Family-based Mental Health Therapists' Perceptions of the Competencies Specific to Home-based Therapy: A Qualitative Study

Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 1-1-2003


Campus Only

Submission Type


Degree Name



Counselor Education and Supervision (ExCES)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Lisa Lopez Levers

Committee Member

Emma Mosley

Committee Member

Beverly Evans


family-based therapy


The mental health system for children and adolescents has been under construction and development for decades. The Federal government passed a system-changing piece of legislation with the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980. Government, state, and local government agencies have implemented community-based services to provide services to a population that is at risk for out-of-home placement. Meyers, Kaufman, and Goldman (1998) questioned whether pre-service academic training bears any resemblance to the actual work, reflecting the changes in service delivery, especially with children and families. This study used a heuristic approach of inquiry as the primary methodology and was aimed at identifying the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that are specific to family-based services. The research examined Family- Based Therapists' perceptions of the competencies specific to effective in- home service delivery. The data were collected by conducting ten individual interviews and one focus group with key informants. Findings indicate that there are basic counseling skills, knowledge, and values needed to provide therapy in any setting. However, the findings further identified specific skills, a knowledge base, and values specific to Family-Based Therapy. The interviews emphasized the importance of reconstructing training programs, refining state driven regulations, and the need to increase communication between educational institutions and community mental health agencies. Implications for future research and current approaches to begin communications between systems are identified.





This document is currently not available here.