In Multidimensional Family Therapy, Dr. Howard A. Liddle demonstrates this integrative, empirically supported approach for working with families of adolescents with behavior and substance abuse problems. Multidimensional family therapy (MDFT) protocols guide therapists in assessing and intervening simultaneously in developmentally critical domains of a teen's and family's life. Emotions, cognitive processes, and behavior are interconnected and are all addressed in MDFT. Adolescent problems such as drug abuse and delinquency are multidimensional in etiology and current manifestation, and therefore attempted remedies and therapist behavior must be multidimensional as well.
As a multisystems model, MDFT clinicians work individually with the adolescent and the parent, with the family as a whole to facilitate new relationships, and with family members in relation to sources of ongoing influence such as school and juvenile justice systems to address current functioning and new solutions for the adolescent.
In this session, Dr. Liddle works with a 15-year-old boy, recently diagnosed with ADHD and depression, who seeks a better relationship with his father. Dr. Liddle meets with the adolescent client and his mother to help them move beyond previous therapy to make changes in their lives.