Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT)

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About This Program

Target Population: Adolescents with drug use and other problem behaviors. Taken from description found at on May 2, 2014.

For children/adolescents ages: 6 – 18

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 6 – 18

Brief Description

BSFT is a brief intervention used to treat adolescent drug use that occurs with other problem behaviors. These co-occurring problem behaviors include conduct problems at home and at school, oppositional behavior, delinquency, associating with antisocial peers, aggressive and violent behavior, and risky sexual behavior. BSFT is based on three basic principles: First, BSFT is a family systems approach. Second, patterns of interaction in the family influence the behavior of each family member. The role of the BSFT counselor is to identify the patterns of family interaction that are associated with the adolescent's behavior problems. Third, plan interventions that carefully target and provide practical ways to change those patterns of interaction that are directly linked to the adolescent's drug use and other problem behaviors. Condensed from description found at on May 2, 2014.

Program Goals:

The goals of Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT) are:

  • For the child/youth:
    • Reduce behavior problems, while improving self-control
    • Reduce associations with antisocial peers
    • Reduce drug use
    • Develop prosocial behaviors
  • For the family:
    • Improvements in maladaptive patterns of family interactions (family functioning)
    • Improvements in family communication, conflict-resolution, and problem-solving skills
    • Improvements in family cohesiveness, collaboration, and child/family bonding
    • Effective parenting, including successful management of children's behavior and positive affect in the parent-child interactions

Contact Information

Jose Szapocznik, Ph.D.
Agency/Affiliation: University of Miami Brief Strategic Family Therapy® Institute
Phone: (305) 243-7585
Olga Hervis, MSW, LCSW
Agency/Affiliation: Family Therapy Training Institute of Miami
Phone: (888) 527-3828

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2017

Last CEBC Contact Date: February 2017

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: February 2017

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: April 2010