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Filial Therapy: A Structured and Straightforward Approach to Including Young Children in Family Therapy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2012

Glade L. Topham*
Oklahoma State University, United States of
Risë VanFleet
Family Enhancement and Play Therapy Center Inc., Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, United States of America.
*Address for correspondence: Glade L. Topham, Department of Human Development and Family Science, Oklahoma State University, 233 Human Environmental Sciences, Stillwater, OK 74078-6122.
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This article describes Filial Therapy, a structured and straightforward approach to working with parents and young children in family therapy; it highlights the congruence between Filial Therapy and the values and principles of family therapy. The historical, theoretical and research foundations of Filial Therapy are described. The family science and child socialisation literatures are also briefly reviewed, linking key predictors of positive child outcome with the goals of Filial Therapy. Finally, we discuss the consistencies between Filial Therapy and experiential and structural models of family therapy. We conclude with a description of Filial Therapy followed by a case example to illustrate the process.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011

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