Functional Family Therapy was founded in the 1970s by Dr. James F. Alexander. FFT LLC, the model's training and dissemination organization, was formed in 1998 for the purpose of leading the systematic replication of FFT into community agencies and to assist in the ongoing scientific inquiry into the family counseling model. 


In Memoriam 

FFT LLC is deeply saddened to announce that Dr. James F. Alexander, the developer of FFT, passed away on November 17, 2021, surrounded by his family. He will forever be in our thoughts.
Please read the obituary about his amazing life here.


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Brenda Szumski,
Executive Director

Brenda has spent more than 25 years of her career working with children and families in the evidence-based practice field. She is passionate about improving the quality and accessibility of services available to families in communities. She received her MSW from the University of Denver and her MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors with her husband, two sons, and dog.

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Dr. Michael S. Robbins,
Senior Clinical Director

Dr. Michael Robbins is a Senior Scientist at the Oregon Research Institute and Director of Research for Functional Family Therapy, Inc. Dr. Robbins has extensive experience conducting clinical research on family therapy with drug using, delinquent adolescents and their families. He has directly overseen the training of hundreds of family therapists, both nationally and internationally. Dr. Robbins is a frequent lecturer and consultant, and is recognized as a leader in the areas of process and outcome research in adolescent drug abuse treatment. He has led numerous federally-funded research studies, including innovative process studies that involve the examination of in-session processes across three, empirically-validated family interventions as well as one of the largest multi-site family therapy trials conducted with adolescent drug users. Dr. Robbins has extensive publications in the area of family therapy for adolescents with behavior problems, including Co-Editing the Third Edition of the Handbook of Family Therapy (Brunner Routledge, 2003), a primary source textbook for many family therapy training programs. He has served as Consulting Editor for the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. He has mentored many new investigators, including psychiatrists, psychologists, and master’s level students.

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Holly DeMaranville,
Communications & Events Director

Holly has worked for FFT as the Communications and Events Director since January 2003. In her job as Communications Director, she is the initial point of contact for any new sites interested in implementing FFT. She works closely with new sites during the startup phase of training and then continues to work closely with sites if they have any further training needs or issues with the Client Service System (CSS). As Events Director, she is responsible for event planning for numerous global conferences and trainings every year. She works closely with the FFT partners, trainers and consultants on scheduling, internal and external communications, and other QA items.

Prior to working for FFT, Holly worked for seven years for Developmental Research and Programs, Inc., the company founded by Drs. David Hawkins and Richard Catalano to implement the Communities That Care program. There she also worked closely with community sites to assist them with implementation of evidence-based programs through the CTC model.

Holly lives in Seattle, WA.

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Kellie Armey

Kellie Armey,
Clinical Director (FFT, FFT-G)

Kellie received her Bachelor’s of Social Work at Colorado State University and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Denver and retains a LISW-S. Kellie began her journey with FFT in 2001 in Ohio as a therapist working with youth involved in the juvenile justice system, became an FFT supervisor and FFT National Consultant in 2002.

“I have spent my career working with at-risk youth and their families with special interest and a primary focus on homeless or street youth. Some would say I have attempted most methods of intervention working with what has been considered to be “kids who fall through cracks in the system”. However, I have found most success working with FAMILIES and young people and found FFT to not only be effective with this population, but to sincerely provide young people with a voice in their future.”

Kellie currently resides Ohio. She lives with her husband; Tim who is a published Poet Laureate and administrator at The Ohio State University (go Bucks). Together, they have two young adult children, Tristam and Charley.

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Helen M. Midouhas, Ph.D., L.P.C.,
Implementation Director

Helen is the Implementation Director for FFT LLC.  She has been involved with FFT since 2002 in different capacities, including serving as a model expert/liaison to large-scale implementation projects, providing stakeholder and implementation training, education, and consultation, analyzing and reporting data and outcomes, supporting research efforts, and planning for project sustainability.  She is both a Nationally Certified Counselor and a PA Licensed Professional Counselor. Her Masters is in School and Community Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Her Doctorate is in Community and Organizational Leadership Studies from Alvernia University. Before FFT she worked in roles involving administration, program implementation, and clinical supervision.

“My graduate and doctoral level training focused on research, outcomes, and prevention. The concept of evidence-based programming was taught and discussed as a possible trend. Around 1995, there was talk of focusing mental health initiatives towards a prevention angle, but little happened at the local level. It wasn’t until I was introduced to FFT through an opportunity to implement it that I saw outcomes and prevention become a reality, and this began my love affair with the model. Over the years I have had the fortune of watching ideas turn into realities, through youth and families experiencing improved relationships and less conflict, and organizations encountering success in their delivery of the model, to states generating larger system impacts and cost savings using FFT.”

Helen lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband.

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Annie Niermann

Annie Niermann, MSSW, LSCW,
Clinical Director of FFT Adaptations (FFT-CW, FF-CM)

Annie is the Clinical Director of FFT Adaptations for FFT LLC, overseeing the national and international implementation of FFT-CW and FFT-CM. She also manages FFT and FFT-CW programing in New York City. Across these roles Annie works closely with provider organizations, community stakeholders, and child protection and justice system partners to ensure impactful, high-quality, and transformative FFT/FFT-CW services for youth and families.

