Developing a Measure of Fidelity for an Ecological Approach to Family Therapy

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This article reviews of the role of fidelity in family therapy research and how to develop a measure based on a program of research to evaluate the effectiveness of Ungar’s (2011, 2012) social ecological approach to clinical practice. The social ecological approach is a model of intentional practice that helps individuals and families with complex needs, changes problem behaviors, and sustains those changes by increasing their capacity to navigate and negotiate for resources meaningful to them. As a means to illustrate the process of developing a fidelity measure, the rationale and development of the social ecological approach-fidelity measure is presented as well as an outline of the initial evidence for inter-rater reliability. A sample of the principles and skills from the social ecological approach-fidelity measure are also presented along with anchor points providing a description of the behaviors expected from therapists.