Why choose MDFT?

Best practice guidelines recommend comprehensive, family-involved, and evidence-based treatments for adolescent problems. But available treatments rarely include these characteristics. A national study of adolescent treatment found that only 8.6% of programs provide comprehensive services, and only 22.5% involved families. Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) is a proven, evidence-based treatment that offers practical guidance to clinicians and comprehensive services for families.

What are the strengths of MDFT?


Proven effectiveness

MDFT has 30 years of supporting research in U.S.-based and international studies presenting significant and consistent clinical outcomes across several randomized control trials. Research has shown that MDFT improves functionality on a range of outcomes, and MDFT has been recognized in independent reviews and by government entities.

Rewarding for clinicians

MDFT has high satisfaction ratings from clinicians and agencies. An independent study found that 100% of clinicians found the MDFT manual helpful in casework, and an internal survey of MDFT clinicians found that 85% said that MDFT gave them the skills to be a better therapist. MDFT allows clinicians to work in a variety of settings, to work with both families and adolescents, and to collaborate with non-familial members of the community.

Fits into existing clinical settings

MDFT can be tailored to any program. MDFT has been successfully integrated into substance abuse, mental health, juvenile justice, and child welfare sectors of care, and implemented in a variety of clinical settings including outpatient, day, and residential treatment; detention centers; drug court; and juvenile diversion programs.

Learnable and sustainable

MDFT has been implemented at over 150 sites across the United States and Europe. Over 90% of programs that start MDFT training complete it to certification and sustain at least 2 years.

Peter Panzarella, former Director of Substance Abuse Services for the Connecticut Dept. of Children & Families

Lowers service costs

MDFT costs significantly less than standard outpatient treatment delivered across the U.S. and is a third of the cost of residential treatment. It also saves costs by keeping kids out of placements and in the home.

Fosters autonomy

MDFT International trains local and regional trainers in order to lower program costs, increase sustainability, and foster agency autonomy through the Train-the-Trainers program. We have trained over 35 local and regional trainers.

Puts families first

MDFT International, the organization that promotes, trains, and certifies clinicians in MDFT treatment, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Providing the best possible treatment for youth and families is our only priority.


Find an MDFT program near you, or contact us about starting a new one or for a 2-hour Basics Workshop.