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Caring for Idaho

Psychosocial Track

James F. Alexander, Ph.D.

James F. Alexander, Ph.D.
"Functional Family Therapy: Treatment for Conduct Disordered and Substance-Abusing Youth"
Friday, October 29, 2010 - 9:00 am to 4:30 pm


Presenter's Biographical Sketch:
James F. Alexander, Ph.D., is Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah. Dr. Alexander is the Progenitor and Developer of Functional Family Therapy (FFT), a widely-disseminated and empirically-demonstrated intervention model for adolescent violence, substance abuse, and related behavioral disorders such as CD, ODD, delinquency, truancy, and family conflict.

FFT is derived from a family systems theoretical framework; however, the FFT model goes beyond the systems theory-based relational perspective, integrating and conceptually linking evidence-based cognitive behavioral intervention strategies to the ecological formulation of the family disturbance. The effectiveness of FFT for conduct/delinquent behaviors has been replicated across sites, settings, ethnic cultural groups, and service providers with diverse backgrounds and training.

Dr. Alexander created the core elements of the program in 1971 in collaboration with Dr. Bruce Parsons. After more than two decades of research and clinical development, FFT was designated as a “Blueprints Program” by the Center for The Study and Prevention of Violence and is one of only five Level 1 treatments in the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Youth Violence.

Dr. Alexander has published three books, has authored over 70 articles and chapters, and has participated in more than 300 presentations and trainings, both nationally and internationally. He currently has two additional books in preparation. His many honors include the recently awarded Presidential Citation for Lifetime Contributions to Psychology (APA’s Annual Convention 2009).

FFT is currently being implemented in 8 countries with 260+ accredited FFT sites. FFT LLC (www.fftinc.com) trains and supervises/consults with 1000+ therapists who see over 20,000 families per year. FFT also represents a framework and implementation vehicle for programs providing treatment for youth and families in mental health, school, child welfare, juvenile justice probation and/or parole, and integrated reentry/reunification contexts.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To provide an overview of FFT as an evidence-based intervention that participants can understand; review the core principles, goals, and phases of FFT.
  2. To review (with lecture and video) the major techniques of the engagement and motivation process in FFT; these principles and interventions extend beyond the FFT model itself.
  3. To review the construct of accountability in clinical practice, and discuss the FFT approach to session monitoring and quality assurance/therapist quality improvement.
  4. To compare and contrast how and why FFT and other major intervention models might deal with specific therapeutic choice points.
  5. To introduce the concept of relational functions and to detail their assessment, incorporation into strategies for engagement and motivation, and use in developing specific change strategies.


8–9 am Registration and Check-in
9am–12pm Workshop
Functional Family Therapy (FFT)
• Pond Student Union South & Middle Fork Rooms (combined)
James F. Alexander, Ph.D.
12-1 pm 12-1 pm Lunch break (on your own)
1-4:30pm Workshop (continued)
Functional Family Therapy (FFT)
• Pond Student Union South & Middle Fork Rooms (combined)
James F. Alexander, Ph.D.

Continuing Education

The Idaho Psychological Association (IPA) is co-sponsoring the FFT workshop by Dr. Alexander and will provide six CE credits for psychologists. IPA is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor CE credits for psychologists.

Six CE credits for LCPs and LCPCs will be provided by ISU's Department of Counseling, an approved provider for the NBCC.

This program has also been approved for six hours at BSW level, six hours at MSW level and six hours at the MSW-Clinical level by the National Association of Social Workers-Idaho Chapter, and may be applied toward the continuing education requirements for social work license renewal.

Psychosocial Track Registration

To help us plan better, we request that all participants pre-register by October 22. To register, please download and complete the Psychosocial Track Registration Form and mail or fax (282-5894) it to ISU Continuing Education, Stop 8062, Pocatello, ID 83209-8062. The form may also be emailed to extendedlearning@isu.edu.

Last Modified: 02/22/11 at 08:24:53 AM