Journal of Family Therapy

Cover image for Vol. 37 Issue 2

Edited By: Reenee Singh

Impact Factor: 1.02

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 21/39 (Family Studies); 75/111 (Psychology Clinical)

Online ISSN: 1467-6427

Author Guidelines

Manuscript submission
Papers submitted for publication should be original work not previously published in English and not currently submitted elsewhere for consideration. If accepted for publication, a paper cannot be published elsewhere in any language without the consent of both Editor and publisher. It is a condition of acceptance that the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice automatically acquires the copyright throughout the world.

Manuscripts should be submitted to the following website: Full submission instructions can be found on this website.


A cover letter should be submitted with your manuscript and must include a statement that the data have not been published, and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. It will be presumed that all listed authors of a manuscript have agreed to the listing and have seen and approved the manuscript.

Format for Manuscripts
      Manuscripts should allow for 'blind/anonymised' refereeing and must not contain author names or any identifiable data.

2.      Manuscripts must be typed in double spacing throughout, including quotation, notes and references in the following order:

-       Title Page: to contain the title of the paper, word count, suggested running head (short title for your paper) and key words.

-       Abstract: on a separate sheet, the title to be repeated followed by a summary of not more than 150 words. The suggested running head should also be present.

-       Practitioner Points: two to six bullet points of no more than 180 characters each (including spaces), up to a total of 480 characters.

-       Organisation of the text: see copy of Journal for the format currently in use.

-     References (in text)
these should be indicated by the name and date e.g. 'Carr (2009)'. If more than two authors are listed, cite the reference as 'McHugh et al. (2010)'. Quotations should include page numbers. Web sites should also be cited in this way, with a full reference appearing in the References section (see below).

-     Figures, tables, etc.: All figures and tables should be numbered with consecutive arabic numerals, have descriptive captions and be mentioned in the text. They should be kept separate from the text but an approximate position for them should be indicated.  These will need to be uploaded separately. Please supply figures in the format in which they were created, if possible.

-     References

should be listed at the end of the paper in alphabetical order according to the first author and be complete in all details, again following the Journal's existing format.
Articles: Larner, G Intergrating Family Therapy in adolescent depression:an ethical stance. Journal of Family Therapy, 31: 213-232.
Chapters: Woodcock, J. (2009) Love and hate and the oedipal myth: the perfect bridge between the systemic and psychoanalytic. In Flaskas, C. And Pocock, D. (Eds) Systems and psychoanalysis: contemporary integrations in family therapy. London: Karnac. Pp 129-146
Rivett, M. and Street, E. (2009) Family therapy: 100 key points and techniques. London: Routledge.

Web sties: Alzheimer’s Society (2009) Counting the cost: caring for people with dementia on hospital wards, retrieved 11 January 2012 from documents_info.php?documentID=1199.

3.      The word limit, excluding abstract and references will vary depending on the type of paper you are submitting.  Please refer to the ‘Advice to Authors’ section below.

4.      Style: Whilst Journal style is generally formal, originality in presentation does not necessarily preclude publication if clarity and readability is thereby enhanced. Sexist language forms are unacceptable.


Your manuscript will be returned to you if you fail to conform to these requirements.


Patient Consent Form
Authors using case material must also sign the appropriate form to confirm that patients/families have given their informed consent for their details to be included in publication.

Pre-submission English-language editing
Authors for whom English is a second language may choose to have their manuscript professionally edited before submission to improve the English. A list of independent suppliers of editing services can be found at  All services are paid for and arranged by the author, and use of one of these services does not guarantee acceptance or preference for publication.


Evaluation of Manuscripts
The Editorial office will acknowledge receipt of manuscripts. The Editor will arrange for evaluation by at least two assessors. Following receipt of the assessors comments the Editor will advise the authors about the decision concerning the manuscript. This will be done as rapidly as possible with the aim being 12 weeks.

If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors of the paper.

For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement

If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below:

CTA Terms and Conditions

For authors choosing OnlineOpen

If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

Creative Commons Attribution License OAA

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) or the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with your Funder requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal's compliant self-archiving policy please visit:

Copy Editing
Following acceptance for publication an article is copy edited for conformity to the style of publication, clarity of presentation, punctuation, standard usage of terms, etc.


First-named authors will receive proofs for correction which must be returned within 48 hours of receipt. The corresponding author will receive an email alert containing a link to a web site. A working e-mail address must therefore be provided for the corresponding author. Acrobat Reader will be required in order to read this file. This software can be downloaded (free of charge) from the following web site: Further instructions will be sent with the proof.  

Early View
The Journal of Family Therapy is part of the Wiley Online Library Early View service. Articles accepted for publication can be accessed on a regular basis online in advance of their appearance in a print issue.

These articles are fully peer reviewed, edited and complete and are considered fully published from the date they first appear online. This date is shown with the article in the online table of contents. The articles are available as full text HTML or PDF and can be cited as references by using their Digital Object Identifier (DOI) numbers. To view all the articles currently available, please visit On print publication, the article will be removed from the Early View area and will appear instead in the relevant online issue, complete with page numbers and volume/issue details. No other changes will be made.


