Brief Strategic Family Therapy Training


Organizations wishing to provide the Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT®) model for their clients must have BSFT competent therapists and BSFT site licensure.

For organizations that may not be quite ready to commit to full implementation and site licensing but wish to provide their therapists some beneficial BSFT skills, we offer an alternative pathway to learning some skills.

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The Brief Strategic Family Therapy competency training program consists of both workshops and a supervised practicum, to prepare the trainee to pass the Competency Board Panel. Upon passing the Panel review, the therapist enters a period of ongoing adherence/fidelity monitoring and the site can be licensed.

Organizational Readiness Workshop

To set up proper expectations and prepare the organization for the integration of BSFT into their operational framework, our Institute will conduct a 1-2-day Organizational Readiness Workshop preceding the training workshops.  Members of the infrastructure---clinical administrative staff, trainee supervisors, referral sources---that will be supporting this implementation are the focal attendees.  As a result, they will then be able to create policies and practices aligned with the model. This is the foundation of program implementation.

Onsite Training Workshops

The Family Therapy Training Institute of Miami (FTTIM) provides the competency training typically in a series of 2 workshops (6-7 days total) over a period of several months. Training can be delivered to teams of 1 to 8 trainees.  Oftentimes we can customize the standard training package to accommodate a variety of unique circumstances.

BSFT® training workshops cover all essential Brief Strategic Family Therapy elements.   The workshops address especially complex clinical dilemmas and allow time for therapists to practice essential skills.  The workshops are a combination of didactic practice exercises and videotape analysis, and include clinical case consultations. Trainees should begin seeing families using BSFT skills after the Initial 4-day workshop.

The Final workshop, typically 2 days, will be conducted after a period of supervision practicum, shortly before the trainees have mastered the model to a level where they can pass the Competency Panel.


The Supervision practicum that leads to competency in Brief Strategic Family Therapy begins 1-2 weeks after the Initial workshop, and continues  for 4-6 months depending on trainee advancement. This practicum part of the training entails weekly phone reviews of the trainees’ electronically-recorded BSFT family therapy sessions, along with group feedback and consultation. Most often, the supervision sessions are provided to pairs of trainees, but can also be provided on an individual basis as needed.

Competency Board Panel

Upon completion of the supervision stage, the trainee will show the Competency Board their mastery of BSFT principles in order for the Institute to confer upon him/her the title of BSFT Therapist at the conclusion of the Panel review.  The site license becomes effective when at least 1 therapist passes the Panel review.

Site licensing renews yearly provided that the site retains at least 1 BSFT Therapist in adherence/fidelity monitoring and yearly Panel review.

Our implementation training packages—including any customization— include: all travel costs, the complete Brief Strategic Family Therapy Manual, training materials and handouts, PowerPoint presentations, organizational review and recommendations, and ongoing support activities.

Contact FTTIM for a free consultation and sample budget.

Adherence Supervision Program

To maintain site licensure, the site must retain BSFT Therapists in adherence/fidelity supervision and yearly Panel review.

BSFT therapists 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 Competency is achieved, the Adherence Program begins. Clinicians will send the Institute their family therapy tapes/DVDs for review by our Master Trainers, and they will discuss their performance via telephone consultation.  A report with their rating and recommendations will be sent to the organization after each session. Adherence is maintained on a yearly level following this structure:

  • During the first year, the clinician will receive 6 adherence sessions, 1 every 2 months
  • During the second year, the clinician will receive 4 quarterly sessions,
  • During the third year, the clinician will receive 1 session every trimester
  • Thereafter, clinicians will receive 1 session per year (may be customized as needed)

Clinicians will undergo the Competency Panel every year.


For organizations that simply need to provide their therapists some beneficial BSFT skills to improve their therapy practice, or wish to approach full competency training and licensing at a slower pace, this pathway is suggested:

  • The BSFT Basic Course – a 2-day course of BSFT skills for up to 20 participants. STOP after this course, or add the next.
  • The BSFT Intermediate Course – a 3-day course that builds on the Basic Course and adds more comprehensive BSFT techniques, for up to 12 participants.  STOP after this course, or if at this point the site decides to become licensed and fully train some therapists, then proceed to the next course and also:
    • receive the Organizational Readiness Workshop
    • the supervision practicum for selected therapists will begin
  • The BSFT Advanced Course – This is a 1 day course for up to 3 participants, or a 2-day course for 4 -8 participants seeking full competency training, as it builds on the material learned in the Basic and Intermediate courses. Participants in this course would have already been undergoing the supervision practicum and be preparing for the Competency Panel.


Studies have 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 Family Therapy Training Institute of Miami has several established BCSs in several states.

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 Competent Supervisor (BCS) is available to agency’s currently employing BSFT-Competent clinicians. Having a BCS requires that the supervisor first have passed the Competency Panel 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.  In summary, an onsite BCS will help strengthen, motivate, and organize the BSFT staff while helping the agencies reduce implementation costs.


After a BSFT Competent Supervisor (BCS) has been in place successfully conducting their BSFT supervisory responsibilities for a minimum of 2 years, that person may be selected to become a BSFT Trainer. The Trainer candidate will receive a customized learning continuum created by the Institute Director of Training.  Upon becoming a Trainer, that person assumes all training, supervision, and adherence activities for the BSFT staff, including any new trainees, at their agency.  Contact FTTIM for a free consultation and sample budget.

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)

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)