Family Therapy Foundations: Philosophy, Frameworks and Contemporary Systemic Practice

Family Therapy Foundations will introduce you to the field of family therapy, taking you from its origins in systemic thinking, through its different influences and conceptual developments, to its contemporary applications to enhance the well-being of individuals, families and communities.

This course reimagines The Bouverie Centre’s well-known Introduction to Family Therapy in self-paced eLearning modules with the flexibility and convenience that this format offers.

At the heart of the course are two complete family therapy sessions, enacted, but based on actual scenarios. One session is used to illustrate The Bouverie Centre’s own 6Cs – our summary of what we see as the most central concepts in family therapy. The second family session is used to help guide the learner through our basic ‘map’ for conducting a session. This course also includes didactic presentations on theoretical and historical developments in family therapy, illustrated with animations and with options to find out more.

This course represents the culmination of decades of experience from the clinicians and academics at The Bouverie Centre. Throughout the course, you will be guided by their knowledge and practice experience.


Self-paced online, available 24/7

Access Period

3 months


14 CPD hours


$764.50 (GST included)

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Course Modules

  • Module 1: Systemic Thinking: From Individual to Family
    Understand the difference between individual and systemic therapy, and how family therapy focuses on healthy relationships. You will also learn about family interventions, evidence-based practices, and the diverse perspectives within family therapy.
  • Module 2: Foundational Ideas in Family Therapy
    Discover Bouverie’s conceptual touchstones (the 6 Cs) and their application in practice: culture, circularity, connectedness, constraints, curiosity, context.
  • Module 3: Conducting a Family Session: Core Conceptual and Practical Skills
    Learn how to prepare to see a family, as well as the practical skills for conducting a family session.
  • Module 4: Individual Development, Family Life Cycle and Family Therapy
    Understand the family life cycle and how it relates to family therapy and the individual’s development.
  • Module 5: The Influence of Families’ Own Histories: The Generational Context
    Learn about the concept of generational context within a family and how life experiences can affect subsequent generations.
  • Module 6: Family Therapy or Family Therapies? Applying Different Frameworks and Lenses
    How to apply different frameworks and lenses within family therapy, including diversity, trauma and socio-cultural factors.
  • Module 7: What Do I Do If…?
    Through video interviews, this module showcases practical challenges in family therapy. You will see how to handle situations like diverse agendas, dominant voices, reluctant participants, blame dynamics, conflicts, and sessions that feel ‘stuck’.
  • Module 8: Common Factors, Heroic Clients, and Broadening Horizons
    Understand how to broaden the application of family therapy in areas such as social justice, community work, and allied and mental health sectors. You will also learn tips on how to look after yourself during the work.

Plus - Join an exclusive Community of Practice

Participants who have successfully completed the Family Therapy Foundations self-paced online course will gain free membership to The Bouverie Centre’s Family Therapy Foundations Community of Practice for 12 months.

Membership will include an online forum with The Bouverie Centre’s expert family therapists every second month, where you can ask questions of the experts.

What will you Learn?

On completion of this course, you will gain foundational knowledge of:

  • The origins and evolution of key family therapy concepts and practices
  • Contemporary family therapy and systemic thinking and applications to diverse practice settings and presentations
  • Core conceptual and practice skills of family therapy

Relevant Audience

Professionals interested in understanding family therapy and systemic thinking, and their applications to enhance outcomes for individuals and families. This includes health care and allied health practitioners, supervisors, and managers from a diversity of disciplines and settings.

Other ways to learn

Consolidate your self-paced online learning with a 4-day in-person or live-streamed workshop. For several decades ‘Introduction to Family Therapy’ was our flagship 4-day training. We are excited to present Family Therapy Foundations in a similar format, with four full days of training delivered by a group of Bouverie’s experienced Family Therapists/Trainers.


This training format includes access to the self-paced online learning detailed above, as well as the FTF Community of Practice.

Available to:

  • Individuals
  • Organisations - delivered direct to your team