Family therapy

Why study family therapy?

We offer postgraduate coursework programs in Family Therapy for those with qualifications and experience in related disciplines. Our courses focus on the integration of theory with contemporary systemic practice to maintain effective therapeutic relationships and produces graduates with high levels of clinical skill to effectively respond to the needs of families presenting with a range of challenges.

Our Masters program in family therapy offers a solid foundation in systems thinking and experiential work in supervised clinical practice settings. This course is ideal for psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, youth workers, drug and alcohol counsellors, psychiatric nurses or workers from professions such as teaching and general nursing who want a change of career.

As a La Trobe graduate, you may be eligible for our 10% Alumni Advantage when you apply for a full-fee postgraduate coursework program.

Career opportunities

Family therapy graduates may work as a family therapist and counsellor or teacher and supervisor in family therapy.

Your study experience

Family therapy placements

Clinical experience in family work and family therapy is an important aspect of all Bouverie courses. You are required to secure some opportunity to practice with families. At Graduate Certificate in Family Therapy level  this can consist of some working relationship with at least 2 families on an ongoing basis. At levels1, 2 (Graduate Diploma) and 3 (Masters), you are required to have a counselling caseload of at least 5 at any one time.  A proportion of these cases can be individuals or couples but you must be working with at least 1 family at any one time and be working in a context that supports further family work. This can be either paid or voluntary. If you anticipate difficulty with this please talk to us about the possibility of our clinical practice groups.


Clinical Practice Groups

Clinical practice groups are an initiative by The Bouverie Centre designed to give trainees an opportunity to observe and participate in systemic practice with families where they are unable to do so in their work place or in a voluntary capacity. This group would assist students unable to access family work in other contexts to fulfil some of the course requirements. Each group comprises up to six participants and a supervisor who is a qualified family therapist. Members meet weekly for a block of four hours during the academic semester and aim to see two families during this time. Participation in the group is a graduated process beginning with the observation of the supervisor working with families and ultimately progressing to participants themselves taking responsibility for the sessions if and when the supervisor assesses their readiness for this stage. The rest of the group acts as a reflecting team.

Please note that participation in this group satisfies only the requirement of seeing a minimum of one family at any one time. It is required that students will be also seeing at least couples and/or individuals in other contexts. Participation in a clinical practice group is in addition to the Masters training program and as such a fee is payable for this activity. Please note that the offering of these groups is dependent on numbers.

Course Co-ordinators

Graduate Certificate in Family Therapy
Colleen Cousins +61 3 8481 4800
Master of Clinical Family Therapy
Robyn Elliott +61 3 8481 4800

Overseas study opportunities

You may be eligible for our student exchange program.

About the academic staff

You'll get to meet a large number of academics during your course, from tutors through to lecturers.

Meet staff in family therapy.