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Credit points: 30

Subject outline

In this subject students are guided in their integration with their current skills of an indepth understanding of family therapy theoretical models concerning systemic processes in general, and relating to development within the family context. In lectures/seminars students will explore theories and engagement skills with an emphasis on respectful and collaborative practice. These theories and skills will then be applied by way of observation of their teachers, and their own role play, and live or videotaped clinical work in small supervised groups. Emphasis in this semester will be on using the theoretical frameworks provided to reflect, with the assistance of the supervisor and small group, on their own clinical skill development in the context of their personal and professional history and in formulating, setting and working on goals for improved competence.

SchoolSchool of Psychology & Public Health

Credit points30

Subject Co-ordinatorColleen Cousins

Available to Study Abroad StudentsNo

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Exchange StudentsNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Analyse and integrate factors pertaining to your values, interpersonal style and capacities that impact on your practice within the therapist-client system and commence integration of these within defined theoretical frameworks. You will be able to: (a) reflect on your family of origin and cultural identity; (b) identify how family and cultural factors may facilitate or constrain your flexibility within the therapeutic context; (c) appraise the interaction of family and wider contextual factors within your work and determine the issues that you need to address; (d) srticulate and apply relevant family therapy and theoretical frameworks to inform the direction and method of change required in your values, interpersonal style and capacities to achieve more effective practice.

Lectures, reading of literature, small group presentation and discussion.

02. Integrate learnings about your values, interpersonal style and capacities and take steps to manage and/or change these to increase the effectiveness of your practice. You will be able to: (a) use the analysis of your personal values, style and capacities as they are represented in clinical work to develop strategies to increase your effectiveness with families and other systems; (b) implement strategies to address the personal issues you have identified that impact on your practice; (c) identify and evaluate the impact that changes in your values, interpersonal style and capacities have on your practice.

Lectures, reading of literature, small group presentation and discussion.

03. Role play working with families in a respectful and non-blaming way to conduct an effective initial family therapy session incorporating a reflecting team process. You will be able to: (a) discuss the concept of family therapy and the training context with a family group as they start therapy; (b) prepare for therapy sessions including developing appropriate systemic formulations and deciding who to include; (c) consider diversity issues and their implications for engagement as you plan to engage family members in the family therapy session; (d) integrate appropriate family therapy and associated frameworks, including implementing strategies from a limited range of models; (e) collaborate with the family to clarify the problem and the family's goals.

Clinical observation, role play, live supervised clinical practice, case presentation.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Other Site 2, 2019, Semester 1, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorColleen Cousins

Class requirements

LectureWeek: 10 - 22
One 2.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.

PracticalWeek: 10 - 22
One 4.0 hours practical per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.
"plus an additional 39 hours of clinical work"


Assessment elementComments%ILO*
one 1,000-word essay1003
one 2,000-word essay2501, 02, 03
one 800-word goals reflection1501, 02
one contact log and evidence of clinical competency on formalised set of skills (200-work equiv)Hurdle01, 02, 03
two 2,500-word case analyses5001, 02, 03