Annie serves as a key member of FFT LLC’s Executive Leadership Team in which she contributes to strategic planning, consultant development, quality clinical training, and the establishment of new initiatives. Annie has worked for FFT since 2003 and during her tenure has been instrumental in the development of the FFT-CW model, and other innovative programming including the ATLAS Initiative, the NYC FFT-IPAS aftercare program, and the movement to integrate evidence-based therapeutic and treatment programs in child protection and juvenile justice systems.

Annie has a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in NY State. As the former Director of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) FFT Program, she oversaw the implementation of FFT Re-Entry programs serving adjudicated youth returning home from institutional care. Annie was initially trained as an FFT therapist while working in a community based mental health clinic in Brooklyn, NY. She lives in New York City with her family.

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Trainers and Consultants

Nijah Afflic

Nijah Afflic

Nijah is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor based in New York City. She is an alumna of Thee Virginia State University, where she obtained a Bachelor Degree in Psychology, and later a Master Degree in Applied Psychology from New York University. Nijah has extensive experience working with children and families utilizing various evidence-based models. Aligning vastly with the FFT model, she has served as a Therapist, Supervisor, Director and has played a pivotal role in the implementation and training for several adaptations and teams.

Nijah considers herself a Social Justice Therapist. She is committed to naming and healing the impact of systemic oppression and racial trauma through her work, as well as calling out the effect of white supremacy and “isms” on marginalized identities. As the founder of a private therapy practice in the Bronx, Nijah is dedicated to ensuring groups-- impacted by oppression-- have a space to exist safely, and experience cultural humility, commitment, and privilege accountability from therapists.

“I’m amazed by how deeply I fell in love with FFT. I was introduced to the model in 2016 as a Case Planner with Rising Ground Inc. I’ve always been an ‘eclectic approach’ kind of clinician; only because I’m too out of this world to be boxed in. In graduate school, I experienced a semester of mental arm wrestles with a professor, who’s rigidity pertaining to theory and therapeutic approaches, sort of stifled my creativity. I often felt silenced by models refusing to go to certain places in honor of “tradition” (And let’s be honest, “tradition” in Psychology hasn’t always looked out for people who look/think like me.) Functional Family Therapy values those parts of me as a clinician. Functional Family Therapy values those parts of the families we serve. As a therapist, FFT practically gives you a grocery list and says, “Make a pizza. Be sure to use these ingredients. You can add whatever spices you want. But it better be a pizza, and it better taste good!”

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May Ambrogi, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.

(Pronouns: she/her) 

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Social Work. My experience includes providing therapy to children, adults and families with histories of abuse, trauma, major mental health issues and delinquency. I have worked in foster care, did parenting groups in a prison and worked for the same non-profit where I was an FFT provider for 12 years. I have been practicing FFT since 2003, became an FFT PA State Supervisor in 2006 and then a national consultant in 2008. Along with consulting with FFT teams, I provide Initial Clinical, Follow-Up and Externship trainings. In the last 8 years, I have also become trained in and practice EMDR (EMDRIA-certified), Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD, Gottman Level-1 training and hypnotherapy, all of which have enhanced my FFT depth and richness.

The most important element of who I am though as a clinician and consultant is about who I am as a person. I was born in Beirut, Lebanon during the early years of what turned out to be a long, painful civil war. Coming to the U.S.A. at 12 months of age as a refugee, and all it took to get through that life gave me an inside look at how trauma can alter a family’s path, inside and out. I learned about empathy, resilience and the strength of the human spirit to strive for good in spite of bad experiences and even some bad choices. Finding FFT in 2003 and experiencing Dr. Alexander training felt stabilizing. I had found a space in this field that matched my life-long core value that all people are inherently good and worthy. My approach is one of respect for all people’s culture and histories; striving to create an environment in which everyone can feel safe to learn, grow and share while being challenged and I also throw in quite a bit of laughter for good measure. I live and have a private practice in the Lehigh Valley region of PA with my husband, cat, siblings, in-laws and nephews, all of whom I adore.

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Deborah Babcock, MA, LPC

Deborah Babcock is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Colorado. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and then her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Colorado. Deborah has worked in a variety of community mental health settings including residential, day treatment and outpatient with individuals and families. Deborah has worked with a wide range of issues from early childhood through the adult SPMI population.

Deborah was initially trained by Jim Alexander, and worked on an FFT team in Littleton, CO. The team was initially grant funded in response to the the Columbine High School shooting that had occurred in 1999. The team worked with youth who had been suspended or expelled from Littleton Public Schools and then expanded to include referrals from social services, diversion, probation, and general mental health. “I was drawn to FFT because of my prior experience working on the Early Childhood team at a mental health center in Denver. We were working with preschoolers who had already been kicked out of their preschool programs. I had more success returning the young children back to typical preschool settings when we involved the whole family. A colleague of mine who had left the Denver clinic to start working on the FFT team in Littleton reached out to me and said I needed to apply to join the FFT team. He said, ’I think you would really like this model, this stuff really works’, as he had found success with his first few families. At the initial training with Jim Alexander, I found the core principles and techniques aligned with my beliefs about the change process. Having the structure to guide the process along with the flexibility to be unique to families has made me a better clinician overall.”

Deborah has been a consultant since 2006, working with teams all across the United States. Deborah has worked with teams across all phases of training including Externship and Supervisor Training. Deborah lives in Morrison, CO and currently works for FFT, LLC as well as in private practice in Littleton, CO.

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Elsa Campos

Elsa has a Bachelor’s of Arts – Psychology from the University of Nebraska and earned a Masters of Social Work from the University of Denver with over 20 years of experience working with youth & families in a variety of roles. Elsa was trained in the FFT model in 2012 and has worked as the lead on the implementation of FFT into Canada.

