Brief Strategic Family Therapy
Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT) is designed to (1) prevent, reduce, and/or treat adolescent behavior problems such as drug use, conduct problems, delinquency, sexually risky behavior, aggressive/violent behavior, and association with antisocial peers; (2) improve pro-social behaviors such as school attendance and performance; and (3) improve family functioning, including effective parental leadership and management, positive parenting, and parental involvement with the child and his or her peers and school. BSFT is typically delivered in 12-16 family sessions but may be delivered in as few as 8 or as many as 24 sessions, depending on the severity of the communication and management problems within the family. Sessions are conducted at locations that are convenient to the family, including the family's home in some cases. Hispanic families have been the principal recipients of BSFT, but African American families have also participated in the intervention.
BSFT considers adolescent symptomatology to be rooted in maladaptive family interactions, inappropriate family alliances, overly rigid or permeable family boundaries, and parents' tendency to believe that a single individual (usually the adolescent) is responsible for the family's troubles. BSFT operates according to the assumption that transforming how the family functions will help improve the teen's presenting problem.