SFR Counselor Training Details

An excerpt from the forward to It Takes a Family, by Robert L. DuPont, M.D., First Director on the National Institute of Drug Abuse…

“Debra Jay unlocks the secrets of this revolutionary approach [the New Paradigm] to addiction. She adds a significant new dimension by focusing on the role of the family both in creating this system of care management and in making it work, long term. The author highlights the essential element of the approach as no one else has: the crucial role of the addict’s family.”

Structured Family Recovery® training and certification begins with 4 distance learning sessions, each lasting for 2 hours. These sessions lay the groundwork for the upcoming three-day onsite classroom work, which focuses on skill building.

In the tradition of Love First Trainings, participants will graduate from this course with meaningful clinical skills that they can immediately apply to their professional lives and use to build a richer portfolio of competencies to offer clients and patients.

The goal is to learn how to approach families in this revolutionary manner, engaging them on a long-term course of family recovery that “makes recovery, not relapse,” as Dr. DuPont says,  “the expected outcome of addiction treatment.”

In over 20 years of specializing in family systems and addiction, I’ve never seen families change so quickly. As a matter of fact, I see things happen in 2 to 3 weeks that, as a profession, we just weren’t able to make happen before. I see how these changes are having a profound effect on reducing the relapse rate in families.   

-Steve Hanna, MA, LPC

It Takes a Family

Updated Program Details Coming Soon

Requirements for admission

Structured Family Recovery® training and certification is open to experienced professionals and clergy. In order to register for this training, a participant must meet the requirements shown below. Also note exceptions.

1. Three years full-time or five years part-time relevant experience in the addiction field.

2. Strong knowledge and personal experience in any of the 12-step programs.

3. Advanced degree in relevant field with certification in addiction counseling OR bachelors degree with certification in addiction counseling (CAC, CAP or other)

Exceptions: CLERGY, EAPs, LAP & JLAP directors and certain other professionals with strong addiction and 12-step experience but different professional credentials in related fields will be considered. If you think you should be considered for admission, we will make decisions based on your individual background.

To apply for this training
or get more information


(outside the USA, +1-313-882-6921)

Your tuition price includes:

  • Orientation and welcome dinner, hosted by Jeff and Debra Jay, Sunday night
  • 3-day onsite training, McIver Center at the Retreat, Monday-Wednesday
  • 2 distance-learning sessions, prior to the training
  • Distance Learning Sessions are recorded and can be accessed at later dates
  • 3 Post-training SFR® supervision sessions with Jeff or Debra
  • 27 CEU’s
  • 3-night stay with private sleeping room at the McIver Center at The Retreat
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and beverages
  • Meals prepared by The Retreat’s award-winning chef
  • Access to Wayzata Big Woods and nature trails
  • Read our refund policy here

Helpful details, times, and dates:

  • Sunday: Orientation at 5 PM, Welcome Dinner at 7 PM.
  • Classes are held on Monday through Wednesday.
  • Class time on Monday and Tuesday is: 8:45 am to 5:30pm.
  • Class time on Wednesday is: 8:45am to 2:30pm.
  • Each morning, before class, we have breakfast together in the dining room at 8:15am (included).
  • More details HERE

Training Accommodations

As part of the training package, every participant will enjoy their own private room at The McIver Center at The Retreat, in Wayzata, MN.

  • All meals provided by The Retreat’s award-winning chef
  • Fitness Center
  • Meditation Room
  • Lounge area with fireplace and library
  • Access to the Wayzata Big Woods and nature trails

What to Bring:

  • Your mobile phone
  • Laptop computer (wireless internet service is provided)
  • Casual clothes & comfortable walking shoes
  • Personal toiletries

We have designed this training experience to be the very finest of its kind ever offered in our field. We know you’ll enjoy the challenge of the training and the first-class services of The McIver Center at The Retreat.

Call Lori Forseth, Clinical Coordinator, with questions:
(outside the USA, +1-313-882-6921)

Copyright © 2000-2021 Love First, Inc. All rights reserved. ••• Structured Family Recovery® is a Registered Trademark of Debra Jay.
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