“I was immediately drawn to FFT as a model for working with families. FFT is more than a family therapy model it is a way of seeing the world that is inclusive and non-judgemental.”

Elsa lives in Calgary, Alberta Canada and loves doing anything outside, travelling with her children and family, and laughing.

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Wendell Covell

Wendell currently serves as the Director of Program Operations and Training for JFS Delawarein Wilmington, DE. He has served in the non-profit sector for 13 years with a primary focus on juvenile offenders, gang involved youth, and families that are involved in the child welfare system. Wendell began his career in Syracuse, NY and obtained his Master’s Degree part time from Syracuse University in 2015. He has been involved with FFT in different capacities for the past seven years.

“Functional Family Therapy as a model completely changed the relationship I have with myself. It helped me to understand myself, my family, and things I have been through in a new and different way. The model does an amazing job of reattributing and minimizing blame so that individuals in families can experience one another differently. I was hooked from day one of my initial training and have lived by the model principles since. I feel like I’m on the top of the world when I get to work with a family through the model or share it with a team that shares my passion for it.”

Wendell lives in Wilmington, Delaware with his wife, Theresa and two sons, Drew, and Reid.

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Paige Criswell

Paige Criswell

Paige Criswell, MA, QMHP-C has practiced FFT with Deschutes County Juvenile Community Justice in Bend, OR since 2007. Paige graduated from the University of Oregon in 1996 with a BA in Cultural Anthropology and Bastyr University in 2006 with a MA in Applied Behavioral Science with an emphasis in Systems Counseling. These holistic and non-pathologizing approaches to working with systems of people in couples, in families and in communities has driven Paige to practice FFT with respect, hope, heart and hospitality. As a FFT National Consultant and therapist, Paige uses her experience with life, the FFT model, humor and her passion for healing and a growth mindset to support families and sites working with family systems.

Paige has focused her work with youth and families long before learning this model of therapy, mostly as a creative herself. Therapeutic art forms in theatre, dance and mask making along with outdoor education all over the beautiful Pacific Northwest led her to this powerful work.

When Paige is not working with families and FFT sites she is hiking, golfing, skiing, cooking and connecting with friends or plain relaxing with a book and her two cats or working on some type of house project with her talented best friend and husband, Jeff.

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Rosanna DiChiro Derbes PsyD

Rosanna Dichiro Derbes

Rosanna is Executive Director of Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority, an agency that has been providing FFT, among other evidence-based practices for the past 15 years. The teams receive referrals from probation, schools, our own health centers, as well as self-referrals. Rosanna has been a consultant for FFT for 10 years. Rosanna received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

“In the years that I have been working with FFT, I realize more and more every day how important the family is to whatever issues youth in our society have. It is hard work, sometimes messy work, but it is so rewarding when you see your families making changes. This work is a calling, it is not just a job.”

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Elisa Doebler Irvine

Elisa Doebler-Irvine

Elisa is the Executive Director of Homestead Youth & Family Services, Inc. in Pendleton, Oregon. She is an instructor for Eastern Oregon University, a Member-At-Large of the Blue Mountain Community Dispute Resolution Program Board of Directors and has a private practice. She has her Master’s in Counseling Psychology and her Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, an AAMFT Clinical Member and an ATSA Clinical and Research Member.

“I have always been keenly interested in adolescent development and delinquency and was drawn to family therapy as my preferred mode of clinical practice. In the mid-1990s, I became increasingly interested in evidence-based practice after hearing colleagues conclude that “nothing worked” with delinquent adolescents. It was about this time that I learned about an approach called Functional Family Therapy with encouraging outcome data coming out of Utah. Shortly after this, I began active efforts to develop an FFT team in my agency.”

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Julie Elmenhurst

Julie has a Masters in Social Work from Walla Walla University and is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). She resides in Kennewick, WA. In her free time, Julie enjoys reading, hiking, gardening, coffee with friends, and camping with her wife, Allison, and their dogs.

"I was a juvenile probation officer for 10+ years before becoming an FFT therapist. Although this transition from probation to FFT was immensely difficult, the FFT core principles and skills have allowed me to help families in ways that were not possible as a probation officer. It is a privilege to do this model with families, and to help therapists around the world do a model that relentlessly strives to treat all individuals with dignity and respect, and that honors their life experiences. The FFT model provides a framework that challenges me to genuinely see people, and make our world more just and equitable for all. This model insists we see hope, worth, and dignity in every person rather than defining people by behaviors. I am immensely grateful for the unique privilege of getting to work with professionals and teams around the world. From these individuals, I'm challenged to grow, learn, be, and do better every day."

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Kim Fitzpatrick

Kim Lee Fitzpatrick

Kim attended SUNY Brockport, where she received a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and Syracuse University where she received a Master's Degree in Social Work. She began her journey in 2002 as an FFT therapist in Central New York. In 2007 she shifted her focus to providing support to clinicians and is currently an international consultant and trainer. Kim uses her knowledge, humor and compassion to create a customized training experience. Her goal is to guide clinicians towards a personal and clinically adherent practice.

“My prior work experience includes providing group therapy at an inpatient stabilization facility with children and adolescents as well as various aspects of preventive services. I was initially drawn to FFT because the clinical structure and the phasic approach to creating family change. I continue to appreciate the strong family focus and the ability to create long lasting changes that are co-created and supported by the entire family system. I enjoy helping clinicians discover how their life experiences can enhance their ability create a tailor-made therapeutic experience that is respectful and empowering for the families we serve."

