How do we know family therapy works with any type of presenting problem? I would try to answer honestly this way based on the available research.
1. We know that people who receive psychotherapy tend to be better off than people that do not and the statistical difference is significant.
2. There is no evidence to suggest that any particular model or approach, or any therapist type or school of thinking produces results that are superior to any other. There is evidence to suggest that therapists matter and that therapeutic relationships matter (most clients seem to get this better than we do). Since we in MFT are relationship specialists we believe that we do a pretty good job at offering the types of therapeutic relationships that a lot of clients need, but we don’t yet know if we are any better than anyone else. That research has not been done.
3. The decision to use family therapy seems to have to do with client preference.
4. If you are seeking couples therapy you should be aware that most therapists and many family therapists have received little training in that modality.
5. There is some research that has attempted to show that certain models of family therapy are effective with certain presenting problems. I find that research suspect and believe, based on later studies that when unique therapist factors are controlled the differences between approaches disappear. The truth is that all models are effective when they match what clients are seeking in a therapeutic style.
5. Hence, my style is thus………..