Journal of Family Therapy

Cover image for Vol. 39 Issue 1

Edited By: Reenee Singh

Impact Factor: 1.434

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 19/43 (Family Studies); 70/122 (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.

Covering Letter

A cover letter should be submitted with your manuscript and must include a statement that the data has 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. The cover letter should include a statement outlining what is new, impact making and original about the paper and why it should be considered for publication.

Please also include a paragraph detailing the Authorship contribution detailing the Author(s) responsible each of the following:

  • designing the work
  • acquiring the data
  • interpreting the data
  • drafting the work/ revising the work critically for intellectual content

A statement from the authors agreeing to be held accountable for all aspects of the work and any questions relating to the accuracy or integrity of the work should also be included.

Manuscript Format

1. 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), key words, author names, affiliations and contact details for the corresponding author.
  • 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. For tips on optimizing your abstract for search engines please click here.
  • 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.
  • 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 (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. Websites should also be cited in this way, with a full reference appearing in the References section (see below). Please check all websites are live and the links are correct at time of submission.
  • References: Should be listed at the end of the paper in alphabetical order according to the first author and be complete in all details following the APA style of referencing.
    • Articles: Altschuler, J. (2015). Whose illness is it anyway? On facing illness as a couple. Journal of Family Therapy, 37(1), 119-133.
    • Chapters: Burnham, J. (2012). Developments in the Social GRRRAAACCEEESSS: visible-invisible and voiced-unvoiced. In I.B. Krause (Ed.), Culture and Reflexivity in Systemic Psychotherapy. Mutual Perspectives (pp 139-163). London: Karnac.
    • Books: Burck, C., & Daneil, G. (2010). Mirrors and Reflections. Process of Systemic Supervision. London: Karnac.
    • Web pages (no author or date identified): Counting the cost: caring for people with dementia on hospital wards. (n.d.) Retrieved from documents_info.php?documentID=1199. [Cite in text as (“Counting the costs”, n.d.)]

For further details, please see the APA Style website:

3. The word limit, excluding abstract and practitioner points 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.

Case material and Confidentiality

Journal of Family Therapy readers particularly welcome papers which link theory and practice, and such papers are often enhanced by case material.

The Author takes responsibility for anonymising material in order to protect client confidentiality. All possible identifying information must be altered. Another way of protecting confidentiality is by presenting composite case material, made up of different aspects from a number of similar cases.

Do not identify any participants without consent or write about them in any way that identifies them to the public or other participants without consent.

Every paper that contains case material must be accompanied by:-

  • A statement in the letter to the Editor from the Author(s) specifying whether the material presented is disguised/generic/composite; or
  • A statement in the letter to the Editor that the Author has gained signed consent from patients/clients or teachers/students authorizing publication of the material. Please note that upon signing the Author Agreement the Author becomes liable for any third party information collated and takes complete responsibility for preparing the work and gaining the relevant permissions and consent.

Pre-submission English-language editing

It is often helpful to Authors for whom English is a second language to choose to have their manuscript professionally edited before submission to improve the English. A list of independent suppliers of editing services can be found here.

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 for a first decision. Revised manuscripts may take longer to reach a final decision).

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 this website.

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 click here.

All papers published in the Journal of Family Therapy are eligible for Panel A: Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience in the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

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.

Corresponding 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 this website. 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 (excluding book reviews) 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. All of the articles currently available can be viewed here. 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:
(The word count for all these papers does not include tables and figures.)

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
  • Description of methodology including participants
  • Results/Findings
  • Discussion of results, including implications for future research and practice

Systematic reviews (up to 6000 words).

Systematic reviews are welcomed. For systematic reviews and meta-analyses please ensure that you have used the PRISMA checklist and include a flowchart as part of your submission. Please complete and supply AMSTAR for systematic reviews which are narrative reviews not meta-analyses.

Suggested headings for systematic reviews are:

  • background or context;
  • objective;
  • search strategy;
  • inclusion criteria;
  • data extraction and synthesis;
  • main results; discussion and conclusions.

Please ensure that you include the standard points for practice.

You should provide the PROSPERO number in the methods section of the paper, or explain in your covering letter if you have not registered your review with PROSPERO.

Case Study (up to 2,000 words*)

*Longer papers may be considered at the discretion of the Editor if it is felt the manuscript fulfils the role of a full paper.

The Journal of Family Therapy welcomes case studies. A case study paper should include the following:

  • Theoretical/Research Basis
  • Introduction of the case including presenting issues
  • Relevant background information
  • Systemic case conceptualisation
  • Self-reflexivity
  • Description of intervention/ treatment
  • Outcomes and follow up
  • Implications/contributions to the field

For anonymised case studies informed consent to publish must be obtained from all participants in the treatment and/or all family members before submission.


Theoretical Discussions or Controversial Theoretical Papers (4,000-6,000 words)

We welcome the submission of articles of this nature. 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

Teaching and Learning (up to 2,000 words*)

*Longer papers may be considered at the discretion of the Editor if it is felt the manuscript fulfils the role of a full paper.

These should include:

  • Practitioners Points – key ideas for trainers from paper
  • Description of context – situation in which teaching event occurred, experience and constitution of participants and trainers, pre and post learning required for this session
  • Aims of teaching event – aims and learning outcomes
  • Theoretical Description which includes systemic theory / practice and education / learning/ pedagogical theory
  • Description of event – pre reading, structure of session, length, didactic, experiential
  • Feedback from participants – formal and informal
  • Learning as a result of experience – trainers own evaluation, any suggested changes as a result of feedback or experience, suggestions for application in other settings

Additional Notes to Authors:

  • JFT has an international readership, so spell out details that might be unfamiliar to the non UK field.
  • JFT welcomes the linking of previous literature in a substantive, explanatory sense and therefore advises authors to reference other papers where possible.