EVALUATING AND TREATING FAMILIES: THE MCMASTER APPROACH
C. Ryan, N. Epstein, G. Keitner, I. Miller, and D. Bishop
Used with permission of the authors
“The assessment contains a number of statements about families. Read each statement carefully, and decide how well it describes your own family.” Each member of the family should answer according to how that family member sees your family.
“For each statement there are four possible responses:
Strongly agree (SA): if you feel the statement describes your family very accurately.
Agree (A): if you feel the statement describes your family for the most part
Disagree (D): if you feel the statement does not describe your family for the most part
Strongly Disagree (SD): if you feel the statement does not describe your family at all”
“Try not to spend too much time thinking about each statement, but respond as quickly and as honestly as you can. If you have difficulty, answer with your first reaction.”
“To score the Family Assessment Device, code all responses as follows:
Strongly agree = 1
Agree = 2
Disagree = 3
Strongly Disagree = 4”
As printed on the FAD General Functioning Scoring a “score of 2.00 or above indicates problematic family functioning. The higher the score, the more problematic the family member perceives the family’s overall functioning.
The assumptions underlying the MMFF are:
“-The parts of the family are interrelated
-One part of the family cannot be understood in isolation from the rest of the system
-Family functioning cannot be fully understood by simply understanding each of the parts
-A family’s structure and organization are important factors in determining the behavior of family members
-Transactional patterns of the family system are among the most important variables that shape the behavior of family members”
In other words, how a member of a family is doing or how healthy that individual family member is, can only be understood within the context of how healthy that family is. We oftentimes think that the problem is the child or the problem is the father or the problem is the mother. In truth the problem is the family. In times of economic downturn we often see the child come in as the problem. When in truth the child is only the obvious symptom of an unhealthy family. Our families give us our sense or security and predictability. When the parents do not feel secure due to unemployment, debt, falling housing prices, etc., they do not convey a sense of security and trust in the future to their children. The child’s acting out behavior which looks like rebellion against the family is usually a plea by the child for structure, security, and hope for the future.
If your scores on the test, indicate an unhealthy family, Apex Behavioral Health Western Wayne, P.L.L.C. is a resource to which you can turn.
Please print and fill out the following form.
Family Evaluation Form — Click here.
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