About the Study

Family-Focused Therapy for Individuals at High Clinical Risk for Psychosis

Using a family treatment approach, we want to determine if there is an effective treatment to help both the young person who is at clinical high risk (CHR) of developing psychosis and the family to help their family member more effectively. The goal of this study is to compare social functioning outcomes from families participating in 6 months of Family-Focused Therapy (FFT) or a duration-matched control condition.

Families will be randomly assigned to either FFT or the control treatment. Both treatments are six-months long. In the FFT, there are twelve 1-hour weekly sessions which are followed by 6 bi-weekly sessions (total 24 weeks of treatment). In the control condition, the family receives 3 weekly 1-hour sessions in the first month and then for the remaining 5 months the young person receives an hour-long session each month. Treatments can be offered in person or virtually.

FFT consists of three separate modules:
  1. Psychoeducation (typically 6 sessions)
    • These Include: Goal Setting, Treatment Overview, Educating Families about Symptoms, Stress & Coping Skills, Optimising Family Support and a Prevention Plan.
  2. Family Communication enhancement training (typically 8 sessions)
    • These Include: Expressing Positive Feelings, Active Listening, Making a Positive Request, Communication Clarity & Expressing Negative Feelings.
  3. Family problem-solving (typically 4 sessions)
    • These Include: Expressing Negative Feelings, Introductions to Skills, Problem-Solving Techniques & Termination Tasks.

The control condition consists of:

  1. The first 3 family-therapy weekly sessions consisting of evaluation feedback plus family education about the youth’s high-risk symptoms and creation of a prevention action plan.
  2. The next 5 sessions are individual with the youth, which are focused toward applying the prevention action plan, case management, and support
a. they have already received FFT or are currently in family therapy and are unwilling to switch to our study therapy; or
b. sexual or physical abuse or domestic violence has occurred recently or is unresolved (e.g. the Department of Children’s Services is conducting an evaluation)
For exclusionary conditions, eligibility for the trial may be reconsidered if the condition has been treated to remission and the subject still meets study criteria.

For more information about getting involved in this study, please call us at 403-210-8740 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it