Kim lives with her family in the Adirondack region of upstate New York.

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Jennifer Garton

Jennifer lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband Nathan, daughter Abigail and their two crazy dogs Gimli and Loki. She is the Auckland FFT Site Supervisor at Youth Horizons Trust, a national charitable trust working to improve the lives of children and young people who are dealing with behavioural, emotional, mental health or development issues.

Jennifer graduated from Auckland University where she completed a double Degree in Psychology and Art History. She later went on to study at the Wellington Institute of Technology where she received her Degree in Counselling.

“I love how the FFT model provides a framework to engage families/whanau in a way that is respectful, empowering, and embraces cultural diversity”.

Jennifer enjoys travelling to new places, yoga, art, and all things Zombie!

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Sidney Germinio

Sidney Germinio

Sidney Germinio is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a AAMFT Approved Supervisor in the state of New York, where she lives with her husband and two children. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Le Moyne College and her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Syracuse University.

Sidney began her career working with juvenile justice-involved youth and has extensive experience supporting families who interface with juvenile justice, child welfare, and behavioral health systems. As an administrator and clinician, she has been a part of planning and implementing pilot programs and research projects developed to target gang violence, child abuse/neglect prevention, and increased use of kinship foster care. She has spent over a decade at the Salvation Army Syracuse Area Services and as Director of Family Services has had the privilege to learn from staff and community members and integrate these learnings into program development and innovation. She is passionate and committed to community-based work and social justice.

Sidney was born and raised in Central New York and enjoys spending time with friends and family enjoying the great white winters, long-awaited springs, lush green summers, and cool crisp fall seasons that New York has to offer.

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Darlene Goines

Darlene Goines

Darlene works as a Clinical and Support Services Manager at Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority (JPHSA). She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Dillard University and a Master of Arts degree in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling from Columbia College Chicago. After receiving her Master’s degree, she worked with youth aging out of the DCFS system in Chicago, IL. Four years later in 2007, Darlene relocated to the New Orleans area and was trained in the FFT model. She was one of the leading FFT clinicians in the state of Louisiana to provide counseling services to high risk adolescents and their families.

“The FFT model is a great model that found me and I’m grateful! The model helped me develop as a clinician and understand families when encountering unique challenges. I now enjoy helping new FFT clinicians develop as their understanding of the FFT model grows. When I encounter new clinicians, I always strive to encourage and remind them that I’m here to assist on their professional path as clinicians. Regardless of the duration, I’m honored to help on their journey.”

Darlene lives in Waggaman, LA with her husband, bonus son and doggie. She enjoys Yoga and spending time with her family.

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J.R. Griffin

J.R. Griffin graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Clinical Social Work from Boston College. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and certified in licensing supervision, adoption counseling, and social work student field instruction in New Jersey. He served as the site lead for his FFT site for nearly 12 years before transitioning into private practice, where he works with kids, families, and adults across the lifespan.

"I was drawn immediately to FFT as a family therapy and evidenced-based model, as I often do my "individual therapy" with children and adolescents with a parent or guardian present. Philosophically, I think everyone deserves the best treatment possible for whatever ailment they have, including in the mental health field. It still surprises me that so many people can be slow to embrace evidenced-based treatments. Why wouldn't we want everyone to have the best care available for themselves and their loved ones?

What I love about practicing and training others in FFT is showing its ability to bring joy and happiness to the lives of any family, even the "impossible" cases that everyone else has given up on. The FFT model provides us with the playbook, then challenges us to use our creativity to figure out how to make the model work for every family. FFT makes the impossible possible, and I will never get tired of seeing and hearing about families having "ah ha" moments during their FFT experience."

J.R. currently lives in Southern NJ, just outside of Philadelphia, with his wife and two kids. He is originally from the suburbs of Detroit, MI.

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Delwyn Hornby


Del earned her Bachelor of Social Work from Auckland College of Education NZ in 2004. Del has full registration with the NZ Social Work Registration Board. After working in both community and statutory social work roles, I began my FFT journey with Youth Horizons New Zealand in 2009 a national charitable trust working to improve the lives of children and young people and their families, who are dealing with behavioural, emotional, mental health or development issues. I have been an FFT Site Lead for the past 7 years having the privilege of working with my own people. Being of Maori descent, I have seen the positive impact FFT has achieved for many families/Whanau albeit being culturally sensitive through the process.

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Brendalan Jackson

Brendalan Jackson


A seasoned professional, with over 15 years spent providing family-driven, youth-guided care, and access to meaningful youth educational programs, Brendalan has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to providing services and restoring hope for those in need. During her tenure in the social work field, Brendalan worked diligently to improve family life functioning and has served in various capacities, such as: Associate Director of Programs, Functional Family Therapist supervisor, Supervisor case manager, and consumer rescue specialist at National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC).

Brendalan received her Master’s degree in Social Work from Howard University and her Bachelor’s degree in Family Studies from the University of Maryland.

“I live by the FFT model! I was exposed to the FFT philosophy in graduate school, but didn’t realize the magnitude of the process until I became an FFT therapist in 2012. At that point, I actually saw how well the model works for families; using the model first-hand as a therapist and supervisor, my team and I observed the transformation with families breaking generational cycles.”

