MDFT International

Gayle A. Dakof, PhD
Director, MDFT International

Gayle Dakof is director of MDFT-International, a 501(c)(3) public charity devoted to the implementation of MDFT, and a Voluntary Research Associate Professor of Epidemiology & Public Health at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, and is a licensed psychologist in the states of Florida and California.

Dr. Dakof is a scientist-practitioner specializing in the development and testing of psychotherapeutic and systemic interventions directed toward preventing and treating substance abuse, child maltreatment, delinquency and criminality among adolescents and adult women. Instrumental in the research and clinical development of MDFT since 1989, she is a Senior Trainer of Multidimensional Family Therapy, architect of the MDFT Train-the-Trainers Program, and developer of a research-supported intervention for addicted parents, MDFT Family Recovery.

Dr. Dakof is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board at The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, an executive board member of the State of Florida 11th Judicial Circuit Juvenile Justice Board, and a board member of the MDFT Academy located in the Netherlands. For over 20 years, she has been a principal investigator or co-investigator on numerous NIH-funded research projects, including the MDFT Juvenile Drug Court Study. Dr. Dakof has authored more than 50 publications.

Cindy Rowe, PhD
Associate Director, MDFT International

Cindy Rowe is the Associate Director of MDFT International and a Research Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Center for Treatment Research on Adolescent Drug Abuse (CTRADA). Dr. Rowe received her PhD in clinical psychology from Temple University. Since 1994, she has been instrumental to the Center’s work, focusing largely on refining, testing, and disseminating family-based interventions for adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems, delinquency, and substance abuse.

An MDFT trainer, Dr. Rowe works actively with her colleagues to promote the translation of research findings into practice, and to train providers throughout the U.S. and in other countries to implement Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) in diverse clinical settings. She is currently PI of a grant from NIAAA to conduct a randomized clinical trial of two innovative family interventions for youth identified with alcohol problems in the emergency department. She has also been PI and Co-PI of several NIDA grants, including the Florida Research Center of NIDA’s CJDATS collaborative, which tested an innovative cross-systems version of MDFT with integrated HIV prevention delivered to youth in detention and as they transitioned home. Dr. Rowe was also integrally involved in the research and clinical activities of a multisite randomized controlled trial of MDFT in five countries in Western Europe.

She has been a regular reviewer of health services research grants with NIDA and NIH since 2006 and has authored peer-reviewed research articles, clinical publications, and book chapters. She also co-edited Adolescent Substance Abuse (2006, Cambridge University Press), a comprehensive volume dedicated to treatment research on adolescent substance abuse.


MDFT Academy

The implementation and training of MDFT in Europe is provided by MDFT Academy in the Netherlands, part of the Youth Interventions Foundation. A range of training courses are offered. MDFT Academy is housed at Curium, the Institute for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, at the Medical Center of the University of Leiden. MDFT International and MDFT Academy work in close collaboration. MDFT International Trainers, led by Gayle Dakof, travel to Europe twice annually to consult and support the training of MDFT therapists in Europe, and Dr. Dakof is on the Board of Directors of MDFT Academy. Dr. Henk Rigter from the Youth Interventions Foundation is a Board Member of the U.S.-based MDFT International. Read more about MDFT Academy on their website,


MDFT - The Hague, Netherlands

Henk Rigter, The Hague;
Andreas Gantner, Berlin;
Phillip Nielsen, Geneva

MDFT - Berlin