Theoretical and Historical Development of Family Therapy:

Parts I & II (Mandatory for Intensive Trainees) (Classroom or self-study)

These two 45-hour (6 semester credits) integrated courses survey all the major schools and theories of family therapy from the field’s early roots to the present. Using a learning-centered educational approach, Part I introduces trainees to the classic models (e.g. Bowenian, Experiential, Contextual, and Structural), and Part II describes Post-Modern family models (e.g. Solution-Focused,/Brief Therapy, Narrative, Cognitive Behavioral [CBT]). Within each of these models, leading figures will be identified, their theoretical formulations and associated change techniques will be discussed, related research will be reviewed, and the impact of the models on clinical practice with diverse populations will be analyzed. $1,800.

Educational Objectives:

1) Describe the theoretical and historical context of family therapy.

2) Comparative analysis of at least two MFT therapy models.

3) Critique the use of at least two MFT models with diverse populations.

4) Recognize at least two family therapy models.

Classroom: October 2018

Ecosystemic Structural Family Therapy

(Mandatory for Extern & Intensive Trainees)

(Classroom or self-study) This 45-hour (3 semester credits) course, will introduce trainees to the Ecosystemic Structural Family Therapy model using a learning-centered educational approach in the classroom. Trainees will be introduced to the model’s, historical, empirical and conceptual foundations. The course will also focus on the description and implementation of the four stages of the model while considering issues of cultural diversity and competence. Meets 3-1/2 days in September, 1 day in October and November, and 1-1/2 days in December. $900-correspondence; $900-classroom.

Educational Objectives:

1) Demonstrate an understanding of the historical, empirical and conceptual foundations of the Ecosystemic Structural Family Therapy clinical model;

2) Demonstrate an awareness of socio-cultural  influence s with specific emphasis  on race  as experienced. by African-America n families;

3) Recognize how to construct a therapeutic system by using specific skills to join families and individual family members;

4) Demonstrate how to implement the ESFT family assessment tools;

5) Demonstrate the ability to describe the ESFT clinical interventions and how they would be used to promote co-care-giver alliance, parental executive functioning, caregiver-child attachment, and emotion regulation with families.

Developmental and Clinical Issues 

(Mandatory for Extern & Intensive Trainees)

(Classroom or self-study) Using a learning-centered educational approach, this (3 semester credits) course will introduce students to how a developmental perspective influences assessment and treatment in the Ecosystemic Structural Family Therapy model (ESFT). Using a developmental lens the course will focus on how to assess and intervene with couples and with families having young children, adolescents, and adult children. Further, the course examines how to assess and intervene in structural re-arrangements that occur in marriage, divorce, single parenthood, remarriage and co-habitation while considering issues of cultural diversity. Meets 1 day in January, February, April, and May. $900.

Educational Objectives

1) Describe at least two ways that a developmental perspective and socio-cultural factors influence assessment and treatment in ESFT;

2) Recognize two engagement methods with children, adolescents and adults in ESFT;

3) Recognize how to apply developmentally-appropriate content and process interventions with couples and families having young children, adolescents and adults in ESFT;

4) Recognize at least two interventions used when treating non-adaptive structural arrangements that occur in marriage, divorce, single parenthood, co-habitation, and remarriage in ESFT.

Assessment and Treatment of Trauma

(Self-study only)

This 45-hour (3 semester credits) self-study course reviews state-of-the-art theory and research regarding the neurobiological, cognitive, emotional and behavioral impacts of trauma on children. A range of traditional and non-traditional treatment strategies are reviewed, such as play and art therapy, resiliency training, uses of visual imagery, cognitive behavioral interventions and EMDR. All of these treatment strategies are reviewed within the context of family systems treatment. $900.

Educational Objectives:

1) Increase understanding of the multiple impacts of trauma in children, such as brain functioning and social-emotional development.

2) Increase ability to identify symptoms of trauma in children at different ages.

3) Recognize current treatment strategies for reducing symptoms and helping children to integrate traumatic memories.

