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Relationship-focused therapy for sexual minority individuals and their parents (RFT-SM)

Our primary focus in the lab is delivering, testing and refining relationship-focused therapy for sexual minority individuals and their parents. The goal of the treatment is to help families remain connected in a loving, supportive and mutually respectful manner. In the context of our research, we provide treatment for families at sites in Beer-Sheva, Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem. Studies in our lab examine the process and outcome of RFT-SM. Some of the processes we examine include the therapeutic alliance, productive emotional processing, vulnerability, and self-disclosure both within and outside of the therapy room. We are interested in how the process of parental acceptance unfolds when things go smoothly, and how to successfully overcome obstacles when they arise. Our research helps us to both improve the efficacy of the treatment and articulate the model in order to train future practitioners.

For those interested in receiving more details about, or training in, RFT-SM, please contact Prof. Gary M. Diamond via email ( or by phone (972-52-5793090).

Change mechanisms in attachment-based family therapy for depressed and suicidal adolescents


Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT) (Diamond, Diamond & Levy, 2014) for depressed adolescents is a manualized, brief, empirically-informed treatment model designed specifically for treating depressed and suicidal adolescents. The approach is rooted in Structural Family Therapy (Minuchin, 1974); Multi-Dimensional Family Therapy (MDFT; Liddle, Dakof, & Diamond, 1991) and Emotion Focused Therapy (Johnson & Greenberg, 1992), and informed by research on adolescent development and attachment.  Based on findings showing that negative family processes are implicated in adolescent depression and suicide, the primary aim of the treatment is to strengthen or rebuild secure parent-child relationships and promote adolescent psychological autonomy.  Two randomized clinical trials have found ABFT to be more effective than treatment-as-usual (Diamond, Reis, Diamond, Siqueland, & Isaacs, 2002; Diamond, Siqueland & Diamond, 2003; Diamond, et al., 2010). ABFT has recently been designated a "proven treatment" by RAND'S Promising Practices Network and appears on SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidenced-Based Programs and Practices.


In our lab, we examine some of the purported change mechanisms of ABFT. More specifically, we examine the link between emotional processing and changes in attachment and other treatment outcomes. In this work, we utilize both observer-ratings and voice analysis.

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