Family-Focused Treatment for Adolescents (FFT-A)

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Scientific Rating:
Supported by Research Evidence
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. Family-Focused Treatment for Adolescents (FFT-A) has been rated by the CEBC in the area of: Bipolar Disorder Treatment (Child & Adolescent).

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