A Guide to Multidimensional Family Therapy


If your child or someone else in your family deals with behavioral challenges that have a negative impact on their life and relationships, you may be wondering what next steps you can take to keep them healthy and maintain communication. While it can be hard to figure out the right thing to do in these situations, there are many options available that can help young people and their parents cope in a beneficial way. Multidimensional family therapy, for example, has been proven effective in changing problematic behaviors and strengthening family connections.

What Is Multidimensional Family Therapy?

Multidimensional family therapy is a collaborative form of treatment that serves youth, their families, and even their communities. Supported by decades of research, this treatment method is widely embraced by parents and therapists alike. It is a family-centered therapy designed for children or teens who struggle with certain mental and behavioral issues. Multidimensional therapy typically addresses problems that can affect young people and their families, such as:

  • Mental health conditions
  • Substance abuse issues
  • Crime and delinquency
  • Antisocial behaviors
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • School problems
  • Family issues
  • Emotional difficulties

The main objective of this type of therapy is to reduce negative behaviors & enhance other aspects of a young person’s life like school performance, family functioning, social involvement, and positive peer relationships. Therapists who specialize in multidimensional family therapy hope to positively change how children, parents, families, school faculty or administration, community members, and even justice systems interact with one another.

Benefits of Multidimensional Family Therapy

There are many potential benefits that can come from attending multidimensional family therapy. First, it can give parents hope that their child can live a happy and healthy life despite going through a tough time. In the same vein, this type of therapy can even strengthen parental teamwork. Multidimensional family therapy can also enable young people to adopt a positive lifestyle and develop short-term or long-term goals. Ultimately, this type of therapy has the ability to strengthen feelings of love and connection among families and communities. It can not only help families communicate more effectively, but it gives them the tools to start growing closer.

How Multidimensional Family Therapy Works

So how does multidimensional family therapy actually help strengthen family connections? This therapy model achieves its goals by promoting change in parents and children alike. A therapist will meet individually with the children or teen and with their parents, then they will meet with the youth and their parents together. In some cases, sessions will begin to include other family members and people in the community that have been affected by the child’s behavior. The professional will get to know what is in the heart and mind of the young individuals and their family while observing how the family members relate to or talk to each other.

Multidimensional family therapy has three main phases. The first phase focuses on motivation for change in the child or teenager. The second phase will make requests for changes in relationships, problem solving, and other interactions among family members. The third phase focuses on maintaining those positive changes and using those new skills in everyday life.

Getting Started With Family Therapy

Many substance abuse treatment centers and mental health settings now offer multidimensional family therapy. This type of therapy is typically used in outpatient settings, but can be used for inpatient participants as well. Depending on the facility and the patient, sessions are usually conducted one to three times per week over the course of six months.

Have any questions about multidimensional family therapy? Contact our team of mental health treatment specialists at Elium Health by calling 866-552-3758 or sending an email to contact@eliumhealth.com today.





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