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Dr. Paul Sunseri

Clinician, Researcher, Thought Leader, and Father of Four

Dr. Paul Sunseri, the developer of IFFT, has decades of experience working with children and teens with the most serious mental health conditions. He is the founder of three community mental health agencies, a published researcher in peer reviewed journals, and a TEDx speaker.

Dr. Sunseri is also the author of Family-Focused Treatment for Child and Adolescent Mental Health: A New Paradigm, published by Routledge, one of the leading publishers of academic books in the field of psychology.

His next book, Gentle Parenting and the Strong-Willed Child: Love and Limits has also been accepted for publication by Routledge with an expected release date of late 2024.


Reversing the Childhood Mental Health Epidemic Together

Dr. Sunseri believes that reversing the childhood mental health epidemic will require a focus on more promising “upstream” prevention strategies that tackle the root causes of the epidemic. He describes what he refers to as the Childhood Mental Health Triad, the three leading areas of social and psychological influence that are responsible for the erosion of our children’s emotional well-being. These three areas can be very effectively mitigated by families by following some clear action steps.  

Dr. Sunseri’s new book, Family-Focused Treatment for Child and Adolescent Mental Health: A New Paradigm, offers an 18-point strategic plan to reverse the mental health crisis by offering concrete, research-based interventions that can be used by parents, schools, therapists, and the community, all of which require little to no expense.


Michael Robbins, PhD, Clinical and Research Director for Functional Family Therapy LLC and Senior Scientist at the Oregon Research Institute, USA

 “Child and adolescent mental health are a global public health priority.  Youth, parents, and systems are looking for effective solutions for improving lives and helping children thrive. Dr. Sunseri, in this book, provides timely guidance for helping practitioners navigate the complexities of working with children and adolescents.  At the core, this work understands the critical and dynamic influence of the family on healing, change, and happiness.”
Dr. Paul Sunseri

Gentle Parenting Reimagined:
How to Make it Work
Oppositional and
Defiant Kids

Do you feel like it’s a constant battle to get your child or teen to do even the smallest things? Despite all of the parenting advice you’ve been given, nothing has worked. Maybe you like the idea of Gentle Parenting but how, exactly, can a parent stay gentle in the face of daily disrespect and oppositional behavior? Gentle Parenting Reimagined offers evidence-based solutions for families stuck at a crossroads.


Paul Sunseri | TEDx

Dr. Paul Sunseri is an expert in family therapy. Watch his TEDx talk for insights on the important role that parents play in improving their child or teen's mental health.

G. Anderson, Parent, USA

“I did not realize how broken our healthcare system is until my daughter started to experience a serious mental health decline in her early teens.  We were left to struggle through one of the biggest nightmares of our lives with very little help or guidance.  This book is a must read for healthcare providers and for parents who feel lost with no light at the end of the tunnel.”

Paul has been a featured speaker at several mental health conferences and on podcasts. He also conducted a TEDxFonddulac talk titled "How Families Can Support a Child's Mental Health," where he shared his thoughts and work on the importance of family therapy and its essential role in treating children's mental illness. His work is based on his Hidden Figures study, highlighting the link between childhood depression, anxiety, suicidality, and family functioning – i.e., how well a family communicates, solves problems, interacts peacefully, and stays connected.

Paul's TEDx video will make you think differently about parenting, mental health, and communication.


Watch as Dr. Paul Sunseri speaks at the 2023 National Conference for the Advancement of Family Therapies. He argues that the scientific data leads us to conclude that family-based treatments are more effective than treatments delivered to the individual child (e.g., individual therapy). The solution to the current childhood mental health crisis lies in a strategic collaboration between therapists, parents, and the community with family therapy playing a vital role.


Listen as Dr. Sunseri talks mental health for teens & families

How a Well-Connected Family Can Act as a Buffer Mental Illness

We are living with a viral pandemic, but also a mental health pandemic for our teenagers. What is going on? Dr. Paul Sunseri joins us to explain how we can leverage our family dynamics to make things as easy for our kids as possible.

Family as Medicine discussion with Dr. Paul Sunseri

"One person we wish we knew when we were at our depths was Dr. Sunseri. He's a therapist who supports parents and their children and does it with them together as a single unit. Had we done this instead of having separate therapy for our daughter Audrey and ourselves, the path may have been much smoother."

DEEP MEDICINE: Sound Mind & Optimized Body

Gain deep insight into the life of teen's today. Learn what compassion for self and others feels like again. As Dr. Paul Sunseri speaks, we are reminded of our own role within the lives of our families and communities.

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Shifting the Paradigm

New Horizons Child and Family Institute is the founder and host of the National Conference for the Advancement of Family Therapies which brings together the most prestigious family therapy thought leaders in the world. Sessions and panel discussion inspire attendees as they discuss state-of-the-art family-based treatment approaches and interventions for children and adolescents.

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