Our Training Programs

Around 500 therapists and supervisors receive training in some form from the Center for Family Based Training each year. CFBT offers four avenues for receiving post-graduate continuing education in ESFT.  The most common way to access our training is through ongoing multiple-year agency contracts.  CFBT currently contracts with many behavioral health agencies providing intensive, in-home family-based services in both Pennsylvania and North Carolina.  Therapists and supervisors employed in these programs are automatically enrolled in our ESFT trainings.  These trainings tend to be closed to those outside the contracted agencies.

The other three training avenues are accessible to all behavioral health professionals.  These include 1) our online continuing education center offering CEs on a variety of ESFT related topics, 2) agency sponsored CE workshops, and 3) our certificate program in ESFT for individual practitioners.   

We are an approved sponsor of continuing education programs for psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors.

Multi-Year ESFT Training for Intensive In-Home Family-Based Programs

The main goals of intensive, in-home, family-based programs include: 1) reducing the referred child’s symptoms and safety concerns, 2) reducing the risk of psychiatric hospitalization or out-of-home placement, and 3) improving the child’s capacity to handle the normal demands of home, school, and the peer community. The training offered through the Center for Family Based Training builds the clinical skills critical for helping therapists to intervene effectively in the family, addressing parenting practices, intra-familial relationships, and family-community relationships.

Pennsylvania Family-Based Mental Health Services (FBMHS) Training 

The Center for Family Based Training (CFBT) is one of three training centers approved by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to offer ESFT training and consultation to FBMHS programs. FBMHS is an intensive in-home community-based behavioral health program.  Agencies contract directly with CFBT annually. CFBT provides a dual three-year curriculum that is designed to meet the Pennsylvania regulatory requirements – one directed at supervisors (30 hours per year) and one directed at front-line therapists (85 hours per year).   The curriculum for front-line therapists is two pronged – one focuses on new therapists, the Foundations of ESFT, while the other focuses on therapists who are more experienced with ESFT. CFBT currently hosts four regional training groups spanning the state.  Therapists who successfully complete the three-year FBMHS training program and pass the state exam are eligible for Pennsylvania certification in the treatment model.

Competency in the model is promoted through a combination of live didactics, online webinars, and case consultations. The latter comprises about three quarters of the training experience, where videotaped treatment sessions are reviewed and discussed by faculty in collaboration with their FBMHS colleagues. We believe that this work is best learned through supported practice and feedback involving real clinical situations. Supervision training is comprised of small group supervision-of-supervision, individual consultation, and access to online webinars that provide conceptual foundations. 

North Caroline Intensive In-Home (IIH) Training 

As with Pennsylvania FBMHS, North Carolina behavioral health agencies contract directly with CFBT annually.  ESFT is an approved evidence-based model for intensive in-home services in North Carolina. The CFBT provides training that is designed to meet the North Carolina IIH regulatory requirements for both supervisors and for front-line therapists. The center piece of this intensive ESFT training program is individualized agency-specific monthly case consultations with treatment teams.    

Online Continuing Education 

The Center for Family Based Training offers a library of online asynchronous mini courses to enrich and complement the training that behavioral health providers receive from face-to-face workshops, and ongoing clinical supervision or case consultations.  As a niche training facility, our courses are designed specifically for behavioral health professionals dedicated to working in the community with children and adolescents who have serious emotional problems, and their families.  

Our online courses are taught by experienced practitioners who know the pressures of being in the field and who hate wasting time.  Our online courses are distinguished by their sharply focused content, where the instructors stick to “the essentials” that are most translatable and relevant to applied clinical practice.  These courses are also distinguished by the value placed on keeping the material interesting and engaging.”  Our courses chunk information into short, digestible webinars that contain a variety of visuals, and include clinical examples to demonstrate concepts.  Our courses provide supplemental resources such as downloadable readings and links to related podcasts, TED Talks, and YouTube videos. Read more about our online continuing education program here.

Live Streaming Workshops

The Center for Family Based Training sponsors multiple live-streamed workshops each year as part of the general training curriculum for therapists and supervisors working in intensive, in-home family-based programs. With pre-registration, these CE activities are generally also open to individual therapists working outside contracted agencies.  The Center for Family-Based Training also offers CE activities for individual agencies.  These agency-contracted workshops are often closed to therapists outside the agency.  

Our CE workshops provide an opportunity for front line therapists and supervisors to hear a more in-depth presentation about a topic directly relevant to their clinical work.  These topics focus on individual psychiatric conditions or structural problems in the family that are prevalent in the population treated.  The structure of these workshops usually includes both a focus on how to recognize signs of the problem area being discussed as well as practical strategies for addressing it. Workshop content is informed by the best available clinical and empirical evidence.

Agency-Sponsored CE Workshops & Systems Consultation 

The Center for Family Based Training regularly contracts with behavioral health agencies, prevention programs, and behavioral health management organizations interested in incorporating a family-centered, eco-systemic approach into service delivery.  This has involved Pennsylvania programs such as Early Head Start, IBHS, Summer Therapeutic Alternative Programs, and MCOs.   Our faculty collaborate with clinical leaders in these organizations to develop a cost-effective strategy for increasing the capacity of staff to provide high-quality, evidence informed family-based interventions. If you are interested to learn more about this service, contact us.                

Certificate Program for Individual Practitioners 

This option is for therapists working in community-based behavioral health agencies who want to learn more about ESFT but are not employed by an intensive in-home program. There are four certificate levels. The specific criteria for each certificate level have not yet been formalized by the ESFT Training Center Consortium but are due to be released soon.