Family Therapy: Therapist Self Analysis and Integration

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Two women, one toddler, one dog, walking down to the water.

This subject is a post graduate and professional level of study. You will explore your resources and constraints as a therapist working with families. You will reflect on your own family of origin, current life circumstances, professional history and other contextual influences. You will deepen your knowledge of relevant theoretical frameworks that are useful for conceptualising and appraising the relationship between, and the influence of your own self-factors as you interact with clients. Therapist self care and ethics will be included.

This subject will be offered in a flexible learning format which will include, small group on-line tutorials, and guided reading. You will be required to research your own family of origin influences and to present to your small group tutorial an integration of these with the relevant theory.


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  1. Articulate how your family of origin, family of creation and cultural identity influence your values, interpersonal style and capacities in your practice with families.
  2. Articulate how wider contextual factors such as professional identity and membership, and work context, influence your practice with families.
  3. Integrate family therapy and other relevant theoretical frameworks to inform your analysis and your decisions about the direction and method of change required in your interpersonals style and capacities to achieve more effective practice.
  4. Integrate theorietical frameworks with your knowledge about your own capacities to formulate your own self-care plan.
  5. Integrate an awareness of professional ethics into your considerations for improved family work practice.


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  1. 50 minute presentation
  2. Contribution to a public forum promoting and developing discussion of an ethical issue
  3. 2500 word case analysis (including demonstration of work with family (live or videotaped - for Grad' Diploma and Masters candidates)
  4. A 500 word self-care plan

Topics, activities and resources

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  • Lectures on applying attachment theory, Internal Family Systems and transgenerational theories and concepts to your family of origin history and to curent work with families
  • Personal research
  • Presentation in webinars and on-line discussion of your family of origin and other influences on practice
  • Journalling and self-reflection
  • Webinar discussions
  • Case applications and analyses
  • Lectures on burnout, compassion fatigue, self-knowledge and self-care
  • Lectures on ethics and family therapy, particularly the AAFT Code of Ethics