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Alan Ketterling, MA, LAMFT

Alan has a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and is a private practice therapist in Phoenix, AZ. Alan has worked in community mental health for over 20 years and has been in leadership roles with Evidence-Based Programs for several of those years. Alan began his work with FFT as a therapist in 2000 and has used the model in various settings from in-home therapy to community based settings.

“I have always loved working with youth and families and had a strong interest in providing family therapy to at-risk youth. I was introduced to FFT at the start of my Master’s program. I immediately saw the impact and change it could bring to families and knew that this is what I wanted to be a part of. The skills of FFT and its underpinnings support and provide families with the skills necessary to make successful changes.”

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Mary Madison MacLean

Mary Madison MacLean earned her BA degree in Psychology and Studio Art from the College of Charleston in 2009, and she earned her MS Degree in Counseling and Art Therapy from EVMS in 2011. Upon finishing her MS degree, she joined the AMIkids NCFS Program as an FFT Therapist where she currently serves as the Statewide Program Manager. “I was introduced to FFT unintentionally as it was my first position out of graduate school. My original plan was to pursue a path involving art therapy; however, this direction quickly changed after I began to implement FFT. The relationship of FFT in my life has shifted away from “job” and more towards “way of life.” The foundations of respect, non-judgment and strength are powerful values to bring into all relationships, especially when working with families that have high conflict, blame, shame or resistance. I am ever grateful the tides of my path shifted years ago into FFT, and that by planting seeds of empowerment I am able to witness sustainable growth and momentum within families and their communities.”

Mary Madison currently lives in North Carolina, situated right between the coast and the mountains. During her free time, she enjoys getting outside and hiking with her dogs, being creative, and cooking with her friends and family.

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Kim Mason

Kim Mason

Kim has been a consultant and national trainer for FFT for over 15 years. Kim received her Bachelor's in Social work from Central Missouri State University and her Master's in Social Work from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Florida. Her work prior to coming to FFT included work with youth in crisis, residential services for girls who had been sexually abused, development of after school programs, development and facilitation of therapeutic groups for adolescent girls and hospice.

“I was drawn to FFT due to my belief that families are essential and too often left out of services for youth.”

Kim lives in Paris, MO.

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Claudia McGuire

Claudia McGuire

Claudia Moreno McGuire has provided quality mental health services to youth for 10 years in Texas. She is trained and certified in a variety of clinical modalities and evidenced based practices such as Sanctuary Trauma Informed Care, Functional Family Therapy (FFT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing, and Collaborate Therapy; along with psychological assessment and qualitative research design and grant management. Claudia earned her MA in Clinical Psychology from St. Mary’s University. She is a certified FFT therapist and National Consultant for FFT LLC and training leader in Seven Challenges and Brief Challenges (i.e., a drug and alcohol treatment for youth that works with them where they are at in their recovery). She has managed the VQ KAPS program in San Antonio, TX for the past 6 years, and along with her team of four FFT therapists and three case managers, hopes to continue providing comprehensive, trauma-informed mental health services to clients and their families via numerous specialty courts.

She enjoys spending time with her family and traveling. Road trips with the family help to refocus her energy on what’s most important in life, while rekindling those creative juices. Her favorite thing to do is cuddle on the couch and watch a good movie with her daughter, fiancé, and pet cat, Pepper.

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Anibal Muenton

Anibal is a National Consultant who began to utilize the Functional Family Therapy Model in 2008. Intrigued by the effectiveness of the evidence-based practice model, he continues to develop an interest in focusing his therapy practice in working with families in Los Angeles county urban areas that are known for its diverse population and gang violence. Anibal's passion is to bring healing to clients who have experienced trauma and as a result has derailed the client's ability to create functioning relationships in the home and the different facets of their life. Anibal's experience includes assisting in the logistics of bringing an FFT externship site in Southern California for Fall 2016 to Spring 2018. Anibal assisted in co-facilitating the externship which focused on training supervisors in the FFT model. Anibal is a registered MFT with the Board of Behavioral Science in California, obtained his Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Argosy University and his Bachelors of Arts Degree in Psychology from California State Long Beach University.

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Andrea A. Neeb, MS, LMHC

Andrea received her Masters of Science from Nova Southeastern University in Florida and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She has served as a trainer and consultant both nationally and internationally since 2002 with FFT LLC.

“I began work in the field with adolescents involved in therapeutic foster care and never felt that I was able to help impact change in that system and for the youth. I began doing FFT with an open mind and an eagerness for positive obtainable change in families. FFT provided me with both an anchor and a way to help families that fit with my own core philosophies about people and therapeutic change. I am continually grateful to pass on my knowledge of the FFT model and experience of working with at risk youth and families through my role as consultant and trainer. ”

She currently resides in Lake Worth, Florida with her husband, Scott, daughter Ainslie, and son Aiden.

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Ali Novick

Ali graduated from NYU with a Bachelors in Applied Psychology, and from Hunter College in NYC with a Masters of Science in Social Work specializing in children and families. Ali has worked for the last eight years within the Child Welfare system in NYC at Rising Ground Inc. Rising Ground was one of the first agencies to implement the FFT-CW adaptation, and Ali has held positions as an FFT-CW Therapist, Supervisor, and Program Director overseeing several FFT-CW teams. Ali has worked on various projects in evidence based programming in collaboration with the Administration for Children Services in NYC, and has a passion for advocating, supporting and empowering families who have not always been given the opportunities and compassion they deserve.

