RCPA - Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association


Attachment-based Family Therapy Workshops
September 8, 2014

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month and for mental health professionals a good time to develop key skills in this area. Attachment-based Family Therapy (ABFT) is the only manualized, empirically informed family therapy model specifically designed to target family and individual processes associated with adolescent suicide and depression. ABFT emerges from interpersonal theories that suggest adolescent depression and suicide can be precipitated, exacerbated, or buffered against by the quality of interpersonal relationships in families. It is a trust-based, emotion-focused psychotherapy model that aims to repair interpersonal ruptures and rebuild an emotionally protective, secure-based, parent-child relationship. Treatment is characterized by five tasks:

  • Reframing the therapy to focus on interpersonal development,
  • Building alliance with the adolescent,
  • Building alliance with parents,
  • Facilitating conversations to resolve attachment ruptures, and
  • Promoting autonomy and competency in the adolescent.

In the eastern region of Pennsylvania, Drexel University will conduct a series of one- and three-day ABFT workshops at its Health Sciences Center City Campus in Philadelphia October 22 – 24. A printable registration form and workshop brochure is available.

In the western region of Pennsylvania, Community Counseling Center of Mercer County, Human Services Center, the Barber National Institute, the Center for Family Intervention Science, and the Department of Couple and Family Therapy will hold a one-day overview and introduction to ABFT on October 27 at Penn State Shenango in Sharon. Registration for the western region workshop will open September 15. For more information contact Fern Torok.

Continuing education units are available for a broad range of professionals at these workshops.

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