Family TIES

Family TIES

A Family-Based Intervention to complement

Prepare® ART®, and TIES Youth groups

Published in book form in October 2012 by Research Press, Champaign, Illinois, the Family TIES program (formerly referred to as Family A.R.T.®) is an initiative designed to work with the family systems of troubled youth. Youth who are receiving training in ART® and/or Prepare Curriculum® components, are better able to transfer their learning to their “real world” repertoire when their family members and/or significant others learn alongside them. Family members can therefore understand and, by practicing together, then reinforce the social competency being developed by the youth trainees.

Today, what was called a “generation gap” in the 60’s and 70’s, we like to refer to as a “communication gap” that exists between youth and parents and other family members. Family TIES targets the development of communication skills by all family members to strengthen interactions and relationships, thereby helping to improve the “ties” in the family structure.

The model includes training elements from social skills or Skillstreaming, Anger Control Training, Empathy Training, Problem Solving, Moral Reasoning, Character Education, Situational or Social Perception Training and Stress Management Training.

With the understanding that the parents and family members are the best possible transfer coaches for effectiveness in the learning process of Prepare® Curriculum or ART® skills, research on Family TIES was conducted to examine the effectiveness of the model. Over 6 years at Batshaw Youth and Family Centres in Montreal,Canada, evaluation material was gathered. In 2012 it was revealed that both youth and parent participants in the program , self-reported positive changes, in the reduction of: aggression, tendency to get angry, rule breaking and reported somatic problems. The research using further self reporting tools also revealed that youth and parents reported positive changes in categories such as communication, problem solving and general family functioning. Further research is indicated and strongly recommended. Encouraging results in use of the program are already being found in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Canada, the United States and even quite remarkably in Russia.

The model goes for 12 weeks (more is possible) and includes the following

Lesson plans:

Week 1 Connecting with Parents and Introducing Family TIES

Week 2 Introducing Social Skills and Preparing Parents for Role Playing

Week 3 Teaching Skills: Making a Complaint Constructively

Week 4 Teaching Skills: Negotiating

Week 5 Working Together: Parents and Youth

Week 6 Angry Behavior Cycle Situations

Week 7 Role Playing Relevant Issues

Week 8 The Trust Account

Week 9 Role Play, Role Play, Role Play

Week 10 Parents as Coaches

Week 11 Recognition and Wrap Up

Week 12 Booster Session

Family TIES focuses primarily on the structured learning techniques of Albert Bandura and the philosophy of Virginia Satir when it comes to improving communication. The individual sessions also help with anger control, empathy, gaining trust, and problem solving.

The model involves a multi-family approach where all may grow from their own, and other group members’, learning experiences.

The objective of this book is to share the process that has been used for over 10 years now, with facilitators internationally, who are about to embark on a systemic family approach to helping youth in need. This interesting approach promises to be a powerful method of enhancing generalization of PREPARE Curriculum® and ART® components.

For more information contact:

Robert Calame at


Kim Parker at

2023-06-25T20:11:55+02:00September 17th, 2017|


Robert Calame and Kim Parkers “Family TIES” is now released by Research Press.

Family TIES is a group program designed for family members or significant others of youth enrolled in Prepare®Aggression Replacement Training® (ART®), or Training in Essential Skills (TIES) sessions. This family program consists of 11 sessions, plus a booster session. Designed to augment youth group instruction and help parents become their adolescent children’s behavior coaches, these lively sessions give family members and their adolescent children the opportunity to work together to learn prosocial skills and anger control techniques. This knowledge gives families the confidence to resolve conflicts appropriately and the opportunity to build trust among family members. Appendixes include skill checklists, skill posters and skill cards, skill practice and recording forms, and supplementary exercises. The accompanying CD provides printable versions of all reproducible forms.

2018-01-01T22:43:51+01:00January 22nd, 2013|Categories: Education, Publications|

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