"I began my career working with children in the IDD community and throughout the school system. It was always clear to me that the heart of the work that needed to be done could not be accomplished without the entire family. I was drawn to FFT because of the opportunity to give families an experience that was different from ones that they had before. One that was authentic, and affirming of their experiences. I continue to dive deeper into clinical practice through this model, and have seen the success of families who have benefitted from the treatment. FFT is not just a clinical model but a way of thinking about, and interacting in the world. I truly believe in this model, and the power of joining with families to help them get to a place where they feel successful in their relationships and goals in life."

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Lisa Otto

Lisa is the director of home-based services for Child and Family Agency, a non-profit social service agency in Southeastern CT. She received her Bachelor’s degree in history from Wesleyan University and her Master’s of Social Work from Bryn Mawr College and is currently an LCSW. Immediately after graduate school, she went to work for the state of Maryland as a Child Protective Service worker, a job she kept for 7 years. Although her agency worked extraordinarily hard to keep children safe, she became increasingly concerned about the long-term impact of their involvement on many of the families they encountered. While they could detail their mistakes for them, they had few tools available to help them grow stronger and safer.

“When my husband and I relocated to CT, I was offered a job in a fledgling FFT program. Although I knew very little about FFT, it seemed to hold the potential to offer hope and the possibility of new solutions to many of the same sorts of families I had worked with in MD. I was pretty overwhelmed and confused the first six months that I tried to practice FFT, but even during that time, there were a few exciting glimmers. With increasing frequency, I’d see that one of the interventions I tried resulted immediately in family members looking at each other differently, and, often for the first time in years, appreciating their family and believing that they could resolve their own problems. For me now, the magic of FFT is twofold. First, it is an incredible experience to watch a family change and grow in ways that family members never thought were possible. Second, while it is often incredibly hard work, it is also very exciting. FFT requires me to use a great deal of energy, flexibility, and creativity, which always keeps the work interesting. I enjoy the consulting work that I do for FFT both because I am completely committed to the gifts that this model can give our families and because I love helping other therapists learn the model and grow excited as they see the impact that they are having on their clients.”

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Joanna Pearse

Joanna is a qualified Psychiatric Nurse, Social Worker and Systemic Psychotherapist, she also has training in Video Interactive Guidance and EMDR.

Joanna has worked for the past 30 years in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She started in in-patient settings, then became clinical lead for an adolescent forensic team working with young people with sexually harmful behaviours and then moved on to home-based therapy with families at risk of eviction due to persistent anti -social behaviours.

Joanna also provides training and supervision for people who are training to become systemic psychotherapists, she has worked for the Institute of Family Therapy, The Institute of Psychiatry and is currently a visiting Lecturer at the Tavistock.

Joanna has been doing FFT since 2008 and was the site lead for the first UK based FFT team. She is now a National Consultant and has been involved in the training, supervision and supporting implementation of all the UK FFT teams.

“I have worked as a systemic psychotherapist for many years and have always felt very strongly about providing therapy for families who have traditionally been seen as ‘hard to engage.’

FFT has been like a breath of fresh air providing a conceptual frame that allows me to bring dignity, compassion and hope to families that other people have often given up on.

I have loved seeing the way that the model has supported families to make changes in their lives. I have also loved seeing the way newly trained therapists have been excited by the way the model has changed their practice and made a tangible difference to the success they have in helping families.”

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Dayna R. Price

Dayna is the FFT Program Supervisor for Options for Independence in Houma, LA, and has been doing FFT since 2009 as a therapist and a supervisor. Dayna has been working for this non-profit agency for the past 17 years. Options for Independence offers a vast amount of services to children and adolescents and Dayna has been a part of almost every program that the agency has offered children. Dayna has a Bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences and a Master’s degree in Psychological Counseling; both were obtained at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA. Dayna is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Louisiana LPC Board-approved clinical supervisor.

"FFT was the first evidence-based model program that I worked with and I so appreciate the fact that the entire family receives services. I have also supervised other evidence-based models, but FFT has been more effective in addressing everyone’s needs in the families that I have worked with thus far, in my opinion."

Dayna currently lives in Thibodaux, LA. She enjoys spending time with her beloved pooch, Lewey, shopping, and sports.

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Vikky Spiers

Vikky is the FFT Site Supervisor and International Consultant based in Dunedin in the South Island of New Zealand. Vikky works for Youth Horizons Trust and began her journey with FFT in 2013 as a therapist, then became Site Supervisor/Practice Leader a year later.

Vikky studied at Otago University and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social and Community Work alongside a Clinical Supervision Diploma. She has had a varied background in Social Work Practice over the past 15 years, working as a Community Social Worker at a Pre School, working with at Risk Youth, Probation Officer, Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and Facilitator of an intensive 8 week A&D ‘Pathways for Women’ Programme.

“FFT fits my values and beliefs, and It is a real privilege to use a model of therapy that treats all families and individuals with respect , dignity and genuine care while highlighting their strengths and installing hope for them to make empowering choices that improves their wellbeing and relationships while overcoming challenges.”

Vikky lives with her Husband Glenn and empty nest purchase—an English Bull Terrier called Brian. They have two beautiful adult daughters Samantha and Makayla who have made lives for themselves in Australia and are now eagerly awaiting the Grandparent stage.

