describes how competition and other power over practices of domination might unfold and intersect with reflecting-team practices. It is proposed that a power over practice, such as competition, which is prevalent in our society and universities, can be incompatible with the collaborative nature of reflecting teams. Suggestions for addressing the dissonance between the environment and reflecting team practice are offered.
Using a national sample of practicing marriage and family therapists (MFTs) and their clients, this study investigated whether academic training background is associated with differences in practice patterns and client outcomes. Clinical members of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy with academic training in psychology, social work, counseling, and marriage and family therapy were compared on a wide range of clinical practice variables, and their clients were surveyed about their satisfaction and outcomes. Results showed highly similar practice patterns and client outcomes across all four disciplinary groups. Although the findings showed little evidence for the uniqueness of academic marriage and family therapy training among experienced MFTs, they also refute the notion that therapists trained in MFT degree programs practice in unusual or inferior ways compared to MFTs trained originally in other mental health disciplines.
Drexel University's Couple and Family Therapy Department recently introduced a formal course on training the person of a therapist. The course is based on Aponte's Person-of-the-Therapist Training Model that up until now has only been applied in private, nonacademic institutes with postgraduate therapists. The model attempts to put into practice a philosophy that views the full person of therapists, and their personal vulnerabilities in particular, as the central tool through which therapists do their work in the context of the client-therapist relationship. This article offers a description of how this model has been tested with a group of volunteer students, and subsequently what had to be considered to formally structure the training into the Drexel curriculum.
Forgiveness is a significant intervention for healing interpersonal injury. Yet therapists do not often use forgiveness intervention. Employing a semantic perspective and a survey design (n = 307), this study investigated whether the language used to rationalize forgiveness intervention (set at five levels: personal growth, relationship reconciliation, spiritual issue, others' growth, and pardoning/condoning) may affect its acceptability. Gender, problem type, and choice were also included in the analyses. Overall, forgiveness was found to be an acceptable intervention. A pardoning/condoning rationale led to significantly lower acceptability ratings. Other results are discussed. We conclude that therapists should be less apprehensive about using forgiveness, but need to inform themselves better concerning its purpose, process, and articulation.
The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of a multiple-family group in increasing access to mental health services for refugees with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study investigated a nine-session multiple-family group called Coffee and Families Education and Support with refugee families from Bosnia-Herzegovina in Chicago. Adults with PTSD (n = 197) and their families were randomly assigned to receive either the intervention or a control condition. The results indicated that a multiple-family group was effective in increasing access to mental health services and that depression and family comfort with discussing trauma mediated the intervention effect. Further well-designed studies of family interventions are needed for developing evidence-based interventions for refugee families.