Course Description

In this course we will examine theory concerning family structures and practices that follow. We will attend to the variety of family forms, considering who are members of family systems and the impact of subsystems that invariably develop and change within family forms. We will do this by conceptualizing hierarchy within families and how culture and politics plays a role in family troubles (in creating PIPs). Various family therapy approaches will be examined for conceptualizing and approaching family pain, and how language can promote TIPs to engage families in HIPs and WHIPs that may lead to preferred changes. In this course we will practice languaging by using exemplars from our own practices in our class conversations and assignments. In this course we will concentrate on readings and synchronous meetings with presentations and discussions.

Course Details

Course Objectives:

1. Recognize how different assumptions about family forms and the culture and politics within which families exist orient helpers to respond with different kinds of helping practices.

2. Reflect on assumptions and presuppositions about what constitutes “normality” in family development, family structure, and family functioning.

3. Understand families as interpersonal systems of communication and interaction.

4. Discuss assessment strategies and the assessment/intervention connection in couple and family therapy.

5. Gain an appreciation of the power of relationship dynamics in the experience and behavior of individual family members.

6. Distinguish specific Pathologizing Interpersonal Patterns (PIPs) of interaction in clinical families.

7. Conceptualize Healing Interpersonal Patterns (HIPs) to potentially displace the PIPs and DIPs.

8. Design numerous TIPs (Transforming Interpersonal Patterns) that attend to culture and politics across family structures and the subsystems within.

9. Expand awareness of problematic prejudices/practices in our culture (including daily felt injustices) that have negative influences on individual family members and on family functioning as a whole.

Applies Towards the Following Program(s)


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