Findings for practice from PACFA’s first literature review on Family and Relationship Therapy: A commentary

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Ione Lewis[1] Australian College of Applied Psychology

Address for correspondence:
Professor Ione Lewis
Australian College of Applied Psychology
Level 5, Wynyard Green
11 York Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Email: ione.lewis@acap.edu.au

Researchers at Monash University were awarded the PACFA tender to undertake a literature review of the effectiveness of Family and Relationship Therapy, which has now been published on the PACFA website. Seven major approaches representative of the major family therapy schools were reviewed, including Experiential Family Therapy, Structural Family Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Multi-systemic Therapy, Family Problem Solving, Solution Focused Therapy and Narrative Therapy. The development and major concepts of each of these approaches is included in the review, which is a useful resource for students and practitioners.

The review found much of the research has been conducted in the US, followed by the UK. This article summarises the major findings in terms of the implications for practice. A consistent research finding is that couple and family interventions outperform individual therapy for difficult to treat conditions such as anorexia nervosa and alcohol dependence.

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