Brief Strategic Family Therapy Training


Organizations wishing to provide the model Brief Strategic Family Therapy® (BSFT®) 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.

• Full Competency/Site License

• Skills Only

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The Brief Strategic Family Therapy Competency Training Program, provided to cohorts of 2-8 clinicians, consists of both workshops and a supervised practicum.  This program prepares trainees to pass the BSFT Competency Board Panel. Upon passing the Panel review, the therapists enter the Adherence/Fidelity program. 

The site license becomes effective at the beginning of this training.

Step 1 -Application for BSFT® Implementation

Sites that wish to be accepted as a BSFT® licensed site are initially required to demonstrate readiness for integrating the BSFT program into their organization by completing the BSFT® Application. This document helps to set up proper expectations, uncover possible challenges, and give everyone a better understanding of the operational framework that best supports this implementation. Upon our approval of the completed application, we can enter into a contract and schedule the training.

For an Application and additional informative documents, email us at  [email protected].  

Step 2 – Two (2) Organizational Site Readiness Workshops

  • An Online Organizational Preparation (Prep) Workshop (2 half-days) -To set up proper expectations for the integration of BSFT into your agency’s operational framework.

This required Workshop is meant for the “key stakeholders” identified on the Application (max 10 participants). Administratively responsible personnel, program directors (e.g. Project Director, Clinical Director) referral sources, and other external stakeholders in BSFT’s success need to attend.  Important answers you provided on the Application will be discussed. We will also address any possible adaptations that could be necessary to make BSFT even more effective in your setting.

The goal of this Workshop is to have a clear understanding of your site’s readiness and commitment to the model’s successful implementation. We need to ensure that trainees' supervisors, program directors, and other administrative and community stakeholders can create and sustain a system congruent with BSFT®.  This workshop will facilitate maintaining programmatic fidelity.  Your site should achieve comparable results to those found in 50+ years of effectiveness research.

  • An Onsite Organizational Site Readiness Workshop (1 day) - To validate  your organization's preparation for the integration of BSFT into your operational framework.

This 2nd Organizational Workshop, which typically occurs the day before Trainee workshop begins, further solidifies the understanding between our Institute and your organization as to the activities that will need to be aligned for the model to succeed.  Agency Supervisors, trainees, administratively responsible personnel and directors, and other key stakeholders mentioned (e.g. IT director) would attend (max 20 participants). Not meant for referral sources.

It is the job of directors, managers, funders, and community support systems to align policies, practices, and structures to facilitate effective treatment practices.

Step 3A – Three (3) Training Workshops for Trainees

The Family Therapy Training Institute of Miami (FTTIM) provides the competency training, either onsite or online, in a series of 3 Workshops over a period of several months. Training is delivered to Teams/Cohorts of 2 to 8 trainees.  Sometimes we can customize the standard training package to accommodate unique circumstances, such as fewer days for 2-person Teams.

The Workshops cover all essential Brief Strategic Family Therapy elements. They are a combination of didactic practice exercises and videotape analysis and include clinical case consultations.

Trainees must begin seeing at least 3-5 families using BSFT skills at the onset of training. For full-time clinicians we highly encourage they gradually increase the number of families as they advance. If they can manage more families, odds are they will learn faster!

Workshop #1, which begins by introducing the BSFT Theoretical Foundations and Research Findings, is immediately followed by the Supervision Practicum.

Workshop # 2 takes place approximately 3 weeks after Workshop # 1, after Supervision has already begun. 

Workshop # 3 occurs approximately 4-6 weeks after Workshop # 2.

Workshops conducted online are held via a HIPAA-compliant Zoom platform.

Important: FTTIM does not charge for our travel expenses. Our training packages include training materials and handouts, PowerPoint presentations, organizational review and recommendations, and ongoing support activities.

