BSFT Training



Organizations and agencies wishing to provide the Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT®) model for their clients must have BSFT certified therapists.  The Brief Strategic Family Therapy certification training program consists of both workshops and a supervised practicum, to prepare the trainee to pass the Certification Panel Board.


The Family Therapy Training Institute of Miami (FTTIM) provides onsite certification training, typically 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.  However, the most typical training team is 4-7 students.  Smaller teams may require fewer training days. Most of all, we can customize the standard training package to accommodate a variety of unique circumstances.

Our Institute provides a 1-2-day Organizational Readiness Workshop preceding the training workshops.  Members of the infrastructure (e.g. clinical administrative staff, trainee supervisors, referral sources, etc.) 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.

Our training workshops cover all essential Brief Strategic Family Therapy elements.  They include the diagnostic schema, treatment planning, and achieving systemic change. The workshops are a combination of didactic practice exercises and videotape analysis. Our Master Trainers conduct both live and videotape demonstrations, as well as clinical case consultations.  Additionally, our training agenda also includes the BSFT Engagement Model for resistant families, and specifics for doing in-home BSFT.  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 leading to certification in Brief Strategic Family Therapy begins 1-2 weeks after Workshop 1, and continues typically for 4-6 months depending on trainee advancement. This practicum part of the training 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 FTTIM until s/he has been certified.


The FTTIM Competency Board awards certification to trainees –not to the site.  Trainees must complete the supervision stage and show competency in the mastery of BSFT principles. Certification is required for the first 3 years.  Thereafter, recertification occurs every 2 year.

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.

Exact cost of a program is dependent on variables such as: a) trainee competence level, b) number of supervision sessions required (generally from 16-24), c) the training team size, d) trainee experience level, and e) if there is a BSFT Supervisor at the agency’s site.  Often times, various agencies combine in order to share the training costs.  As a result, 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, the monthly Adherence Program begins.  Clinicians will send the Institute family therapy tapes/DVDs for review by our Master Trainers. Clinicians’ performance will be rated using the Adherence Certification Checklist that was developed in the course of model development.  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 co-developer, 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.


The Adherence Monitoring session is 1 hour long.  Agencies and clinicians will receive a Monthly Adherence Report on the scale scores and review findings.  Furthermore, we will provide specific recommendations including if re-calibration or remediation is needed.


BSFT Adherence Supervision goes a step beyond Adherence Monitoring.  After we review the bi-monthly tapes/DVDs submitted for adherence, we will also supervise the clinician with an additional hour of personal phone/video supervision.  Time devoted to each Adherence Supervision session is 2 hours.  We will also provide the Monthly Adherence Report.


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 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.  In summary, an onsite BCS will help strengthen, motivate, and organize the BSFT staff while helping the agencies reduce implementation costs.

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)