Family Therapy Training Institute of Miami
The Family Therapy Training Institute of Miami (FTTIM) is renowned for providing exceptional training in Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT®) to behavioral health and mental health professionals. It was founded in 2003 by our Executive Director Olga E. Hervis, who co-developed BSFT® along with Jose Szapocznik in the 1970s.
FTTIM distinguishes itself in the experience level of its director and faculty. Hervis, who also co-authored the Brief Strategic Family Therapy Training Program©, has been teaching, supervising and consulting on the model since its inception. Supported by the largest staff of BSFT Master Trainers, Hervis has trained over 1,000 individuals at multiple sites across 35 states not only in BSFT but also in related skill-building workshops.
Training, which is available in the U.S. and abroad in Spanish and English, is tailored to the needs of the organizations, including to “consortia” of agencies that choose to participate in joint training. Our training also addresses the special clinical needs of immigrant and minority families in our communities. Hervis created the BSFT Adaptable Version (BSFT-AV). In this manner, she developed the methodology for importing an evidence based practice (EBP) from the research arena to the practice field, to serve clinical populations that differ in ethnicity, in social context, and treatment environment.
FTTIM offers other training workshops such as Structural Family Systems Rating (SFSR) and Strategic Structural Systems Engagement (SSSE), commonly referred to as the “Engagement Model”. Both were co-developed and co-authored by Hervis. Additionally, we offer consultation and clinical supervision services to therapists to cater to their specific needs.
At FTTIM we are passionate about the quality of training, monitoring, and on-going support we provide the organizations we serve. We help them implement viable and sustainable evidence-based practices, such as BSFT®, for the betterment of kids and families in our communities. Our BSFT implementation site in Carroll County, Maryland won the SAMHSA 2009 Science & Service award, a testament to our commitment to excellence.
NOTE: FTTIM is an approved provider of CEUs in the State of Florida. We help students from other states secure CEUs in their states through the national reciprocity agreements between state licensing boards. Provider #50-30729.
FTTIM is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.
Our mission at The Family Therapy Training Institute of Miami is to provide the best training and consultation to the behavioral and mental health practitioners in order to maximize the effectiveness of treatment provided to at-risk kids and their families.
We are committed to help organizations implement viable and sustainable BSFT programs. We accomplish this by providing BSFT Competency training and on-going consultation services to insure BSFT efficacy, fidelity, and permanency.
As the national trend for treating at-risk youth moves towards effective family and community based programs, FTTIM remains a benchmark in the dissemination of our evidence-based practices. Our children, families, and communities deserve our dedication to expanding services from which they benefit.
Who We Serve
We serve a varied client base, including:
- State and local government agencies
- Court-ordered substance abuse programs
- Residential treatment programs
- Community and social service agencies
- Mental health clinics, and family clinics
- University-based centers for family therapy
Faculty and Staff
Olga E. Hervis, M.S.W, LCSW
Olga E. Hervis is the co-author and co-developer of Brief Strategic Family Therapy® (BSFT®). She is also the author of the BSFT Training Program©. In the 1970's, Olga spent years developing the therapeutic models, and designing and conducting training programs. In 2003, she founded the Family Therapy Training Institute of Miami (FTTIM). Olga has held academic positions at the University of Miami, Florida International University and Barry University. She has been a collaborator in scientific work conducted by other institutions of higher learning, serving in numerous national grant review committees for the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Justice. Olga has won numerous awards for BSFT®. She is extensively published in books and scientific journals and has been teaching family therapy for over 40 years.
Olga recently co-wrote the new “tell all” BSFT book/manual, appropriately named Brief Strategic Family Therapy.
Silvia M. Kaminsky, M.S.Ed., LMFT, CAP
Master BSFT® Trainer
As the first ever clinician trained in BSFT by Olga Hervis in 1987, Silvia is a BSFT Certified Master Trainer and Supervisor who has been training BSFT® clinicians in multiple agencies for nearly 20 years. She became the President-Elect of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) starting in January 1, 2021. Silvia has presented in conferences and workshops on a national level on topics in the areas of marriage and family therapy, HIV, addictions, legal/ethical issues, gender inequality and of course, Brief Strategic Family Therapy. Silvia has 33 years of clinical experience, having worked as a clinical supervisor in both agency settings and her private practice for the past 30 years.
Debra Miller, Ph.D., MSW, LMSW, QMHP, CMHP
BSFT® Master Trainer
Debra is an instructor at Michigan State University, currently serving as the director of the MSU Couple and Family Therapy Clinic. She is a licensed MSW practicing in Michigan for over 20 years.
Since 2009, Deb has worked extensively with FTTIM, supporting Michigan's longest standing BSFT implementation site, Community Mental Health for Central Michigan (CMHCM). In that capacity she continues to train many clinicians, including two BSFT Competent Supervisors, while supporting staff adherence to the model. As a staunch BSFT supporter, she has been a presenter at the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards, and the State of Michigan's Substance Use Disorder Conference. Deb earned her PH.D. in 2021. Congrats, Deb!
Adriana von Simson, M.S.W., LCSW
Adriana is a BSFT® Certified Trainer with 20 years of work experience in the field of Psychology & Clinical Social Work. She holds a Master's degree in Clinical Social work from Boston College and completed extensive post-graduate work in Family Therapy at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic where she trained in Minuchin’s Structural Family Therapy. Her prior professional experience includes working at the Center for Family Studies of the University of Miami where, having been trained by Olga Hervis, she was a BSFT Facilitator. At FTTIM, Adriana trains and supervises BSFT trainees and is a member of the Institute’s Competency Panel.
Patsy Grove, MSW, LCSW-C
Patsy is a social worker licensed in both Maryland and Pennsylvania. She received her BA in Social Work from Western Maryland College and her MSW from the University of Maryland. She is a Regional Director overseeing licensed clinicians providing intensive school-based therapy services to students and their families in various school districts in Pennsylvania. Patsy served as the Program Director of the Brief Strategic Family Therapy® (BSFT®) Program at an outpatient mental health clinic which won the SAMHSA Science and Service Award in 2009 for their successful implementation of BSFT. Since 2004, Patsy has worked and collaborated with the Family Therapy Training Institute of Miami (FTTIM), including training an onsite BSFT supervisor (BCS).
Angela Deal, M.S.W, LCSW
Angela is a certified BSFT Trainer and Supervisor who was trained by Olga Hervis and Silvia Kaminsky from the Family Therapy Training Institute of Miami in 2012. She advanced quickly to become the onsite BSFT® Supervisor and then the BSFT® Trainer at Summit Pointe (Community Mental Health authority for Calhoun County). Angela is a licensed Master's Social Worker in Michigan with 20 years of clinical and supervisory experience working with youth and families in community mental health setting. She received her degree at Michigan State University.
Angela remains on staff at Summit Pointe as the Director of Youth Services and oversees an internal BSFT program within the outpatient therapy program. She has trained several clinicians, including an onsite Supervisor (BCS), Michelle Ousler (see Michelle Ousler bio, below).
LaNeisha J. Murphy, LPC, NCC, ACS
LaNeisha received her BA in biology from Macalester College and her MS in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University. She is currently working as a clinical supervisor at Easter Seals Michigan supervising one of their home-based therapy programs and the BSFT® program. She is also in private practice and provides clinical supervision to limited licensed professional counselors.
She is a BSFT Competent Supervisor (BCS), who was original trained by FTTIM in 2014 and quickly advanced to become the Onsite BCS at Easter Seals due to her outstanding practice of the model. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, and Approved Clinical Supervisor practicing in Michigan with 9 years of clinical and supervisory experience working with families in various settings. She conducts supervision of BSFT trainees.
Michelle Oursler, LMSW
Michelle graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Master’s in Social Work in 1999. Since that time, her therapeutic work has focused on children and families in both residential and outpatient settings. Through the Family Therapy Training Institute of Miami, Michelle received her BSFT training in 2013 at Summit Pointe in Michigan. She mastered the model early on and was trained by Angela Deal to become the onsite BSFT Competent Supervisor (BCS) in 2018 at Summit Pointe, managing the adherence/fidelity program for her BSFT® staff.
Michelle remains a BSFT® Supervisor and an outpatient therapist at Summit Pointe in Battle Creek. Michelle conducts supervision practicum for BSFT trainees.
Doris Brathwaite, LPC
Doris Brathwaite is a Licensed Professional Counselor who received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Clark Atlanta University and her Master’s in Professional Counseling from Argosy University. Doris received her Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT®) training from Olga Hervis in 2014 at Cobb County Juvenile Court. In 2018 Doris was trained by Silvia Kaminsky to become Cobb County’s onsite BSFT Supervisor (BCS). She is currently a BSFT Trainer.
In addition to her work with the Family Therapy Training Institute of Miami (FTTIM), Doris is the BSFT Trainer for the longstanding Cobb County BSFT implementation. She is the founder of Infinite Family Resources, a private practice in Atlanta, GA. Doris’ 14 years of clinical experience has centered around children and families both in agency settings and her private practice. Doris provides training and supervision to BSFT trainees.
Amy Kay, MS, LMFT
Amy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 20 years of clinical and supervisory experience working with Deaf and Hard of Hearing families in community-based mental health settings. She received her degree from California State University, Northridge. She is a graduate of an interpreter training program and is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). Since 2010, Amy has worked extensively with FTTIM implementing and serving as the coordinator and supervisor for the BSFT® program with Deaf clinicians to insure successful outcomes for Deaf and Hard of Hearing families. As an avid supporter of BSFT she has presented at the Five Acres Clinical Conference, The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and co-chaired the first West coast mental health and deafness conference with National Deaf Academy. Amy serves on many committees advocating for the rights of those with disabilities. She conducts supervision of BSFT® trainees.
Annette Perez. B.B.A.
Coordinator of Finance and Operations
Annette Perez enjoys an extensive background in administrative management and bookkeeping. Previously Annette was Office Manager of a highly successful ophthalmology clinic in South Florida, Administrator for an interior design firm, and the bookkeeper for a prominent local restaurant. Annette is in charge not only of the bookkeeping records at the Institute, but also of maintaining all records of matriculation and service transactions.
Lisa Bokalders, B.S. Ed
Lisa Bokalders holds a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Miami, and certification in Management Training from the Xerox International Center for Training and Management Development. During her extensive tenure at Xerox Corporation, Lisa was a consistent award winner for her leadership and achievements in Training, Administration, and Sales. She is fluent in several languages which enhances our Institute’s ability to meet the needs of the multi-cultural environment. Along with managing all day-to-day activities at the Institute, Lisa also manages contract negotiations, instructional resources and planning, and the Institute’s website.