  • Onsite Training Format
    • Workshop # 1 – 3 days
    • Workshop # 2 – 2 days
    • Workshop # 3 – 2 days
  • Online Training Format
    • Workshop # 1 – 6 half days
    • Workshop # 2 – 4 half days
    • Workshop # 3 – 4 half days

Step 3B – Supervision Practicum

The Supervision practicum that leads to competency in Brief Strategic Family Therapy begins soon after Workshop # 1 and continues for 4-6 months depending on trainee advancement. Typically the supervision sessions are provided to “Pairs” of trainees. This practicum part of the training entails our reviews of the trainees’ video of BSFT family therapy sessions, along with our feedback and consultation to each "pair".  Weekly sessions are preferred.  Each session is 2 hours, allowing time to discuss both trainees’ videos.

Every month, the agency directors will receive a Monthly Practicum Report on the performance of each of their trainees with full details of their aptitude in the BSFT domains, and recommendations provided by our Institute's Supervisor.  It also shows their proximity to presenting to Panel.

Important: -Agencies must provide each of their clinicians with video recording equipment. As well, the agency must have an operational File Sharing drive (e.g. Dropbox, OneDrive) into which trainees will upload family videos.  Training will not begin until the agency confirms that these items are in place.

Step 4 – Competency Board Panel – “Graduation”

How does a therapist graduate from BSFT?   A therapist must have treated a minimum of 3-5 families during training.  Upon completion of the supervision stage, the trainee will show the Competency Board a family video to demonstrate their mastery of BSFT principles. The therapist “graduates” upon passing the Panel.  The Institute confers upon the trainee the title of BSFT-Competent Therapist.

Site licensing renews yearly provided that the site retains at least 2 BSFT Therapists (1 for very small and/or remote agencies) in the adherence/fidelity program.

There is no charge for presenting to the Competency Panel.

Contact FTTIM for a free consultation and sample budget.

Step 5 – Adherence/Fidelity Program

To maintain site licensure, the site must retain BSFT Therapists in the adherence/fidelity program, typically for 3 years.

1-2 months after passing Competency Panel, the Adherence Program begins. Similar to the supervision practicum, clinicians will send the Institute their family therapy videos for review by our Master Trainers, and they will discuss their performance via online consultations.  A detailed Adherence Rating Scale Report with their rating and recommendations will be sent to the organization after each session.

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.

Although often customized to the competence of the therapists, in general the typical Adherence/Fidelity program is maintained on a yearly level following this structure:

  • During the first 12-months of Adherence, the clinician will receive 6 biannual adherence sessions
  • During the next 12-month period, the clinician will receive 4 quarterly sessions,
  • During the subsequent 12-month period, the clinician will receive 1 session every 4 months (but is often customized instead)

*If a Competent BSFT Therapist is promoted to onsite BSFT® Supervisor (BCS), the Adherence program will be administered by that person. See further below.

Important: Competency Panel Revisited –

A therapist that passes all the required Adherence sessions during a 12-month period does not need to present to the Competency Panel that year.

A therapist that fails 2 Adherence sessions during a 12-month period must present again to the Panel and must pass in order to continue their competency status that year.

After a therapist successfully completes three 12-month periods of Adherence sessions, they no longer need to present to the Panel, and they are considered lifetime BSFT-competent.




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---we call it step by step--- this pathway is suggested. It can be provided onsite (preferred method) or online.

The onsite program process is shown below:

  • BSFT Basic/Overview Course– a 2-day course of BSFT skills for up to 20 participants. This can also become the Basic Plus course where 1 more day is added for the Introduction to the Engagement model. STOP after this course or add the next.
  • 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 obtain the next
  • BSFT Advanced Course– This is a 2-day course for 4 -8 participants. It builds on the material learned in the Basic and Intermediate courses, and includes avoiding pitfalls and special clinical dilemmas.

However, if along the way an agency decides to become licensed, then the following requirements will need to be completed before the Advanced Course:

  • Contract to receive the Organizational Readiness Workshops and the license
  • Contract to provide the Supervision practicum and Competency Panel to selected therapists

For the online option of these courses, please contact us at [email protected]  to obtain information.

Important:: BSFT® is a trademarked model.  In order for an organization to promote themselves as a “BSFT® Provider” and publicly advertise that they provide the BSFT® treatment model, that organization must receive the BSFT® license and train at least 2 Clinicians to full competency, passing 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 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, 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 training 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)