Brief Strategic Family Therapy
One of seven evidenced-based practices across agency
Center for Substance Abuse Prevention = Model program
OJJDP* = Model program
SAMHSA** = Model program
Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT) is a structured, problem-focused, directive, and practical approach to the “treatment” of conduct problems, associations with antisocial peers, early drug use and the accompanying maladaptive family interactions (relations), and other recognized youth risk factors. BSFT successfully reduces problems in adolescents and strengthens their families. BSFT provides families with the tools to overcome individual and family risk factors through: 1) focused interventions to improve maladaptive patterns of family interaction, and 2) skills building strategies to strengthen families. The efficacy of BSFT does depend on family’s abilities to come into the session. BSFT provides specialized engagement strategies for bringing families into herapy.
BSFT is designed to target both the problem behaviors of the youth as well as the way the entire family functions. The therapist works with the family to identify interactional patterns that give rise to and/or maintain problematic youth behavior. After these patterns are identified, the therapist helps the family change these patterns to encourage positive family interactions. The key approaches included in the treatment are (1) focus on improving parent–child interactions; (2) parent training; (3) developing conflict resolution, parenting, and communication skills; and (4) family therapy.
BSFT is typically conducted in an average of 12-17 weekly sessions, depending on the severity of the problems. In various studies, the full range has been 8-24 weekly sessions. BSFT can be delivered in an office setting, in the home and in community settings.
Training and Certification for BSFT occurs through the Family Therapy Training Institute of Miami (FTTIM).
* Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
** Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Recommended Population: Families with children and adolescents (ages 6-18) with behavioral and substance abuse problems.
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