Strategic Family Therapy


Brief Strategic Family Therapy

Summit Malibu recognizes that addiction is a family disease and that effective treatment includes identifying and addressing family dynamics that nurture and sustain addiction.

Harmful dynamics can exist within all constellations of a family – couples without children, traditional families, divorced or separated families, and non-traditional or blended families. The basis for family treatment at Summit Malibu is Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT), a methodology that was developed at the University of Miami’s Family Studies Program. BSFT is a family intervention specifically designed to assist families coping with addiction.

BSFT Intervention For Families

While BSFT has been empirically proven to be effective with adolescents and their families, the clinicians at Summit Malibu have experienced tremendous success with families of all ages. BSFT is an intervention that identifies restrictive family interactions and introduces self-sustaining changes to the family system. BSFT corrects over or under-involvement in each other’s lives; promotes family connectedness and a family’s ability to resolve conflict successfully. This treatment is plan-and-problem-focused and works with the entire family to develop change strategies and new skills to solve its problems.

The techniques implemented in BSFT reduce negative interactions replacing them with positive interactions.  Skills taught include reframing to change the meaning of interactions, changing alliances, shifting interpersonal boundaries, and building conflict resolution skills. This shift in family dynamics supports sustained recovery for the addicted person and a greater sense of contentment for other family members.