Writing is a very enjoyable and satisfying way of being involved in the world of family therapy. The exchange of ideas and experience is important both for the development of our chosen field and for the development of the individual practitioner. We intellectually sustain ourselves by creating a healthy and vibrant literature. Family therapy needs to develop authors and
The Journal of Family Therapy wants to hear from you.


These are the types of papers that are regularly submitted to the Journal of Family Therapy:


Research Presentation (3,000-6,000 words)


A research paper should include:

·          An introduction to the principal concepts and theoretical issues relevant to the study.

·          Previous work.

·          Brief description of methodology including participants.

·          Results.

·          Discussion of results, including implications for future research and practice.


Case Study (3,000-6,000 words)


The Journal of Family Therapy particularly welcomes case studies.  A case study paper should

·          Introduce the clinical dilemma posed by the case.

·          Review relevant literature.

·          Describe the intervention/treatment.

·          Discuss the relevance of the intervention for general clinical practice.




Theoretical Discussions or Controversial Theoretical Papers (4,000-5,000 words)


Again there are few articles of this nature offered for possible publication.  A paper of this type would include:

·          A brief general introduction.

·          A review of previous statements of the issues.

·          A definition of problems and solutions.

·          A development of an argument (Research based work which was undertaken for a thesis may be referenced).

·          Relation of theory to practice.

·          Issues to be resolved.


Often we will ask one of the reviewers to write a commentary on the paper to stimulate debate through the Journal pages.


Literature Review (3,000–5,000 words)


These are much sought after by the readership. Such a paper would have:

·          A brief general introduction.

·          A description of the way in which the themes in the literature are organised by the author for review. This may include conceptual and definition problems.

·          The review.

·           An overview of the review process including gaps in existing knowledge.

·           Future directions.




From the outset, it needs to be appreciated that the audience for a thesis is very different to the readership of a Journal. A thesis is prepared to demonstrate candidates' knowledge of an area, their understanding of how theoretical matters link and their ability to use a wide range of sources to develop arguments. In presenting research material, the thesis will provide explanations about the process of deciding on a methodology, the utilisation of that methodology and a critique of its application. A Journal article by contrast seeks to make one or two points clearly and to link these with the current understandings and conceptions in such a way that there is the development of ideas. The Journal reader assumes that the author has a wide range of knowledge of the area and is looking for the author to make a few points well by building on what is already known.


The key to overcoming the difficulties of moving from a thesis to a Journal article is to be aware that one uses the thesis as a source rather than using it as an earlier version of the article. In preparing a Journal article you begin with a blank sheet of paper, a lot of knowledge and previous written material. What is available has the potential of being an article but further work will be necessary.


A thesis and a Journal article are very different pieces of writing and the process of preparing one for the other is more than just re-wording the title page!


Many Journal reviewers can easily identify thesis based material by the following common problems that appear:-

1.       The introduction is over long and covers too broad an area.

 Histories of where family therapy came from and descriptions of core elements of systemic practice are not necessary in Journal articles. Only the theoretical point germane to the article's principle aims need to be outlined.

2.       Long explanations as to why particular methodologies are used.

For a Journal article there is no need to enter into discussions of this nature or to compare different methodologies. The decision was made to undertake the research on one particular methodology and this is what should be present.

3.       Too many quotes from other authors.

There is a need in a thesis to seek validation from a wide range of sources, but in a Journal article the author's own arguments should be enough with a few selected quotes to emphasise points.

4.       The attempt to write the journal article by following the same structure of the thesis.

In many cases this is not necessary as the article will demand a different type of structure.

5.       Over long self critique of the work.

Although self criticism is a necessary part of any public presentation of one's work, it needs to be pertinent to the material presented. There is no need for a full descriptive account of the self reflective process.

6.       De-emphasising the main findings of any research study in an attempt to fit it in with the fuller perspective of the thesis.

In an article the main findings of the research study need to be emphasised and examined and then linked to broader themes relevant to the issues discussed.


In short, writers of papers prepared from theses often attempt to include as much of their thinking that went into the thesis in the paper.  There is a need to overcome the reluctance to cut out elements of the thesis in the preparation of an article to keep the writing solely relevant to the ideas being present.


Good Marks and Articles

Because the consumers of theses and papers are different, the potential author needs to be aware that if a thesis is praised it does not necessarily mean it is readily translatable into an article. It simply means a good mark towards the degree. Similarly, even if a thesis or extended essay just scrapes past the pass mark, it may contain some very useful material that can be worked with for future submissions as an article to a Journal.

The Question of Authorship

In many academic departments there is a tradition that material which is offered for publication which is based on a thesis should be seen as a joint endeavour between the student and the supervisor. The student is seen as being the senior author with the supervisor in a supporting role. Courses and supervisors are quite likely to have different views on this. There are no set rules. However in some situations it may be that by using the thesis material as a source a good quality article could be developed by the student and supervisor working on it jointly. This is a point that should be borne in mind by both students and staff of family therapy courses.


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Editorial Office

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