Exploring fathers' experience of behavioural family therapy

Lees, Kerri T. (2013) Exploring fathers' experience of behavioural family therapy. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.


Behavioural Family Therapy (BFT) as a family intervention has previously been evaluated, with specific attention to its effectiveness in reducing relapse rates in psychosis. Less research, however, has focused on the subjective experiences of having BFT and no known research has explored fathers’ experiences of BFT. More generally, limited research has explored fathers’ experiences across other types of family therapy. This is interesting in the light of theories suggesting fathers benefit from family approaches and are considered to play an important part in them (Martin, 1977). A gap in contemporary literature provided a solid rationale to explore this concept further. This research represents an original investigation into the subjective experiences of fathers who have participated in BFT.

Semi-structured interviews were carried out with five fathers to explore their experience of BFT. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyse verbatim transcripts which generated three themes: Fathers’ Reflections prior to BFT, Fathers’ Reluctance about BFT and Fathers’ Positive views of BFT. The results were considered in relation to existing research in this field, with reference to counselling psychology philosophy. The findings highlighted specific reservations fathers have about the process of family therapy, and drew attention to the significance of engaging fathers in family interventions. This study contributes to knowledge by considering how the above themes inform counselling psychology, other clinical practice, service provision and training. The implications for future research are also discussed.

LeesKerri_ExploringFathersExperienceOfBehaviouralFamilyTherapy_Redacted.pdf - Published Version

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