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Rachel Stone

Rachel received her Master's of Science in Social Work from University of Denver in Denver, Colorado and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Colorado. She worked for Savio House in Denver, Colorado for over 15 years in their Community Based Services program providing in- home services to families. Her work in evidenced practices began as a Therapist and Supervisor in Multi-Systemic Therapy. Savio then expanded their continuum of care for families and implemented FFT. Rachel oversaw the program development of the FFT team over the Front Range in Colorado.

“Initially, I was drawn to the FFT model for its relational, and strength-based focus. However, it’s now the genuine change that happens with both the families and therapists that keeps me engaged AND motivated! I credit the model to my brain growing and becoming more creative!”

Rachel lives in Denver, Colorado with her wife and their twin boys.

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Erin Wertheimer

Erin earned her Master’s degree in Social Work in 2007 from the University of Denver. Upon graduation, Erin worked as a FFT Therapist and then FFT Supervisor for a non-profit agency in Denver, CO and Auckland, New Zealand. Erin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor.

“FFT is a model that captured my attention early in my career. I have seen the magic of FFT and how the interventions of the model have the ability to transform family relationships. I feel so fortunate to have been able to practice FFT not only in the States, but also in New Zealand. I have seen firsthand how transferrable this model can be towards working with various cultures. I could be delivering FFT with a family in Denver or Auckland and similar impact with families can occur!”

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Antonio Wyche

Antonio is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Florida. He earned both his Bachelors and Masters in Social Work from The Florida State University. Antonio has held several positions ranging from an FFT therapist to FFT clinical supervisor. He is currently the FFT Program Director for Southwest Key Programs in which he oversees two statewide teams across the state of Florida serving families referred by the Department of Juvenile Justice. He is the co-founder of a private practice where he is also a therapist.

“ I started my career in mental health case management until I received an opportunity to become an FFT therapist. I haven't looked back since! When people ask “ What is your purpose?” I instantly think of my work with FFT. The model principles are a perfect match for me! I've always been passionate about providing people with hope. FFT has provided me with the platform to continue that purpose by influencing not only families, but also FFT therapists and leaders across the country”.

Antonio was born and raised in Lake City, FL and currently resides in Tallahassee, FL. He is also a loyal Florida State Seminoles Fan.

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Maribel Rivera

Maribel received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology at Lehman College in Bronx, NY, and Master's degree in Mental Health counseling from New York University. Maribel worked in child welfare at a NYC non-profit starting in 2014, as an FFT-CW Therapist, Clinical supervisor and FFT Site Lead, and Clinical Program Director. Maribel currently works in a residential treatment program as a Clinical Supervisor. She also provides individual therapy.


“When I started my career in social services, I had little understanding of how to help families resolve high-risk behaviors, child welfare involvement, and profound family issues. FFT gave me the roadmap to help families make meaningful change, improve relationships, and increase safety. Practicing this model helped me learn how to be my genuine self, using humor and empathy, on the journey to change alongside the family. Being born in NYC and living in the Bronx, the work really mattered to me; it was an opportunity to be useful to my community. FFT gave me hope, and the consultants helped me deepen my commitment and resiliency. As an FFT Consultant, my goal is to inspire the same dedication to the practice of the model, in order to be supportive, targeted, and effective with the families we serve.”

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Daniel Twyman

Dan is a dedicated and experienced social worker, stands at the forefront of providing compassionate care and transformative support to individuals and families facing a wide array of challenges. With a Master of Social Work degree from University of Pennsylvania and current Clinical licensure in PA and NJ, Dan has demonstrated a profound commitment to enhancing the lives of those in need.

With over a decade of multifaceted experience, Dan has exhibited exceptional versatility, working with diverse populations, including incarcerated individuals, delinquent youth, and families in crisis. This extensive background has honed Dan’s ability to develop and implement strategies that guide youth and adults toward more productive lives.

Dan’s expertise extends beyond traditional social work. As a flexible and goal-oriented leader, Dan excels in interdisciplinary collaboration, providing comprehensive assessment, treatment, and counseling services. Whether working with adults, children, or families facing various diagnoses or psychosocial issues, Dan consistently delivers excellence in client care, education, and support.

In essence, Dan is a compassionate licensed social worker whose dedication to improving the lives of others shines through in his multifaceted skill set and extensive experience. His work is not only a testament to his professionalism but also to his unwavering commitment to creating a brighter future for individuals and families in need.

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Alexandra (Alex) Louis

After earning a Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Massachusetts, Boston in 2006, Alex has been working with diverse populations, ranging from the elderly to adolescents and children. Throughout her career, her main focus has been on motivating individuals and families to overcome their most challenging life obstacles. Alex strongly believes in incorporating cultural diversity and awareness into her counseling practice and is particularly passionate about helping clients from disenfranchised backgrounds find their voice and empower themselves. She was first exposed to FFT in 2015 as a therapist and currently serves as a Clinical Supervisor for Southwest Key Programs where she oversees FFT therapists in South Florida serving families referred by the Department of Juvenile Justice. Alex's work with marginalized communities who experience racial trauma/oppression is at the heart of her practice and she is dedicated to providing a safe space for people to heal and grow. "The first time I was introduced to FFT I knew it was something special. I felt drawn to the methodology and philosophy behind it. I believe, then and now, that it really is the missing piece for families with extreme challenges. Seeing the impact FFT has on underserved communities continues to reinforce my commitment to and championing of this model." Alex hails from the Northeast, but was raised and cultivated in Miami, FL. She enjoys all things Marvel or Start Wars and enjoys traveling to immerse herself into new cultural experiences.

