We provide thorough assessment services and therapy for teens in the most caring and supportive manner possible. Click on the image to learn more about our Teen Therapy services.

Who can benefit from Functional Family Therapy?

Functional Family Therapy is useful for high-risk youth because it addresses the complex and complicated problems our youth are facing. FFT is flexible, collaborative, and most importantly culturally sensitive. It focuses on assessing and decreasing risk factors while supporting protective factors. FFT can be used for youth who are at risk for violence, substance use, legal involvement, and behavioural issues with conduct or defiance disorders.

What is Functional Family Therapy (FFT)?

Functional Family Therapy is Strength – Based Cognitive Behavioural Approach to support families in coping with behavioural issues, mental health, conduct disorder, oppositional defiance, substance abuse, school refusal, and nonattendance. Family Therapy can begin by helping the family to assess how the family behaviours can be enhanced in areas such as communication, negotiation, setting clear rules, training about privileges and responsibilities, and relationships. The therapist can help to increase family strengths, communication, supportiveness, and decrease negativity and scapegoating. Work on cognitive, behavioural, and emotional domains are targeted for change based on the individual issues for each family. Parenting skills, coping skills, and sources or marital tension are targeted. Families are treated to develop the strengths of the individuals, the strengths within the family relationships, and the multiple systems linked to the environment. The family is effected by their community and relationships are seen from a strength and risk perspective. Family therapy is designed to increase resiliency to bounce back from stressors.

What are the Phases of Functional Family Therapy?

The specific phases of FFT include engagement, motivation, rational assessment, behavioural change, and generalization to other environments to decrease relapse. In the engagement phase the therapist focuses on establishing a strength-based therapeutic relationship to enhance trust and treatment success. During the motivational phase the therapist works to collaboratively explore the relationships in the home to decrease negativity, hopelessness, and low self-esteem for lasting change. The relational assessment involves creating a place for behavioural changes and capabilities such as beliefs, values, interactional patterns, and sources of resistance are explored. Behavioural change includes reduction of problem behaviours with training in communication, parenting, problem-solving, and conflict management. Generalization of skills to the community is important for increasing satisfaction and treatment results.

Family therapy involves the entire family so the changes the teen makes can be supported not only by the therapist but by their entire family system.

Therapy for Shyness, Social Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety, and Depression for Teens:

Teens often find peer and social pressures leave them feeling awkward, confused, and left out. They may worry they won’t know what to say or do in social situations. Fears of accidently acting in a way that causes their peers to think less of them may lead them to avoid interactions and increase isolation and loneliness. Avoiding social situations that make you uneasy can soon contribute to bigger fears that can overwhelm you and leave you feeling tired and alone. Our thoughts are not always the truth. We can tell ourselves we may be unlovable and be alone if we are not perfect and the life of the party, but the truth is that we are all make of good and bad points and no one is perfect or totally fun all of the time. Feeling down on ourselves can make us feel worse, and we might find we lack the energy to enjoy sports or hobbies we used to think were cool.

The good news is there is a great treatment called Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and you can look it up and see how effective it is for these issues. I can help you learn how to win against the bully that fear can become in your life and overcome your shyness so you can make new friendships and have more fun. Life has so much to offer if you can learn the social and relationship skills to have lasting friendships and enjoy this great time of your life!

We can begin by looking at your feelings of self-criticism and fear. We can set goals for what life can be like without embarrassment and teach you social confidence to achieve more for your future. Anxiety and depression are as real as physical pain, but the great part is that after a few weeks of support these symptoms can lessen so you can look more clearly at what stresses you out and problem solve how to get past it. By taking the focus of your emotions and learning that how you think is not always true, you can learn to talk back to the negativity and get in the face of those fears.

Who are you? What do you value in life? What future do you dream of?

Let’s explore these together!