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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Decreasing blame and building therapeutic alliance: Clarifying central change processes in functional family therapy
by Pederson, Heather M., Ph.D., Indiana University, 2012, 166; 3506337
Abstract (Summary)

This study addresses the limited research on the relationship between crucial therapeutic change processes—blame reduction and alliance building—and their relationship to retention in family therapy. This study compares families that dropped out early, or retained in an evidence-based family therapy treatment, using archival data of family member therapeutic alliance ratings and observational ratings of parental blame collected by the researcher and a team of trained raters. The sample included 53 juvenile offenders and their families that participated in court-ordered Functional Family Therapy (FFT) treatment in a diverse urban setting. Findings were that all families on average experienced a reduction in parental blame within the first two sessions of FFT, and that there was evidence of unique relationships between parental blame and family member alliances to their therapist. High parental blame was related to higher parent-therapist alliance; whereas, high parental blame was associated with low adolescent-therapist alliance. The results of this study have important implications for clarifying "how" family therapy works, as well as further highlighting the value of the principles and therapeutic goals of FFT.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sexton, Thomas L.
Commitee: Dopkins Stright, Anne, Murray, Maresa, Vaughan, Ellen
School: Indiana University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-B 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Counseling Psychology
Keywords: Attribution, Blame, Change mechanism, Dropout, Functional family therapy, Therapeutic alliance
Publication Number: 3506337
ISBN: 978-1-267-31740-7
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