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Jessie Drew

Jessie is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the state of Rhode Island. She currently serves as the Director of Evidence-Based Family Preservation Programs at a non-profit organization called Child & Family, based in Providence, RI. Jessie graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from High Point University and furthered her education with a Masters in Holistic Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Salve Regina University. She has been involved with FFT in different capacities (as a therapist, site lead and site supervisor) for the past six years. She has over 10 years of experience working with difficult-to-engage youth and their families across a variety of settings, including hospitals, residential facilities, and home-based programs.  

“As soon as I started with FFT, the model just made sense to me. The focus on respect and matching to each family was what made the model stand out. For me, providing therapeutic treatment in family’s homes allows them to be their most authentic selves and has different level of vulnerability present in sessions.  FFT has helped me to see families in a new light, including my own. There is always hope for families and the model does a beautiful job of allowing therapists and families to see that hope clearly. Having had experience with oppositional and difficult to engage youth, when I found FFT I knew it was the best approach.  I especially liked how creative therapists can be with their implementation of the FFT interventions, which is something unique in the world of evidence-based treatment. As I have grown in my delivery of the FFT model, my passion for teaching and training others has grown with it. My goal is always to make other FFT therapists as excited about the model as I am and to help build on their existing clinical skills during implementation!”

Jessie grew up in Rhode Island, lived in North Carolina for 4 years and returned to her home state in 2016. Jessie is a proud Rhode Islander, but loves her Philadelphia sports teams because of her connection with her extended family in Philly! 

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Christen Cox

Christen has provided intensive family interventions through a variety of programs partnering with families involved with child welfare, mental health, and probation systems for the last 25 years. Christen graduated from Binghamton University with a Bachelors of Social Science and obtained her Masters of Social Work from Marywood University. Christen currently manages FFT and CFTSS programing as well as a counseling and group services through Catholic Charities in upstate NY.

I embraced the FFT model as a therapist in 2003, later becoming the site supervisor and consultant.  When other services have given up, I’ve seen the lasting changes possible for families through FFT.  Families often say they have been in services for years and never talked about the core issues in their relationships until participating in FFT.  I have seen over and over again how the FFT philosophy of partnering with families without judgement, focusing on strengths empowers families. This philosophy supports families to work through heartache and tough challenges with their tremendous resiliency and strength, find lasting change in their relationships. 

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Nakeisha Pierce

Nakeisha is the FFT Program Director for Life Changing Solutions, LLC in Lafayette, Louisiana, and has been doing FFT since 2016 as a therapist and a supervisor. Nakeisha has been working for this non-profit agency for the past 11 years. Life Changing Solutions provides Multi-systemic Therapy, Mental Health Rehabilitation Services, Functional Family Therapy and Functional Family Therapy Child Welfare.  Nakeisha has worked as an MST Supervisor, MHS Supervisor and is a current supervisor for FFT.  Nakeisha has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Master of Science in Education with a concentration in Counseling from Alcorn State University and is currently a doctoral candidate pursuing a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision.  Nakeisha serves on The Louisiana Professional Counselor Board of Examiners and is a Licensed Professional Counselor and LPC Board-approved clinical supervisor.

“I have worked in multiple mental health programs, but FFT is by far the best! I love the element of being able to work with the entire family. It is strength based and respects each person’s individuality and family’s diversity.”

Nakeisha resides in Lafayette, Louisiana where she lives a lifestyle of community service, enjoys festivals, friends, family and is a proud mother to Nia and Aedan. 

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Emily Schindler

Emily received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Wartburg College and master's degree in clinical mental health counseling from Marquette University. She is currently a FFT site supervisor for Orchard Place, a nonprofit in Des Moines, Iowa and has been providing FFT for over 9 years. 

"I always knew I wanted to work with families and focus on improving relationships, since they have been so foundational in my own life. The strength-based focus has sustained this difficult work and prevented me from falling into blaming patterns. FFT has always provided the perfect balance of structure rooted in data to guide progress combined with the responsibility to be flexible and customize interventions to honor each unique family. I am so thankful for this model, especially now as I get the privilege to see it be so grounding and impactful to many providers across the country." 

Emily resides in the Des Moines area with her husband, two young sons, and family pup. 

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Jerone C. Morgan

Jerone C. Morgan currently serves as a Functional Family Therapy (FFT) Site Supervisor for Stanford Sierra Youth and Families’ Juvenile Justice Intervention Services (JJIS). As Site Supervisor, Jerone provides oversight of the FFT team to ensure fidelity to the FFT model, facilitates weekly group supervisions, one on one check ins with practitioners, monthly meetings with the FFT Consultant, and weekly team/leadership meetings with Stanford’s Clinical Program Manager and Director. As an FFT Site Supervisor, Jerone carries a small caseload to maintain knowledge and practice of the FFT model.

Jerone C. Morgan also serves as a Life Coach and Chaplain within the Sacramento Community. He facilitates and assists in providing outreach services and spiritual enrichment for youth and young adults who are being detained in the Sacramento Youth Detention Facility and who live in community-based residential programs within the Sacramento Region.


Jerone has a Master’s in Public Administration with a focus on Nonprofit Organizations, Bachelors of Science in Management and Ethics/Bible and Theology, and an Associates of Arts in Criminal Justice. Jerone has been working in the juvenile justice field for over 20 years and has worked within the school system, the community, and the local church to provide support and services to help youth and young adults live out their full potential with passion, wisdom, and grit.




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