Impact of multiple-family therapy approach on a parallel latency-age/parent group

J. M. Cunningham, K. L. Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A latency-age group and a parallel parents' group have been successfully functioning since 1975. However, the introduction of the multiple-family therapy concept into a joint group has made a significant impact since its inception in 1977. The children and parents who are involved comprehend more fully the process of a family's working toward common and individual goals. Increasing one's fund of knowledge from interaction with the various subsystems, observing therapists directly communicating with and managing the children, seeing parents function more adequately as adults, and having a comfortable supportive environment in which to begin a trial of new alternatives are major advantages of the model. The approach also makes possible a broad training experience for various disciplines in understanding family dynamics and systems. The use of a multiple-family therapy approach furthers awareness in the realistic setting of goals, methods of psychotherapy, and techniques of intervention. Some problems are noted relative to space, time, and some interruption of the process in the parallel groups. The model has not proved a viable entry point for new families to treatment. The advantages are significant in the areas of communication, role-modeling, clarifying goals, and training; consequently, the modified multiple-family therapy group continues to be a valuable tool in this outpatient treatment facility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-102
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Group Psychotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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