Couples and Couple Therapy

(Self-study only)

This 45 hour (3 semester credits) self-study course is designed to provide the marriage and family therapy clinician with an appreciation of the current research, theory and practice literature regarding couple development, couple interaction, and couple intervention. The course will provide an expansive view of issues presented by couples when seeking couple therapy, specific assessment approaches and interventions strongly supported by empirical data. Particular emphasis is given to the interplay between the intra-psychic and systemic processes found in the couple’s individual context. Guidelines for assessment and intervention options for various couple experiences is given. The course will also assist students to gain further awareness of the use of self, his/her values and biases, and implications for the provision of couples therapy. It will also assist the student in deter-mining a theory of practice that drives his/her own approach to counseling couples. $900.

Educational Objectives:

1) Identify the influence of socio-cultural factors and gender-based roles on the developing couple.

2) Recognize reciprocal influences between individual adult development, stages of the family life cycle and couple functioning;

3) Identify important relationship dimensions for couples assessment.

The Treatment of Substance Abuse in Families and Couples

(Self-study only)

This 45-hour (3 semester credits) self-study course focuses on the treatment of substance abuse for couples and individuals within the context of the family. It includes an overview of substance abuse treatment research and evidence-based methods for effectively intervening with individuals, couples, and families who are impacted by substance misuse and abuse, including motivational interviewing, behavioral couples therapy, and brief strategic family therapy. The course employs a developmental perspective and includes treatment methodologies for both adult and adolescent substance abusers. $900.

Educational Objectives:

1) Recognize when referral for specialized substance abuse care is necessary.

2) Describe the epidemiology, etiology, phenomenology, effective treatments, course, and prognosis for substance use disorders.

3) Clarify the clinical needs and implications for persons with substance and mental health problems.


(Self-study only)

This 45-hour (3 semester credits) self-study course is designed to teach practitioners how to transition from the DSM-IV TR to the DSM-5. Developed for practicing clinicians, this course provides an overview of the specific changes in differential diagnosis that impact practicing clinicians. $900.

Educational Objectives:

1) Learn the application of DSM-5 diagnostic criteria in clinical evaluations.

2) Learn the differences between the DSM-IV and the DSM-5.

Family-Centered Treatment of Problems in Early Childhood

(Self-study only)

This 45-hour (3 semester credits) self-study course provides practitioners with a survey of recent developmental theory and research on young children, ranging from infancy through the early elementary school years. Stanley Greenspan’s model of how social/emotional competence normally unfolds is given particular focus, along with how individual differences in child temperament, sensory processing and learning styles impact developmental trajectories. In keeping with an applied developmental emphasis, parent-child interactional patterns which constrain or promote emerging developmental capacities at each stage of development is examined. $900.

Educational Objectives:

1) Identify normal social/emotional milestones;

2) Identify the primary features of “off-course” or “at-risk” social/emotional development;

3) Describe how developmental variations or constitutional challenges in the child can shape family inter-actional patterns;

4) Discuss the clinical applications of a bio-developmental-systems model.

Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues in MFT

(Classroom or self-study) 

This 45-hour (3 semester credits) course is designed to provide the marriage and family therapist with an appreciation of ethical, legal, and professional issues in individual, marriage and family therapy. Focus is given to the AAMFT code of ethics, local licensure rules and regulations, and practice issues based by MFTs.$900; classroom $900.

Educational Objectives:

1) Recognize significant legal issues in marriage and family therapy.

2) Identify professional issues in the practice of marriage and family therapy.

3) Describe ethical practice in marriage and family therapy.

4) Recognize policies and procedures that protect client confidentiality.

Classroom: May 2018 16 CE

Research Methods in Marriage and Family Therapy

(Self-study only)

This 45-hour (3 semester credits) self-study course is designed to provide the marriage and family therapist who is not actively engaged in research an appreciation for the scientific process and the empirical foundation for the field. The course includes an introduction to the scientific method (e.g., reviewing literature, hypothesizing, sampling, research design, reliability, validity, data analysis), an appreciation for the extant literature in the MFT field, a review of the current methods used to study MFT, and an examination of the ethical and legal issues by which researchers are bound. $900.

Educational Objectives:

1) Describe the extant MFT literature, research, and evidence-based practice;

2) Describe research and program evaluation methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative, relevant to MFT and mental health services.

3) Clarify the legal, ethical, and contextual issues involved in the conduct of clinical research and program evaluation.