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Assessing clients’ satisfaction with family therapy interventions has important practical and theoretical implications. This article presents findings on client satisfaction after participating in functional family therapy (FFT), which addresses youths at risk of delinquency behaviour and communication problems in the family. Qualitative interviews and quantitative research methods are employed to compare programme perceptions with standardized therapeutic outcomes. The data include a parent or guardian interview, a youth interview, a services tracking form and the initial and discharge strengths and needs assessment (SNA). We observed high levels of satisfaction with FFT, yet satisfaction with family therapy and therapists was higher among parents. Parents uniformly indicated satisfaction on six Likert scale items while the youths were satisfied only on one. We found five significant differences between the parents’ and youths’ responses. The parents reported greater trust in therapists, more engagement in family therapy and more positive perception of changes in family dynamics following the intervention. The two scales, satisfaction with the programme and satisfaction with the therapists, were correlated only for parents. However, both scales were correlated with some items on our outcome variable: the changes in the SNA, for parents and young people. We assessed predictors of satisfaction and found that satisfaction with therapy was inversely related to the number of sessions for youth. For parents, the only common predictor of both satisfaction with the therapist and satisfaction with the programme were the changes on the caregivers’ strengths scale. The answers to the open-ended questions indicated that, although both parents and adolescents valued the improvements in communication patterns, the youth seemed to be especially attuned to changes in this area. Researchers should continue assessing satisfaction with family therapy and study the relationship


This article was originally published in the Journal of Family Therapy, available at doi: 10.1111/1467-6427.12051.



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