Description: Utilizing a collective case study design, I examined and described the filial therapy (FT) process and adaptations discovered to be necessary and unnecessary in working with families who have a child with a life-threatening illness in the hospital setting. Data from a total of 7 parents was utilized, including those who terminated early, in order to gain a greater understanding of adapting FT for families who have a child with a life-threatening illness and their participation patterns. The parents attended 10 one- to two-hour FT sessions. The data was analyzed to examine for themes, patterns and relationships intrinsically with each case participant, as well as across cases. Analysis indicated that parents with a child with a life-threatening illness had great difficulty committing to attend FT; and a high rate of attrition occurred for those who did commit. A theme regarding flexibility was found to be of eminent importance in a variety of manifestations including therapeutic methods, session format, location and time of sessions, and intense vs traditional FT. Therapeutic adaptations in flexibility found to be important including openness to cathartic and personal parenting sessions, tolerance of forgetfulness, and lowering typical therapeutic concerns of dependency in the relationship. An inability for parents in this situation to benefit from intense FT methods was also noted. Changes noted in the child of focus included increased confidence, increased cooperation in the medical setting, increased communication with the parent and with medical staff regarding medical issues, and increased communication with the parent regarding personal feelings and issues. Changes noted in the parents included increased confidence in parenting skills, increased awareness of the child's perceptions of the environment, increased tolerance in allowing the child to struggle in and out of the medical setting, with both emotional and physical pain in order to gain coping skills, increased ...
Date: August 2004
Creator: Steen, Rheta LeAnne
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Partner: UNT Libraries