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Families benefit most from structured sessions that follow a predictable pattern. Clinicians must also establish a clear agenda, goals and expectations for each session.

Sources of information

Observation of sessions and interviews with coordinator, clinicians, and families.

Item Response Coding

Primary data for this item is observation of a FPE session. If documented on standardized checklist for 80% or more of involved families, corroborated by coordinator, supervisor, clinicians, and families, the item would be coded as a 5.

Probe Questions

For program coordinator and clinicians Can you describe the typical FPE multi-family group session? What activities do you engage in? Do you have specific goals for each of the FPE sessions?

For family members Can you describe what you do at the beginning of each session? In the middle? At the end? Does session leader seem to have a structured approach to each session? Is it clear to you what will be accomplished in each session?

12. Structured Problem-Solving Techniques


In individual or group sessions, the clinician(s) use a standardized approach to help families with problem solving. The approach includes:

  • Select a problem for one consumer/family

  • Define the problem in behavioral terms

  • Generate at least 8 suggestions for solution to the problem

  • Explore with the consumer and family pros and cons for each suggestion

  • Have consumer and family select the best suggestion

  • With consumer and family, develop a step-by-step plan


Studies show collaborative and structured problem-solving techniques involving setting realistic goals and priorities and breaking goals into small behavioral steps are effective in improving consumers functioning and families coping.

Sources of Information

Observation of a random sampling of sessions and interviews with coordinator, clinicians, and families.

Family Psychoeducation Toolkit


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