The Specialized Family Therapy team is interested in discussing the construction of a large research and practice grant application with any experienced Clinical Research group in the nation. University affiliation is a plus. The selected group would have to have a background in researching and or treating children and families since Specialized Family Therapy addresses custody/visitation and or co parenting conflicts that have or are endangering the children’s emotional stability. SFT provides specific Co Parenting Counseling. SFT also is a therapy model providing Reconciliation Counseling for any parent with their children if they have become estranged.
Under the grant a quality team of therapists would be hired and trained to provide SFT at the appropriate level of care. Grant Money persuades the systems of care to refer to SFT. We would be looking to secure 2 to 3 million over 3 years to study SFT. Family referrals would be forthcoming as those in the study would not have to pay. Also appealing to the referring Family Court and Children and Youth Protective Services, is that SFT is designed to be effective irrespective of whether or not the parents were ever married.
The ultimate goal of the Specialized Family Therapy team is for SFT to secure an Evidence Based and Best Practice Designation. With a Best Practice designation Specialized Family Therapy would be adopted and paid for by many county Children and Youth Protective Services Divisions across the nation. Their cases where the abuse or neglect of children allegation is leveled against one of the parents by the other parent often determine that the accusation is unfounded. What is sometimes revealed during the investigation is that there are underlying visitation and custody disputes. A co parenting or visitation conflict occurring can precipitate one parent or both to be suspicious of the other parents treatment of the children. Specialized Family Therapy can reduce those tensions and conflicts as I have treated many such situations with SFT. Likewise, gaining the Best Practices designation would enable Family Courts across the country to order SFT to help many families petitioning the court to resolve their co parenting and and custody related conflicts. The Family Court of Allegheny County which includes Pittsburgh and a vast surrounding region has been referring to the Specialized Family Therapy Team for over 20 years.
The SFT therapeutic continuum is built on 5 bi-directional level of care intervention model for families embroiled in custody and or parenting related conflicts. Each level represents an assessed choice of therapeutic modalities and strategies based on and arrived at with the active engagement and participation of the family unit (or couple). The level of care ranges from mild levels of friction and hostility between the parents to more acute and or long standing major impasses and conflicts. The decision of the specific therapeutic level in which the family unit is placed is the result of a negotiation process and of the assessed risks, context, and priorities specific to the family’s unit strengths and needs. This decision point is referred within the context of the SFT therapeutic model as Shared Areas of Negotiated Actions [SANA]. SANA represents the selected options of intervention strategies to be used.
SANA works very much like a “therapeutic formula” with corresponding indications of the expected benefits and outcomes (short, intermediate, or long-term) that the intervention is to have on the family unit or individuals involved. The specific therapeutic level is thus determined by the dosage, duration, and intensity of the selected combination of intervention strategies selected. The 5-levels of the Specialized Family Therapy continuum include:
BASELINES LEVEL E: Engagement & Monitoring
LEVEL 1: Education and Prevention Support
LEVEL 2: Building Relational Capacity
LEVEL 3: Regulatory and Adaptive Capacity
LEVEL 4: Trauma-informed Multi-systemic Reconciliation Therapy
Within each level of care certain aspects of the Specialized Family therapy training model are emphasized and have been shown to be effective from over 20 years of practice. These specific interventions are explained in the research ready companion piece document to this web based SFT training. The companion document is entitled Advanced Specialized Family Therapy : The Essential Handbook….. and would be shared with any group seriously interested in this major initiative. We would also provide a coupon to any creditable Clinical Research group interested in taking the course on line to gain a full understanding of Specialized Family Therapy free of charge. PLEASE see the blog above related to the SFT advanced clinical handbook and click on the purple tab to download the research ready CLINICAL document.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-965-0061. Additional contact information is listed on the Contact Us section of this Site.
Maurice J Heidish LCSW