Latino families’ expectations about the process of family therapy, therapists, treatment outcome, termination, and future therapy

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While researchers have focused on exploring client expectations about therapy, most of these studies have focused on individual therapy and the mainstream population. Very few studies have been dedicated to exploring the expectations of Latino/a clients about therapy and even fewer have been dedicated to exploring the experience of Latino families in family therapy. The theoretical framework used in this qualitative research is General Systems theory and Expectancy theory. The purpose of this study was to explore families’ expectations about the process during family therapy treatment and the expectations about the outcome of therapy and the termination process. Participants in this study were first- and second-generation immigrants from Central and South America, Mexico, and Caribbean Islands, which are Cuba, Dominican Republican, and Puerto Rico. Participants answered an online qualitative survey. After data were analyzed, five themes and several subthemes were found in this study: (1) Positive Experience in Therapy, with three subthemes: (1a) Expectations before therapy, (1b) Observations after therapy, and (1c) Experience of parents with therapy; (2) Involvement of Family Led to Effective Treatment; (3) Latinos Expected Therapy to be Useful; (4) Latino Expectations about Therapists, with two subthemes: (4a) Prior to Therapy and (4b) After Therapy; and (5) Children Expected That the Therapist Would Take Parents’ Side. The results of this study contribute to therapists’ understanding of Latino families’ expectations for therapy. Therapists will be able to facilitate therapeutic alliance with these families, and to write treatment planning that will meet the needs of the Latino families.

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