BSFT® Program News : 2008 : December

NREPP Reviews BSFT® Program

The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), a service of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has reviewed several BSFT® Program studies and outcomes. NREPP analyzed engagement in therapy, conduct problems, socialized aggression (delinquency in the company of peers), substance use and family functioning.

The NREPP review, posted on their website, noted that the BSFT® Program has been implemented at approximately 100 sites in the United States, as well as in Germany and Sweden, and has served more than 2,500 families. Dr. José Szapocznik, the Brief Strategic Family Therapy® Institute’s Director and Developer stated, “It is gratifying to receive such a comprehensive overview regarding a model that we have been developing and evolving for over 30 years.”

Regarding engagement, in one study, families who received the BSFT® Program were significantly more engaged in therapy than families in the comparison groups, who received standard family therapy or standard group therapy. Concerning conduct, in one study adolescents who participated in the BSFT® Program showed a significantly greater reduction in conduct problems than adolescents in the comparison condition, who received a participatory-learning group intervention With regard to delinquency in the company of peers, one study indicated that adolescents who participated in the BSFT® Program showed a significantly greater reduction in socialized aggression than adolescents in the comparison condition, who received a participatory-learning group intervention. With reference to substance abuse, in one study, adolescents who participated in the BSFT® Program showed significantly greater reductions in marijuana use than adolescents in the comparison group, who received a participatory-learning group intervention. Finally, with regard to family functioning, in one study adolescents who participated in the BSFT® Program reported significantly better family functioning on the Family Environment Scale (FES) Cohesion scale than adolescents in the comparison group, who received a participatory-learning group intervention.

The complete NREPP review, which covers additional description of measures, key findings, studies measuring outcomes, study designs and quality of research ratings, is available on the NREPP website.

The BSFT® Program is a short-term, structured, problem-focused, and practical approach to the treatment of conduct problems, associations with antisocial peers, early drug use and the accompanying maladaptive family interactions (relations), all of which are recognized risk factors for substance abuse. The BSFT® Program is designed to engage and keep the family interested in the program by focusing on the problem behaviors of the at risk youth. The BSFT® Program is delivered in 12 to 16 weekly sessions. The BSFT® Program involves all family members and seeks to change the way they act toward each other. The BSFT® Program provides families with the tools to overcome individual and family risk factors through: 1) focused sessions to improve maladaptive patterns of family interaction, and 2) skills building strategies to strengthen families. The BSFT® Program was developed and has been conducted at the Center for Family Studies (Miami, FL) since 1972. The Center for Family Studies is the nation’s oldest and most prominent center for development and testing of minority family therapy interventions for prevention and treatment of adolescent substance abuse and related behavior problems. It is also the nation’s leading trainer of research-proven family therapy for Hispanic and African-American families.

To learn more about Brief Strategic Family Therapy® or the NREPP review, please contact: Brief Strategic Family Therapy® Institute, Center for Family Studies, University of Miami, 1425 NW 10th Avenue, Miami, FL 33136 USA | (305) 243-7585 or bsft@med.miami.edu.