BRIEF STRATEGIC FAMILY THERAPY® (BSFT®) TRAINING DESCRIPTION
TYPICAL CERTIFICATION TRAINING PROGRAM
Organizations and agencies with intent to implement Brief Strategic Family Therapy® for their clients must provide training, supervision and certification for their therapists.
The BSFT® training program consists of both workshops and a supervised practicum. Certification training is typically delivered onsite in a series of 3 workshops (9 days total) over a period of several months. Training can be delivered to teams of 1 to 7 trainees, but the most typical training cohort is 4-7 students. The typical training package can be customized to accommodate variances in the size of a training cohort, the trainees experience level, and/or other unique circumstances. Smaller teams may require fewer training days.
A 1-2-day Organizational Readiness Workshop precedes the training workshops, and is attended by the members of the infrastructure (e.g. clinical administrative staff, trainee supervisors, referral sources, etc.) that will be supporting this implementation. These stakeholders will then be able to create policies and practices aligned with the model. This is the foundation of program implementation.
The training workshops cover all essential BSFT elements including: theoretical concepts and foundation, relevant research findings, the diagnostic schema, treatment planning, and achieving systemic change. The workshops are a combination of didactic practice exercises and videotape analysis. Both live and videotape demonstrations are conducted, as well as clinical case consultations. Additionally, the BSFT Engagement Model for resistant families, and specifics for doing in-home BSFT, are also taught. The workshops address especially complex clinical dilemmas and allow time for therapists to practice essential skills. Trainees should begin seeing families using BSFT after Workshop # 1.
Supervision is typically conducted on a one-to-one basis, (unless otherwise customized by FTTIM). Supervision leading to certification in BSFT begins 1-2 weeks after Workshop 1, and continues typically for 4-6 months (3 months is the minimum) depending on trainee advancement. Supervision entails weekly phone/video reviews of the trainees’ videotaped BSFT family therapy sessions, group feedback and consultation. Clinicians should begin to offer services to families after Workshop 1, but must remain under weekly supervision by the Family Therapy Training Institute of Miami (FTTIM) until s/he has been certified.
Agencies intending to implement BSFT must have BSFT-Certified clinicians. Certification is awarded to trainees –not to the site---who complete the supervision stage and show competency in the mastery of BSFT principles. Certification is granted by FTTIM’s Competency Board. Certification is required for the first 3 years. Thereafter, recertification occurs every 2 year.
Our implementation training packages---including customizable alternatives--- include: all travel costs, the complete BSFT Manual, training materials, PowerPoint presentations, handouts, organizational review and recommendations/plans, and ongoing support activities.
Exact cost of a program is dependent on variables such as: a) competence level of each trainee, b) number of supervision sessions required (anywhere from 16-24, generally), c) size of the training cohort, d) existing experience level of trainees, and e) optional availability of an existing BSFT Supervisor at the agency’s site. Often times, various agencies combine in order to share the training costs. This provides a cost-savings and opportunities to share experiences.
Contact FTTIM for a free consultation and sample budget
ADHERENCE --POST CERTIFICATION PROGRAM – Required to Retain Certification
To maintain certification, clinicians providing BSFT® to clients must adhere to the treatment model to assure fidelity and, thus, successful outcomes. Research on EBP implementation (including BSFT) indicates that an adherence phase is particularly important.
One month after Certification is achieved, clinicians send the Institute tapes/DVDs for review ideally on a monthly basis (some exceptions exist for tenured certified clinicians). In the process of review, clinicians’ performance is rated using the Adherence Certification Checklist that was developed in the course of model development and has been used in the research studies. Adherence continues for at least 2 years. During the 2nd year of Adherence---and dependent on clinicians’ aptitude---the Adherence Program may change from monthly to quarterly at the discretion of the model codeveloper, Olga Hervis.
Three formats of Adherence are available. Clients can choose to implement Adherence Monitoring, Adherence Supervision, or a program that alternates between the 2 every month (recommended).
The Adherence Monitoring session is 1 hour long. A Monthly Adherence Report on the scale scores and review findings---and any deficiencies noted---is submitted to the agency and clinician. Specific recommendations are given if recalibration or remediation is needed.
BSFT Adherence Supervision goes a step beyond Adherence Monitoring. The bi-monthly tapes/DVDs submitted for adherence review will also be supervised with an additional hour of personal phone/video supervision with the clinician. Time devoted to each Adherence Supervision session is 2 hours. Likewise, the Monthly Adherence Report is provided.
BSFT® SUPERVISOR-LEVEL TRAINING (BCS)
It has been shown that developing the internal capacity to supervise an evidence based program increases the likelihood of sustainability, positive outcomes, and fidelity to the EBP, thus enhancing the ROI (return on investment).1
The University of Kansas report, titled The Experts Rate Supervisory Behaviors That Impact the Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices 2, states that "One of the key elements found in the EBP [evidence based practice] literature for enhancing skill development has been when a supervisor who is proficient in the EBP can provide staff with continuous practice of the skill in vivo through observation, modeling, and ongoing feedback on EBP skills."
Training to become a BSFT Certified Supervisor (BCS) is available to agency's currently employing BSFT-Certified clinicians. Having a BSFT Certified Supervisor (BCS) requires that the supervisor first become BSFT-certified and in adherence for a period of time. Generally it is during year 2 or 3 of a BSFT® program that a supervisor is trained.
A BCS conducts their agencies' adherence program for new trainees under a periodic quality assurance overview by FTTIM Master Trainers. Certification of BSFT Supervisors is free of charge. The Family Therapy Training Institute of Miami has several established BCSs in several states.
1Fixsen, D. L., Naoom, S. F., Blase, K. A., Friedman, R. M. & Wallace, F. (2005). Implementation Research: A Synthesis of the Literature. Tampa, FL: University of South Florida, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, The National Implementation Research Network (FMHI Publication #231)
2 Linda Carlson, L., Rapp C. A., Eichler, M. S. (2010). The Experts Rate: Supervisory Behaviors That Impact the Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices. (Springer Science+Business Media, LLC)