Job and Volunteer Opportunities
The Center for Family Intervention Science is currently accepting applications for a one-year clinical practicum.
The Center for Family Intervention Science (CFIS) at Drexel University is accepting up to five practicum students for a one-year clinical training program. Students will be trained and supervised to work with families using Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT): an empirically supported, emotion-focused family therapy model for adolescents/young adults and their caregivers. Training will be geared to prepare students for ABFT certification. In addition, trainees will be taught to deliver motivational interviewing, parent support groups and other adjunct services. The center’s clinical populations focus primarily on youth presenting with depression, trauma, bulimia, and substance use. Students will receive additional training to work with these specific populations. All families are treated in the context of clinical research and practicum students will be expected to collect research data. Additional professional development activities (e.g., research, poster presentations, journal publications, etc.) may be possible pending student interest and available opportunities.
Additional Practicum Logistics
- 16 hour a week commitment is required
- Minimum Experience: Two years of clinical experience working with children, adolescents, and/or families
- Advanced graduate students with family therapy experience will be given preference
- Licensure hours can be provided for all disciplines, including MFT
- Given the circumstances of COVID-19, most treatment will be delivered via telehealth until further notice
- A stipend of $1000 will be given to practicum students
All application materials must be received by January 21st 2022 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Applications will not be considered unless all application materials are received by this deadline. Selected applicants will be invited for an interview with training faculty. Interviews are scheduled for the month of February 2022. Selected applicants will be offered position by March 8th 2022. Practicum begins July 1, 2022.
How to Apply
Please direct all questions and if applying, all application materials to Allie King at firstname.lastname@example.org
Guy Diamond, PhD
Director of Center for Family Intervention Science (CFIS)
Associate Professor, Counseling and Family Therapy
Website: Faculty Profile | ABFT Training Program
Diamond's research focuses on suicide prevention and intervention. He has developed, tested and disseminated Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT) for depressed and suicidal youth and is the lead developer of the Behavioral Health Screening tool, a comprehensive yet brief, web based tool for early identification of youth struggling with suicide and other behavioral health problems.
Allie King, PhD, AMFT
CFIS Practicum Director
Allie King, PhD, is the Director of the ABFT Practicum Program. Dr. King is a certified ABFT therapist, supervisor and trainer. Dr. King received her PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy from Virginia Tech. Her research interests focus on adolescent eating disorders, person-of-the-therapist training, training of marriage and family therapists, and adaptations of attachment-based family therapy. She is an American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) supervisor candidate.
ABFT is the only manualized, empirically supported family therapy model specifically designed to target family and individual processes associated with adolescent suicide and depression. ABFT emerges from interpersonal theories that suggest adolescent mental health challenges can be precipitated, exacerbated or buffered against by the quality of interpersonal relationships in families. It is a trust-based, emotion-focused psychotherapy model that aims to repair interpersonal ruptures and rebuild an emotionally protective, secure-based parent–child relationship.
ABFT aims to repair ruptures in the attachment relationship, and establish or resuscitate the secure base so important for adolescent development. "Repairing attachment" occurs by first helping family members to access their longing for greater closeness and adopt the idea of rebuilding trust. Then adolescents, in individual sessions, are helped to identify and articulate their perceived experiences of attachment failures, and commit to a discussion of these experiences with their parents. Then parents, also in individual sessions, are encouraged to consider how their own intergenerational legacies affect their parenting style - which typically leads to their developing greater empathy for their adolescent's experiences. When adolescents and parents are ready, the therapist brings them back together to discuss the adolescent's concerns. As adolescents get these thoughts, feelings and memories "off their chests" and receive acknowledgement and empathy from their parents, they become more willing to consider their own contributions to family conflict. Although not all issues are necessarily addressed or resolved, this mutually respectful and often emotionally-laden dialogue serves as a "corrective attachment experience" that can set in motion a renewed sense of trust and commitment. As tension and conflict diffuse at home, therapists encourage adolescents to pursue prosocial activities outside the home that will promote competency and autonomy. Parents serve as the secure base from which adolescents seek comfort, advice, support and encouragement in exploring these new opportunities.
ABFT is a flexible yet programmatic approach to facilitating these processes. Although not prescriptive, the treatment manual provides a clear 'road map' of how to accomplish this "shuttle diplomacy" thereby allowing these profound and reparative conversations to occur quickly in therapy. Therapists are taught to rapidly focus on core family conflicts, relational failure, vulnerable emotions and the instinctual desire for giving and receiving attachment security.