Family-Focused Treatment for Adolescents (FFT-A)

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. This program has been rated by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:

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About This Program

Target Population: Adolescents with bipolar disorder and their family members

For children/adolescents ages: 9 – 17

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 9 – 17

Brief Description

FFT-A is a psychosocial treatment for youth with bipolar disorder, consisting of family psychoeducation, communication enhancement training, and problem-solving skills training. It is given alongside of medications in the period just after an episode of bipolar disorder. The clients are the adolescent, mother/father, and where possible, siblings and extended relatives.

Program Goals:

The overall goals of Family-Focused Treatment for Adolescents (FFT-A) are:

  • Encourage a greater understanding of the adolescent's current symptoms and how they reflect the syndrome of bipolar disorder
  • Assist the adolescent and parents in understanding his/her vulnerability to future relapses and develop relapse prevention plans
  • Encourage a greater acceptance of the need for psychotropic medications to maintain mood stability
  • Help the adolescent and family distinguish mood symptoms from ordinary development or personality/temperament
  • Help the adolescent and family to recognize and minimize the effects of stressors that may elicit symptoms
  • Enhance the functioning of the family unit in terms of its communication and problem-solving skills

Contact Information

David J. Miklowitz, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: University of California-Los Angeles
Phone: (310) 267-2659
Fax: (310) 206-4446

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: March 2016

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: April 2014

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: September 2010