Conjoint versus one-person family therapy: Some evidence for the effectiveness of conducting family therapy through one person

Jose Szapocznik, W. M. Kurtines, F. H. Foote, A. Perez-Vidal, O. Hervis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

140 Scopus citations


This article presents the results of a therapy-outcome study designed to compare the relative effectiveness of conjoint family therapy (CFT; therapy with the entire family present for most sessions) and one-person family therapy (OPFT; therapy with only one family member present for most sessions). The working hypothesis of the study was that it would be possible to achieve the goals of family therapy (structural family change and symptom reduction) by working primarily with one person. Results were presented on 37 Hispanic families randomly assigned to one of the two treatment modalities (i.e., CFT or OPFT). Data were analyzed using a mixed-design (repeated measures plus between-group independent variable) analysis of variance with treatment (OPFT vs. CFT) as the between-group independent variable and time of assessment (intake, termination, follow-up) as the repeated measure. The results indicated that both conditions were highly effective in improving family functioning and that OPFT was slightly more effective in reducing identified patient symptomatology. Clinical and practical issues are discussed as well as the implications of the findings for the current theory and practice of family therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-899
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1983


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

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