Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT)

MDFT is an intervention designed for youth at least nine years of age coping with substance abuse and engaging in delinquent behaviors. MDFT targets these issues by improving family functioning and stability, school performance, and mental health. Treatment focuses on four interrelated domains: the youth, the parents/guardians (or other significant adult in the youth's life), the family unit, and the community. Therapists trained on MDFT hold one-on-one sessions with the youth and the parents in addition to family sessions. The frequency and duration of sessions depends on the individual needs of the family and is administered over three stages. The first builds a foundation for change, the second facilitates change in behavior, and the third provides skills for families to maintain the changes.

Staffing Requirements:

This program requires treatment to be administered by licensed clinicians with MDFT training.

Staffing Training:

Level 1: 2.5 day on-site intensive training for organizations. It teaches the MDFT basics and hones therapists' skills in working with youth and families.
Level 2: 6 month certification for therapists on full implementation of MDFT; Supervisor certification requires an additional 4-6 months. Certification maintained by quality assurance activities via annual on-site booster trainings.
Level 3 Train-the-Trainer training: available after completing Level 2. Increases MDFT sustainability by having agency-based trainers certified to train new therapists in the model and reducing program costs.

All trainings are multi-component and involve some or all of these pieces: a comprehensive treatment manual, intensive didactic and experiential workshops, expert consultation on actual work, live or recorded review of client sessions, supervision training, booster training, and completion of at least one training case.