Behavioral Family Therapy: A Brief Overview

Behavioral family therapy (BFT) is a form of psychotherapy that is based on the principles of behaviorism, and is used to treat psychological and behavioral disorders in family units. The goal of BFT is to foster healthy and adaptive behaviors in family members, while also helping them to develop a better understanding of one another. BFT can be used to treat a wide range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, and relationship issues. BFT is also used to improve communication and conflict resolution skills within families.

The approach of BFT is based on the idea that family members can learn to modify their behaviors in order to create a more positive and functional environment for everyone. The therapist will work with the family to identify and modify maladaptive behaviors, while also helping them to develop better communication and problem-solving skills. The therapist may use a variety of techniques, such as role-playing, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and a variety of other behavior-modification tools.

The effectiveness of BFT has been established in numerous studies and has been found to be an effective treatment for a variety of mental health issues. It is particularly useful in cases where individuals have difficulty communicating, as it helps to foster better communication between family members. Furthermore, BFT has been found to be beneficial in cases of substance abuse and related issues, as it helps to identify the underlying causes of the problem and work toward resolving them.

BFT is a valuable tool for therapists and can be used in a wide range of mental health issues. It is an effective way of helping families to work through their issues and build healthier relationships.


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Sturmey, P. (2018). Behavioral family therapy: An evidence-based approach. New York, NY: Routledge.

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