Team Integrated Solution Focused Approach (TISFT) program is an innovative, strengths based approach to working with youth placed in treatment by the legal system, their families and communities. The TISFT model was developed in collaboration with a team of licensed professional counselors and licensed marriage and family therapists who believed that when the entire “system” of a youth is involved in treatment and in re-entry to the youth’s family and community, that the youth stands a better chance of being successful. The program utilizes a solution focused approach that focuses on the strengths of the family, constructing a preferred future and assisting the family in developing a new structure so that old behaviors cannot exist.
The systemic underpinnings of the TISFT also provides a better chance that the youth will have a much better chance of re-entry into the family and community, behaving and reacting differently. Traditional approaches have chosen to work individually with the youth, who is sent to placement yet has neglected to include the communities of interest (COI) of the youth: family, school and legal/neighborhood communities. While placement provides a reprieve for both youth and family, once returning from traditional placement without COI support, behaviors often return when the system has not opted for different interactions and responses.
The program developers of TISFT recognized the importance of involving the COI of the youth and created the program to be inclusive of all COI. To accomplish this systemic change, the TISFT is composed of four unique phases that structurally provide a direction for both youth and family to undergo changes that will improve interactions with the COI, and maintain expectations for youth compliance and success. As a result, the success rates of youth returning from placement and re-entering their COI with the interventions of the TISFT has proven higher than for traditional models.
The TISFT team works side by side with the family, community (probation officers and judges) and the school (administration and teachers) through face to face conversations so that the youth returns to a new system that sees the youth through a new lens. By becoming aware of the youth’s strengths and the COI strengths, the system is primed to interact differently to maintain the family’s and youth’s goals that are created during the therapeutic process.
Solution Focused Therapy is a strength-based model developed in the 80's by Steve deSchazer and Insoo Kim Berg. Its applications have been used in agencies, hospitals, schools, groups, and private practices around the world.
Linda Metcalf, PhD, LMFT is a professor of Education and Director of the Graduate Counseling program at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Texas where she also maintains a private practice. She is the author of ten books including Counseling Toward Solutions (1995,2008,Wiley) Parenting Toward Solutions (1997,Prentice Hall) The Miracle Question (2004,Crown House UK) Solution Focused Narrative Therapy (2017,Springer) Marriage and Family Therapy: A Practice Oriented Approach 2nd Edition (2011,2019 Springer) She has presented hundreds of seminars to trainees in the United States, Australia, Japan, Newfoundland, Germany, Scotland, England, Norway, Amsterdam, Singapore, and Canada. She is the Past President of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, and the Past President of the Texas Association of Marriage and Family Therapist. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband Roger. Together they are proud parents of their adult children Roger Jr., Kelly, and Ryan.
Michael Flores MA, LPC is the Owner and Director of Brighter Possibilities Family Counseling in Fort Worth, Texas. BPFC currently serves the community with counseling needs from many different backgrounds. The Tarrant County Juvenile Court currently has contracts with BPFC to provide SFT Family Therapy to at risk adolescents and families. The Tarrant County Family Court also court orders families to BPFC for high conflict divorces and kids caught in the middle. Michael has provided therapeutic services in many different capacities since graduating with his Bachelors in Psychology and Masters in Professional Counseling. Some of those include Non-Profit, Treatment Centers, and Private Practice. Michael is the Past President of the Texas Association of Marriage and Family Counselors. Michael lives in Fort Worth, Texas with his wife Stefanie. They have three amazing children Emry, Isla, and Cohen.