Every Family Teaches Me Something New: Sara’s Experience of Delivering FFT

I personally find it a real privilege to work with the families I do using the FFT model. This model allows me to utilise various techniques to match with the needs of individual families in such unique ways. Sometimes it all comes together so brilliantly, like slipping on a silken glove that fits so smoothly and perfectly and it just feels good!

Because of my own life circumstances and experiences with raising a neurodivergent child I often get the opportunity to take families on a journey of discovery that allows the darkness to recede as if I have just flung open a window on the brightest of days and let millions of beams of sunlight come pouring through.

There is a lightness that is present which shifts families into another way of being together. It starts with building the relationship, and to quote President Theodore Roosevelt,

No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care” is the premise that I work from. Then acknowledging and pointing out the families’ strengths and utilising those strengths to build momentum, confidence, and empowerment. Teaching families to turn inward to find the answers, giving people permission to make mistakes, encouraging families to practice their newfound skills and tools to shift unwanted patterns of behaviour. There is nothing earth shattering in what we do, it’s the simple stuff that sticks, being really explicit, consistent, and open to trying new ways of being is key.

Every family I work with teaches me something new, I am always learning in this space along with my families which makes for a perfect combination and mutual exchange of knowledge and growth for me the practitioner as much as it is for the families I am working with. I am aware that every family is a mirror and I have the opportunity to be vulnerable in this space and to see what is being offered to me and role model the same back to the families I am working with, because through vulnerability comes growth and a quite strength and resolve that is not easily broken. I am forever grateful and humbled in this role.

Written by Sara Johnston, Family Therapist, Functional Family Therapy – Child Welfare

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