Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT)

Scientific Rating:
Well-Supported by Research Evidence
See scale of 1-5

Additional Implementation Resources

Since this program Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) was highly rated on the Scientific Rating Scale, program representatives were asked to provide additional implementation information.

Pre-Implementation Materials

There are no pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT).

Formal Support for Implementation

There is formal support available for implementation of Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) as listed below:

After the initial year there is ongoing coaching, booster training and support which is much less intensive than the year 1 training. MDFT also provides Train the Trainers (TTT) training to the agency (usually the certified MDFT supervisor) so they can train new therapists at their site. All the training (initial and ongoing) is provide at the providers site and via phone, video conferencing calls, and through our web-based MDFT portal.

Fidelity Measures

There are fidelity measures for Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) as listed below:

MDFT assesses fidelity by examining (a) the parameters of treatment (e.g. the frequency and duration of treatment sessions and domains targeted; frequency of supervision provided, etc.), (b) the techniques of MDFT by trainer ratings of competence at each of the two Intensive Site Visits consisting of case presentation, video recordings of therapy sessions, and live supervision, and (c) clinician rating of outcome from intake to discharge. Available tools include the Multidimensional Family Therapist Competency Evaluation and the MDFT Clinical Portal, a web-based database management system. For more information, contact Gayle Dakof at

Implementation Guides or Manuals

There are implementation guides or manuals for Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) as listed below:

The Program Guide for MDFT Implementation and Sustainability provides implementation guidelines focusing on program essentials, training, quality assurance and fidelity, and tools and resources on a variety of topics (e.g.. how to prevent burnout, use of interpreters, booster sessions). The MDFT supervisor manual details the MDFT supervision system, including therapist evaluation scales, and tools designed to enhance therapist professional development. These guides are unpublished and currently only available to programs that contract with the nonprofit organization MDFT International for MDFT training and implementation services.

Research on How to Implement the Program

Research has been conducted on how to implement Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) as listed below:

The following articles are on implementation of MDFT:

  • Liddle, H. A., Rowe, C. L., Quille, T. J., Dakof, G. A., Mills, D. S., Sakran, E., & Biaggi, H. (2002). Transporting a research-based adolescent drug treatment into practice. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 22(4), 231-243.
  • Rowe, C., Rigter, H., Henderson, C., Gantner, A., Mos, K., Nielsen, P., & Phan, O. (2013). Implementation fidelity of Multidimensional Family Therapy in an international trial. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 44(4), 391-399.