Families OverComing Under Stress

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

FOCUS (Families Overcoming Under Stress™) is a family-level resiliency training program designed to assist families experiencing high levels of stress and to prevent greater problems from occurring in the face of further stressors.[1][2]

FOCUS is based on leading evidence-based family intervention models for at-risk families, and aims to strengthen family cohesion and parent-child, marital, and co-parenting relationships. FOCUS is structured around families’ development of a shared understanding of past experiences, as well as skill building in the areas of emotional regulation, communication, problem solving, goal setting, and managing trauma and loss reminders.[2][3]

The core component of the FOCUS intervention is a six to eight session skills training program, with specific parent-only sessions, child-only sessions, and sessions including the whole family.[4] When possible, both parents participate in the program; it can be conducted with one member participating long distance.[1]

The FOCUS intervention has been adapted for use with a variety of populations experiencing family stressors and is utilized in an array of settings across the United States and in Japan.[1]

FOCUS for Military Families, designed to address the stress of an increased operational tempo and multiple deployments on military families,[5] is currently offered at 18 U.S. military sites.[6] FOCUS offers several adaptations of the intervention, each of which uses the same core set of skills and the creation of a family narrative to assist military families facing challenges.[2][3] FOCUS works with couples to increase their communication skills and understanding of each other’s experiences.[2][7] When working with families with kids ages 3 to 5, FOCUS focuses on bolstering parenting skills and building parents’ understanding of their child’s reactions to stressors.[7] When working with combat injured soldiers and their families, the FOCUS intervention helps families adjust to the specific changes and challenges that accompany combat injury.[7][8] Parts of the FOCUS curriculum are also utilized with the National Military Family Association’s Operation Purple Family Retreats, a program that provides four-day retreats to recently reunited military families.[9]

In addition to its use with military families, FOCUS has been utilized in two Southern California Children’s Hospitals to address the needs of children and families facing a variety of types of trauma (e.g., severe illness, violence, or traumatic loss).[7] FOCUS has also been used to help disaster relief workers and their families grow stronger in the face of some of the challenges they face.[7]


  1. ^ a b c FOCUS | Home. Focusproject.org. Retrieved on November 12, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d Program helping families weather transitions of military life. Nwguardian.com (May 20, 2011). Retrieved on November 12, 2011.
  3. ^ a b If Researchers Can Understand the Damage Being Done to a Family Then Logic Suggests There Must be Treatments. Usmedicine.com. Retrieved on November 12, 2011.
  4. ^ Helping military families help themselves – UCLA Health and Medicine News. Uclahealth.org. Retrieved on November 12, 2011.
  5. ^ U.S. Navy, UCLA FOCUS on Supporting Military Families. Defenseindustrydaily.com (June 11, 2009). Retrieved on November 12, 2011.
  6. ^ U.S. Military Succeeds With Family-Based Resiliency Training : Clinical Psychiatry News. Clinicalpsychiatrynews.com. Retrieved on November 12, 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d e FOCUS. UCLA. Retrieved on November 12, 2011.
  8. ^ Helping Servicemembers with Injuries and Their Families to Better Reintegrate Following a Deployment. Usmedicine.com. Retrieved on November 12, 2011.
  9. ^ Camps offered to families of deployed troops – Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq. Army Times. Retrieved on November 12, 2011.