Train-the-Trainers (TTT) Program

73% of active MDFT sites have a local or agency-based trainer.

Train-the-Trainer (TTT) training, where trainees master a particular method and go on to train others in the approach, has been used in a wide variety of fields. In order to reduce costs for providers, increase sustainability and promote agency autonomy, MDFT International, Inc. provides TTT to individual provider agencies or groups of agencies. We call these trainers Agency-Based Trainers.

Once trained, they are certified by MDFT International to train new staff at their agency (e.g., Children’s Aid Society in New York). We also train county (e.g. Riverside County Department of Mental Health), regional (e.g., Western Pennsylvania) state (e.g., Connecticut), and national trainers (e.g., the Netherlands). These trainers continue to work closely with MDFT International to deliver the highest quality training to new therapists.

FAQs About TTT

What are the benefits?
In MDFT, the cost savings can be enormous. MDFT International still provides ongoing coaching and implementation support services, but these are much less expensive than training new therapists. TTT enables agencies to train new therapists in-house, which is absolutely essential to effectively addressing staff turnover.

Although Train-the-Trainers programs have not been widely studied, there is a growing consensus concerning their advantages over Expert/Purveyor-Led Training, including increased access to training, reduced costs and time required for training, increased program sustainability, and benefits of having on-site trainers who are knowledgeable of local, agency, and systems issues.


Will we still work with MDFT International if we have an Agency-Based Trainer?
Yes. MDFT International still provides coaching and implementation support services.

Additionally, each year, MDFT International hosts a meeting for all Agency-Based Trainers in Miami, FL. The meeting gives trainers a chance to share their work, build relationships with other trainers in both work and casual settings, and work directly with the model developer Dr. Liddle and MDFT International national trainers.


What kinds of programs are good candidates for the TTT program?
The Train-the-Trainers program is not for everybody, but it is extremely successful with agencies, counties, regions, states or countries that are committed to MDFT over the long-term, have dedicated high-level MDFT supervisors who are good candidates to become trainers, anticipate or have experienced clinician turnover, and/or plan to expand their MDFT services into new regions, arenas, or for more youth and families than they currently serve.


What does the training involve?
The MDFT TTT, like its clinician training, is multicomponent and includes intensive workshops, live and video review of training, consultation calls, and at least one TTT training case (i.e., the trainer in training must have at least one therapist to train). The training process is identical to having MDFT International trainers conduct the training, but for a fraction of the costs.


Trainer Certification

  • Observe and give feedback on MDFT Introduction
  • Observe and give feedback on weekly Case Consultation Calls
  • Review and give feedback on Case Reviews and Video reviews
  • Observe and give feedback on Intensive Onsite Training
  • Review and give feedback on Weekly Case and Therapist Development Plans
  • Review and give feedback on Written Assessments 1 & 2