Serving Families with Disabilities


When “Miracles” Aren’t Possible: Careful Considerations When Working with a Client or Family with a Disability

I stopped seeing my therapist because she kept stating that my Autism was a ‘problem’ or asking me what life would be like without it. It started to make me feel bad about myself.
Brie Turns-Coe, PhD

Systemic Family Therapy and Disabilities

John Rolland’s Family Systems Illness (FSI) model provides a systemic framework for us to conceptualize both disabilities and family functioning as well as their intersection and reciprocal influences (Rolland, 2018). Foundational to the field of marriage and family therapy is systems theory, conceptualizing health issues within their relational context, despite the larger healthcare field operating based on the individual as the unit of diagnosis and treatment (Wampler, et al., 2017).
Deanna Linville, PhD & Emily Johnson, MEd

How EMDR Therapy Helps Families and Individuals with Disabilities

Individuals with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities are more likely to experience traumatic experiences than individuals without a disability (i.e., Rumball, 2020; Hulbert-Williams et al., 2014; Soylu et al., 2013). For instance, approximately 45% of individuals with autism report symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD; Rumball, 2020). Adults with intellectual disability are more likely to experience physical, emotional, and sexual abuse than typically developing adults (Soylu et al., 2013).
Brie Turns-Coe, PhD & Paul Springer, PhD

Systemic World

AAMFT Participates in Launch of New Organization: The Systemic Family Therapy Association-Kenya (SFTA-K)

February 8, 2024 was a historic day for the field of marriage and family therapy in Kenya. The Systemic Family Therapy Association-Kenya (SFTA-K) was successfully launched. Official sponsors, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, were not only present via teleconferencing, but played a significant role in supporting this launch.


Ethics + Legal

Demystifying Subpoenas

There’s an authoritative knock on the door of your solo practice. You open it, and a uniformed Sheriff’s deputy is standing there with a clipboard piled high with papers. He hands you one of the documents from the stack—in big letters across the top of a page scattered with numerous signature boxes and quasi-legalese you catch, with a sinking feeling, the words “SUBPOENA FOR WITNESSES.”


Guiding Couples to Repair When Trust Has Been Broken: Setting Expectations with Digital Use

Many couples struggle to form agreements for cellphone and computer use after an affair. Providing guidance to establish expectations around digital use is a valuable service provided by therapists in the field of marriage and family therapy. Setting shared expectations with digital use can be hard to accomplish in any relationship, and post affair, the need for clear, agreed-upon guidelines is of importance for the health of a relationship.
Jody Eyre, MS


Mothers’ Lived Experiences with an Incarcerated Son: A Research Brief

With an estimated 2.2 million people incarcerated, the United States (U.S.) continues to have the highest incarceration rate in the world (Beckett et al., 2018). Stress, trauma, and stigma are common negative effects of incarceration on the well-being of the individual and their loved ones (Turney & Goodsell, 2018). For an already vulnerable group, the effects of incarceration can have devastating effects on the entire family system (Beckett et al., 2018; Lee et al., 2015; Wakefield et al., 2016).
Eman Tadros, PhD, Sarah Presley, MSW, & Yenitza Guzman, PhD


Updates from Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

We are celebrating 50 years of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy (JMFT)! Throughout the coming year, be on the lookout for fun facts and highlights featuring JMFT’s rich history.

FTM is a connector to and from diverse family therapy practice, policy, supervision, and research leaders.

—Angela Lamson, PhD, LMFT

With cutting-edge and relevant articles, the FTM is the place I find practical systemic information.

—DeAnna Harris-McKoy, PhD

The magazine is great because it shows what other remarkable things my fellow colleagues are doing in the field.

—Sheldon Jacobs, PsyD, LMFT