Multidimensional Family Therapy MDFT The MDFT program in a nutshell The Multidimensional Family Therapy MDFT program is a comprehensive, manual-driven and multi-systemic family-based program for substance-abusing youths, youths with co-occurring substance use and mental disorders, and those at high risk for continued substance abuse and other problem behaviours such as conduct disorder and delinquency.
Working with the individual youth and his or her family, MDFT helps the youth develop more effective coping and problem-solving skills for better decision making and helps the family improve interpersonal functioning as a protective factor against substance abuse and related problems. Therapists work simultaneously in four interdependent domains: Once a therapeutic alliance is established and youth and parent motivation is enhanced, the MDFT therapist focuses on facilitating behavioural and interactional change.
What are the goals of the MDFT program? The MDFT program focuses on achieving behavioural changes in youths such that they are on a safe and healthy development trajectory. The specific areas of change that MDFT focuses on are: In order to achieve these gains and to make them last, MDFT attempts to improve: Who is the target population for the MDFT program?
The MDFT program targets youth aged 11 to 18 years old with the following symptoms or problems: MDFT has been used with youth from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds; in urban, suburban, and rural settings; and in a variety of contexts. The MDFT program has general inclusion and exclusion guidelines for youth's participation. Note 3 To be included in the program, a youth must be within the designated age range and must demonstrate at least one of the following primary presenting problems: Also, if the youth meets any of the following criteria, they are not appropriate for MDFT: What types of settings are appropriate to implement the MDFT program?
What are the key components for the implementation of the MDFT program? A manual-driven intervention, the MDFT program has specific assessment and treatment modules that target four areas of social interaction: The MDFT program is administered in three stages: Strong therapeutic relationships are established with all family members, and influential persons such as school or juvenile justice personnel.
Therapists also intervene to enhance motivation to participate in therapy and change in both youth and parents. The themes, focal areas and goals of therapy are established in the first stage and therapists complete the MDFT case conceptualization form.
For at-risk and early intervention with youth, the MDFT program is delivered weekly or twice weekly in to minute sessions with a therapist for the duration of months. Youth who are receiving MDFT as an alternative to residential placement usually require 6 months of treatment. What are critical elements for the implementation of the MDFT program?
Some critical elements for implementing the MDFT program include: Compliance is monitored by MDFT. This includes clinic treatment rooms large enough to accommodate a family and the ability of therapists to conduct sessions in the family home transportation to home, reimbursement for mileage, etc.
What are some of the risk factors targeted by the MDFT program? Some of the risk factors targeted by the MDFT program are: What are some of the protective factors targeted by the MDFT program?
Some of the protective factors targeted by the MDFT program are: What are the results from evaluation studies of the MDFT program? Evaluation studies of the MDFT program have shown the following: What are the materials needed for the implementation of the MDFT program? There are numerous written and recorded DVD training materials that are provided to trainees at the start of training. There is also a manual that describes how to implement the MDFT program.
It is also required to have material equipment to record therapy session for supervision DVD, videotape , and equipment to play back sessions for supervision; the capacity to conduct live supervision sessions; and if serving a drug-using or high-risk population, funds to pay for instant urine screen testing that is incorporated into ongoing treatment.
What staff is needed to implement the MDFT program? The following staffing requirements must be met to implement the MDFT program: Therapists involved in the implementation of the MDFT program must have master's degree in counseling, mental health, family therapy, social work or a related discipline. Therapist assistants can have a bachelor's degree or relevant experience.
Each site that implements MDFT must have at least 2 master's-level therapists, 1 bachelor's-level or paraprofessional case manager, and 1 supervisor.
It is possible for a therapist to function as both therapist and supervisor. MDFT recommends that clinical supervisors supervise between 5 and 7 therapists. What training is needed for staff in implementing the MDFT program? MDFT International, a non-profit organization, provides training. MDFT requires training to certification for therapists and supervisors, and all supervisors must be trained as therapists as well as supervisors.
The initial therapist and supervisor training takes approximately 1 year to complete. All training is provided on-site or via phone or internet. Trainees do not need to travel to complete the training. Therapist training for full certification takes approximately 6 months to complete, and then supervisor training takes an additional months. Supervisor training includes on-site intensive trainings, training in the MDFT therapist professional development plan including written feedback, consultation telephone calls, review of DVD recordings of supervision sessions for feedback and evaluation of supervision competence.
Yearly booster training is required after the initial certification year to maintain and enhance clinical skills and fidelity to MDFT. What are the estimated costs for the MDFT program? Materials and Training therapist certification: Overall Costs for Implementation Other start-up costs are associated with cellular phones for therapists and the case manager, urine test kits for drug testing, ground transportation for conducting in-home sessions, and audiovisual equipment video camera, tripod, digital videotapes, and digital audio recorder for recording and reviewing sessions.
The overall cost for implementation will vary depending on the size of the program and the local context within which the program is being implemented. Additional expenses such as program support, length of program, quality assurance materials, travel and accommodations, participation incentives food, child care, transportation , completion incentives, etc. What is the cost-benefit of the MDFT program? What other programs have been developed based on the MDFT program?
Some of the sites have been operating MDFT for over a decade. This program has been operating for over 3 years. Treatment manuals, protocols, and guides are available in English, Dutch, French and German. MDFT is a "treatment system" rather than a "one size fits all" approach. Different versions of MDFT have been developed and tested according to study aims, client needs, and treatment setting characteristics. Who is the contact for the MDFT program?
For more information on this program, please contact: