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Attachment-Based Family Therapy Training

What does training in ABFT consist of?

There are three levels to ABFT training with the final level culminating in certification. Level I consists of a 1 day and 3-day Introductory workshop. Level II consists of 22 weeks of supervision and a 3-day advanced workshop. Level III consists of tape review leading to certification. The certification process can be completed in as little as approximately 1 year, but does not have to be. This is described in more detail in our Therapist Certification Process Document [PDF]. Participants can move through these levels and stop when they want or complete the full program. Each level is described below.

Continuing education credits are offered for the Level 1 workshops and webinars and Level 2 workshops

For an agency looking to implement ABFT, we find that just training therapists may not be enough. Implementation and sustainability of a manualized, empirically-supported treatment requires a high level of commitment and systems change on the part of an agency or treatment program. There are several challenges and innovations for the agency to consider before training staff. These are described in our Dissemination and Implementation Starter Packet [PDF].

We now offer a special online program for graduate students. This program offers training to professors so that they can teach the class and curriculum to help structure the program

COMING SOON! An online self-paced ABFT Training Course for individual therapists to take day one of our training program.

Do the workshops fulfill State required training in Suicide Prevention?

Our Introductory workshops meet the Suicide Prevention licensure requirements for mental health professionals in the following states:

  • California: AB-89 Psychologists and AB-1436
  • Indiana: HB 1430 Suicide Awareness and Prevention
  • Kentucky: KRS 210.366 Training in suicide assessment, treatment and prevention for Psychologists and Social Workers
  • Nevada: AB:93 Suicide Prevention and intervention
  • New Hampshire: SB 33 CE requirements for mental health practitioners on suicide prevention
  • Pennsylvania: Act 74 – CE in assessment, treatment and management of suicide risk
  • Tennessee: SB 489 Suicide prevention, assessment and screening, treatment, management, and postvention

When can someone call themself an ABFT Therapist?

Before completing the certification process, therapists in training may say they are conducting ABFT informed work. Therapists that have been certified may refer to themselves as ABFT certified therapists.

How does someone get on the therapist list?

Once therapists begin participating (or have previously participated) in a supervision group, they can opt to have their contact information listed on the ABFT Training Program website as an ABFT Trained (not certified) Therapist. Once certified, their contact information will be moved to the ABFT Certified Therapist list.

Training Opportunities in ABFT

Level I: 1-Day and 3-Day Introductory Workshops

1-Day Introductory Workshop or Webinar

Lecture and therapy tapes provide a brief overview of the entire model. This includes an overview of the theory, research and the clinical format/protocol of the therapy. Faculty review how attachment theory, emotional regulation and trauma resolution inform the delivery of this experiential treatment approach. We also review the goals and structure of the five treatment tasks that provide a road map for delivering this interpersonally focused psychotherapy effectively and rapidly.

Benefits of the 1-Day Workshop or Webinar

By attending the 1-day introductory workshop or webinar, attendees will have a basic understanding of how to use attachment theory to guide family intervention. Attendees will also gain a general introduction to the task structure of the model.

Target Audience

The target audience for the 1-day ABFT training is Case Workers, Counselors, Couple and Family Therapists, ER Physicians, Health Care Administrators, Frontline MH staff, Mental Health Professionals, Primary Care Physicians, Psychiatrists, Psychiatric Nurses, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, SAP Team members and Social Workers.

Training Format Options for Day 1 of the Introductory Workshop or Webinar

The 1-day introductory workshop is offered as a(n):

  • In-person workshop at Drexel University or off-site
  • Full-day (6-hour) webinar
  • 2-part, 3.5-hour online interactive webinar series (7-hours of content over two modules)
  • Self-paced online module (Coming soon!)
  • Brief course for graduate students proctored by a local professor

Accreditation

We offer APA and Pennsylvania State Board LPC/LMFT/LSW/LCSW CEs for the 1-day workshops and webinars. Please see here for a full description.

Many states accept APA CEs for Social Workers, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, and Licensed Professional Counselors. Some states also accept other state board's CEs. Please check with your local licensing board to verify CEs you can use.

Course Registration at Drexel University

https://drexel.edu/cnhp/academics/continuing-education/Health-Professions-CE-Programs/ABFT_3_Day/

3-Day Introductory Workshop

Day 1

On Day One, lecture and therapy tapes are used to provide an overview of the model including theoretical foundation and clinical strategies of ABFT. Faculty review how attachment theory, emotional regulation and trauma resolution inform the delivery of this experiential treatment approach. We also review the goals and structure of the five treatment tasks that provide a road map for delivering this interpersonally focused psychotherapy effectively and rapidly.

**This is the same as the 1-day Introductory Workshop. When therapists have completed the 1-day workshop previously, they do not have to repeat Day One of the three day introductory workshop.

Days 2 & 3

Days Two and Three build on Day one and provide a more in-depth look at the procedures and process involved in facilitating ABFT. Case discussion, tape review and role-play deepen the participants understanding of the approach. Throughout Days 2 and 3, therapists are also taught how to use the ABFT adherence checklists.
Attendance is limited to 30 people (per trainer) so that everyone can experience hands on attention from the Trainer.

Benefits of the 3-Day Workshop or One-Day Webinar and Days 2 & 3 Workshop

Days 2 And 3 provide a more in depth exposure to the scaffold of each task. We review extended clips of therapy tapes, talk about challenges and then role play the core elements of each task. This gives therapist a more practical sense of how to apply the model with at least moderately cooperative families. The goal is to learn to apply the basic structure, not to modify the model to more difficult or different kinds of families. That comes in supervision and the advanced training.

Target Audience

The target audience for the entire 3-day workshop is Counselors, Couple and Family Therapists, Mental Health Professionals, Psychiatrists, Psychiatric Nurses, Psychologists, Psychotherapists and Social Workers. Day 1 of the 3-day Workshop is also appropriate for Case Workers, ER Physicians, Health Care Administrators, Frontline MH staff, Primary Care Physicians, and SAP Team members.

Training Format Options for the 3-Day Introductory Workshop

Day 1 is offered as a(n):

  • In-person workshop at Drexel University or off-site
  • Full-day (6-hour) webinar
  • 2-part, 3.5-hour online interactive webinar series (7-hours of content over two modules)
  • Self-paced online module (Coming soon!)
  • Brief course for graduate students proctored by a local professor

Days 2 and 3 are offered as a(n):

  • In-person workshop at Drexel University or off-site
  • 4-part 3.5-hour online interactive webinar series
  • Semester course for graduate students proctored by a local professor (Coming Soon!)

Accreditation

We offer APA and Pennsylvania State Board LPC/LMFT/LSW/LCSW CEs for the 3-day workshop and Day One webinars. Please see here for a full description.

Many states accept APA CEs for Social Workers, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, and Licensed Professional Counselors. Some states also accept other state board's CEs. Please check with your local licensing board to verify CEs you can use.

Course Registration at Drexel University

https://drexel.edu/cnhp/academics/continuing-education/Health-Professions-CE-Programs/ABFT_3_Day/

Level II: Supervision and Advanced Workshop

Supervision

After the initial 3-day Level 1 workshop, training therapists are eligible to begin a series of 22 fortnightly, 60-90 minute (depending on group size) individual or group case consultation phone calls with an ABFT certified consultant (~1 year). Trainees are expected to discuss their current cases in which they are applying ABFT. Therapists are required to send a short case write-up using the ABFT Case Write-up Outline when they present a case. In addition, they are expected to present 5-10 minute recordings of their therapy sessions. Supervision groups have a limit of 7 people per 60-minute groups and 12 people per 90-minute group.

Individuals or agencies who do not want to commit to the certification process can contract for a minimum of 11 supervision sessions at a time.

Individuals or agencies may participate in as many rounds of 11 supervision sessions as they desire.

Benefits of Supervision

Supervision sessions help therapists who have attended the 3-day introductory workshop implement ABFT more effectively with clients. During supervision, therapists learn how to conceptualize from an ABFT framework so that they can utilize ABFT with a variety of different clients, presenting problems, and difficult situations. Through presenting 5-10 minute videos of sessions, therapists receive detailed feedback on the moment-by-moment decisions that occur in therapy. Additionally, the brief videos help therapists hone their ABFT specific skills. ABFT Supervisors also help therapists identify and work through person-of-the-therapist issues that arise when doing this interpersonal, emotionally deep work.

Target Audience

Therapists in the U.S. need to have at least a master’s degree in social work, mental health counseling, clinical or counseling psychology, or couple’s and family therapy. If therapists are not licensed and/or are graduate students, they need to be employed somewhere where they are receiving supervision. Internationally, therapists need to have local certification or licensure allowing them to practice therapy. ABFT Supervisors do not take on legal responsibility for cases.

Training Format Options for Supervision

  • In-person when supervisors and supervisees live in the same area
  • Online via a HIPPA secure web-conferencing system

3-Day Advanced Workshop

The 3-day Advanced Workshop is a follow-up, intensive, supervision workshop with some didactic presentations. This workshop, helps advance therapist’s ABFT skills. Participants discuss person of the therapist issues as they relate to ABFT and learn about the use of emotion-deepening skills in the context of ABFT. During the advanced training, a certified ABFT trainer provides supervision via live supervision (when possible), and role-play. In preparation for the training, we ask therapists to think about their biggest challenges in utilizing ABFT with families in Tasks 1-5. As many live supervision sessions as possible are scheduled during the 3-day advanced training.

Attendance is limited to 30 people (per trainer) who have previously attended the 3-day Level 1 workshop. Ideally, attendees have also participate in the supervision program as well. This way all of the attendees come to the advanced workshops with a high level of knowledge and experience with the model.

Benefits of the 3-Day Advanced Workshop

The Advanced Workshop helps solidify ABFT skills. Participants gain an understanding of how their own attachment history creates barriers or can help facilitate their delivery of therapy. They learn how to utilize their own personal experiences in life to build empathy and understanding of their clients’ experiences. Additionally, with practicing emotional deepening skills in role plays and receiving feedback, participants leave with a new understanding of how to deepen their ABFT work with clients. In this workshop we also talk more about how to adapt and or modify ABFT with more challenging clients.

Target Audience

The target audience for the 3-day Advanced workshop is Counselors, Couple and Family Therapists, Mental Health Professionals, Psychiatrists, Psychiatric Nurses, Psychologists, Psychotherapists and Social Workers who have previously attended the 3-day Level 1 Introductory Workshop. Attendees do not have to participate in ABFT supervision to attend the Advanced Workshop but it is preferred.

Training Format Options for the 3-day Advanced Workshop

  • In-person workshop at Drexel University or off-site
  • 6-part 3.5-hour online interactive webinar series

Accreditation

We offer APA and Pennsylvania State Board LPC/LMFT/LSW/LCSW CEs for the 3-day Advanced workshop. Please see here for a full description.

Many states accept APA CEs for Social Workers, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, and Licensed Professional Counselors. Some states also accept other state board's CEs. Please check with your local licensing board to verify CEs you can use.

Course Registration at Drexel University

https://drexel.edu/cnhp/academics/continuing-education/Health-Professions-CE-Programs/ABFT_Advanced/

Level III: Consultation Leading to Certification - Therapy Tape Review

After attending the Advanced Workshop and participating in Supervision (supervision does not need to be finished), trainees begin submitting video recordings of complete (i.e., 1 hour) ABFT sessions for review by certified supervisors. Trainees submit a minimum of 10 tapes at a rate of one to two videotapes a month. Tapes should be of recent sessions so that therapists can demonstrate their use of feedback from the group supervision sessions and recordings submitted for review. The ABFT supervisor informs the therapist which tasks or portions of a task to submit. When submitting tapes, therapists must provide a case write-up (template provided) and self-feedback on their tapes with suggestions for how to improve portions of their sessions that are not consistent with ABFT or could be improved in general. Therapists also rate their own tapes with the ABFT adherence measure. ABFT Certified Supervisors review the tapes and provide in-depth written feedback, adherence ratings and offer a 20-minute phone consultation (as needed) regarding the tape.

Completing all 10 tapes does not guarantee that someone is certified. A therapist may need to submit additional tapes (at additional cost) if they have yet to sufficiently develop certain skills. However, we have found that with the level of feedback we provide, most therapists are ready for certification review after 10 tapes.

Certification in ABFT does not expire.

Benefits of Therapy Tape Review

Participating in video review assures that therapists are using ABFT with fidelity. Therapists can feel confident that they are implementing the model the way it is intended. We are confident that certified ABFT therapists can represent the work as it is intended. Certification has become a standard clinical training procedure throughout the world of dissemination of empirically supported treatments.

Target Audience

Therapists in the U.S. need to have at least a master’s degree in social work, mental health counseling, clinical or counseling psychology, or couple’s and family therapy. If therapists are not licensed and/or are graduate students, they need to be employed somewhere where they are receiving supervision. Internationally, therapists need to have local certification or licensure allowing them to practice therapy. ABFT Supervisors do not take on legal responsibility for cases. In addition, therapists must ensure they have sufficient clinical time to treat ABFT clients (at least 2-3 clients at a time).

Training Format for Therapy Tape Review

Therapists send all materials including therapy recordings to ABFT supervisors via LiquidFiles (http://www.liquidfiles.net/tour/compliance.html), which is a secure FTP site. Supervisors store therapy sessions on encrypted hard drives until they are reviewed. Once reviewed, therapy sessions are deleted. Supervisors send feedback (not containing PHI) via email. If consultation calls are requested, they are conducted over Zoom, a HIPPAA secure web-conferencing system (zoom.us).

ABFT Continuing Consultation

If therapists desire supervision beyond their 22 supervision sessions or becoming certified, they may pay for ongoing supervision.

ABFT Webinars

We offer a variety of live webinars on ABFT ranging from 45 minutes to 6.5 hours. We offer the 1-day Introductory Workshop and Day One of the 3-Day Introductory Workshop via Webinar format. The 1-day/Day One workshop can be offered as a live full day workshop or a 3-part, 2- hour webinar series.

ABFT Online University Graduate Student Training Program

General Information to Professors

The ABFT Training Program now offers a fully supported University curriculum for a professor to teach a 9 to 11-hour module of ABFT in a university course or as an extracurricular program. A professor and at least 7 students register for the program and we supply all the materials listed below.

  • Streaming access to 6 lectures by Drs. Diamond and Levy
  • Live Q &A with ABFT Treatment Developers
  • Streaming access to 7 video tapes recordings of therapy sessions demonstrating the essential ABFT skills & teaching guide for professors
  • Student Clinical Manual
  • ABFT Selected Published Works Packet
  • Instructor manual with role-play activity suggestions (optional)
  • Student and Faculty Evaluations
  • Certificate of Completion for Students (must pass post-test at 80%)

Course Description

This 9-11 hour program is equivalent to the 1-day/Day one ABFT Introductory Workshop. It is designed to be used in the following ways: embedded in a semester course, outside of the curriculum as a special training, summer intensive or other short programing material.

Details About the Course

  1. Total time is approximately 9-11 hours. The variation in time depends on how many times the therapy videos are reviewed and if role play exercises are utilized.
  2. A professor proctors the course. This includes organizing students and location, verifying student attendance, running technology.
  3. The professor facilitates the class sessions which entails showing the 6 pre-recorded lectures (40-60 minutes long).
  4. Professors facilitate a review of 7, 6-8 minute recorded ABFT therapy excerpts for each task (time to review excerpts is 30-50 minutes). A training manual is provided which highlights essential ABFT principles and strategies demonstrated in the therapy session recording excerpts.
  5. The ABFT Training Program provides one “live” Q & A session with an ABFT Treatment Developer during the course via web conferencing. Students can prepare questions for this session throughout the course.
  6. Each student is required to read the ABFT book.
  7. Students are provided with a Student Clinical Manual which contains all the PowerPoint slides, 5-task overview sheets, and other clinical aids.
  8. A program evaluation process is included with the program. This consists of a simple pre and post evaluation tool to demonstrate increased knowledge. Local professors are free to add any additional evaluation tools.
  9. A certificate of completion of the 1-day ABFT Introductory Course is provided at the end of the course to students (if they pass the post test at 80%)
  10. The professor is invited for free to attend one of the three day introductory ABFT workshops either in Philadelphia or at some other location that is sponsoring a workshop.

Professor Requirements

We recommend that professors attend our 3-day introductory workshop to become more familiar with the course content. Admission to the 3-day workshop at Drexel University is free for professors teaching the course (a $475 value).

Eligibility to Take the Course

  • Students must be enrolled in a graduate program pursuing a degree in the mental health field (art therapy, counseling, couples and family therapy, creative movement therapy, music therapy, psychology, psychiatry, psychiatric nursing, social work etc.).
  • A professor must be willing to facilitate the course with students.
  • A minimum of 7 students are required to initiate the course.

Cost

  • >$99 per student for the 6 lectures (minimum of 7 students), plus supplementary recorded therapy excerpts, live Q&A, Student Clinical Manual, ABFT Selected Published Works Packet, and professor training manual.
  • There is no training requirement or implementation cost to the professor.

Course Registration - Registration is now open!

https://drexel.edu/cnhp/academics/continuing-education/Health-Professions-CE-Programs/ABFT_OnlineTraining/

Each student and professor must register for the course. Fees are only for students. There is an option during registration for the University to pay the fee for students (when applicable).

ABFT Online Training Program for Individuals (Coming Soon!)

The ABFT Training Program is currently creating a new Online Introductory ABFT Course equivalent to the 1 day/Day 1 ABFT Introductory Workshop. This course will be self-paced and take approximately 9 to 11 hours.

Details About the Course

  1. Review of 6 interactive pre-recorded webinars where Drs. Guy Diamond and Suzanne Levy provide an overview of the model including theoretical foundation and clinical strategies of ABFT. Faculty review how attachment theory, emotional regulation and trauma resolution inform the delivery of this experiential treatment approach. They also review the goals and structure of the five treatment tasks that provide a road map for delivering this interpersonally focused psychotherapy effectively and rapidly.
  2. Review of 7, ABFT therapy session recording excerpts for each task. Interactive technology is used to highlight essential ABFT principles and strategies demonstrated in the therapy recordings.
  3. A program evaluation process is included with the program. This consists of a simple pre and post evaluation tool to demonstrate increased knowledge as well as an evaluation of the course.
  4. A certificate of completion of the 1-day ABFT Introductory Course is provided at the end of the course to participants(if they pass the post test at 80%)
  5. CE’s are provided for this course at an additional cost.

Cost

  • $199/person - Plus $35 for APA CEs.
    • 10-15% discount for groups of 3 or more.

Course Registration

Coming Soon! We anticipate this course will be available Winter 2019.

Supervisor and Trainer Training for Organizations Implementing ABFT

When organizations choose to implement ABFT we understand the investment they are making. Thus, sustainability is of the upmost importance when investing in training staff in an empirically supported treatment. As a result, we encourage organizations to have some of their staff become trained as in-house ABFT Supervisors. Additionally, for larger organizations anticipating new staff needing to be trained in ABFT, we are able to train staff to become in-house ABFT Trainers.

Becoming a Certified ABFT Supervisor and Trainer does not mean being an independent teacher of ABFT. Certified ABFT Supervisors and Trainers work collaboratively with the Drexel ABFT Training Program, which remains involved in providing oversight of training activities, final certification of therapists, and determining future procedures for training and evaluating trainees. Although a supervisor is certified to supervise new therapists within their organization, they are not authorized to independently certify clinicians as ABFT therapists. Certification is accomplished through collaboration with the training center in Philadelphia. We are not looking to be over controlling of people committed to ABFT, but rather maintain a standard of quality across all training programs.

Certified ABFT Supervisor Training

Those interested in becoming a Certified ABFT Supervisor must first become a Certified ABFT Therapist in order to eligible for the training. The training includes course work in EFT (recommended), providing supervision under supervision, reviewing ABFT therapy tapes, and demonstrating competence in the ABFT Adherence Rating Scales. The training and evaluation of becoming a supervisor is a competency-based task. We select trainees with the anticipation of success and work closely with them to provide feedback throughout the training process so they are aware of their ability to successfully complete the training process.

Certified ABFT Trainer Training

To train to become a Certified ABFT Trainer, candidates must meet the following criteria: be a Certified ABFT Therapist and Certified ABFT Supervisor. The training includes a 4-day workshop and submitting a series of ABFT lectures for feedback and evaluation. The training and evaluation of becoming a trainer is a competency-based task. We select trainees with the anticipation of success and work closely with them to provide feedback throughout the training process so they are aware of their ability to successfully complete the training process.