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Course content

Summary

This course provides an introduction to systemic ideas and their relevance in helping us gain a better understanding of individuals, families and the organisations in which we all function. In particular it will appeal to all those working in the caring professions who have an interest in developing their practice in terms of working with families. Moreover this type of training offers a broader perspective and understanding of how crucial family dynamics are in the development and maintenance of problems. At the same time it provides creative ways of involving the family in finding solutions to their difficulties.

The programme is fully accredited for Foundation Level Training with the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice. It therefore forms the first step in training to become a fully qualified Family Therapist. Graduates of the course can go on to undertake the next stages in this training - that of Intermediate Level and Masters Level. In addition to this, students working in a variety of work contexts will also benefit from supplementing their own professional skills with the systemic theory and skills learned on the course. Given the broad appeal and applicability of systemic therapy principles, this course will inform and enhance students' understanding and approach to supporting individuals, couples and organisations, as well as families.

This course is undergoing academic revalidation during 2016/17, and course content/modules are subject to change.

About

The course aims to:

  • Introduce the participants to the field of systemic theory, practice and research;
  • Introduce the participants to the basic skills, applicable to their work settin;
  • Increase participants’ awareness and acceptance of the need for professional practice to be characterised by respectfulness and reflexivity;
  • Provide a basis from which the student may proceed towards intermediate level training.

At the end of the course, successful students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the development of systemic theory in the context of other therapies
  • Evaluate the various schools of thought pertaining to family therapy
  • Identify how stages in the family life cycle can impact on family dynamics
  • Reflect on the impact of culture on families
  • Define and apply the theories underpinning the Milan/ Post-Milan school of family therapy
  • Reflect on their personal and professional stage of development and the impact of systemic theory on these
  • Identify ways in which systemic theory/ practice can be used in other settings

Structure and content

The course is composed of two modules:

Family Therapy and Systemic Practice 1 (30 credits)

In this module, students are introduced to the major models of family therapy and systemic practice and are given the opportunity to learn and practise specific skills and techniques from systemic psychotherapy. The module offers a broader perspective and understanding of how crucial family dynamics are in the development and maintenance of problems, while also providing creative ways of involving the family in finding solutions to their difficulties. Material is covered via lectures and Peer Groups, where students will have the opportunity to put theory into practice through role play and group discussion.

Family Therapy and Systemic Practice 2 (30 credits)

This module builds on students’ knowledge of the main schools of family therapy, to incorporate considerations of working in different therapeutic contexts, working with bereavement, domestic abuse, and child-focused practice. Students engage in full-day teaching workshops, exploring and experimenting in further systemic principles and techniques. This is cemented in ongoing Peer Groups, where students will expand on experiential learning through associated group tasks.

Attendance

Duration

The course runs from September to June.

Mode of Attendance

The course is taught as two modules:

Module 1 is conducted as one full day (Thursdays) of teaching and seminar work per week across Semester 1 (September to December).

Module 2 runs in Semester 2 (January to June). It is composed of 6 teaching/workshop days (10.00am – 4.30pm), and 5 Peer Group/seminar days (9.30am – 1.00pm). The teaching days and Peer Group days alternate each week (on Mondays).

Placement activity

In addition to the above days on campus, you will be expected to spend at least one day per week throughout the programme in your placement or work context (pre-arranged by you), where you will apply the theory and skills from your training.

Work placement / study abroad

The clinical placement associated with this programme is arranged by students themselves. The training presents a number of opportunities to connect clinical placement with studies on campus, through exploring and assessing students' clinical experiences in this area of practice.

Career options

This course is fully accredited for Foundation Level Training with the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice. It therefore forms the first step in training to become a fully qualified Family Therapist. Graduates of the course can go on to undertake the next stages in this training - that of Intermediate Level and Masters Level. In addition to this, students working in a variety of work contexts will also benefit from supplementing their own professional skills with the systemic theory and skills learned on the course. Given the broad appeal and applicability of systemic therapy principles, this course will inform and enhance students' understanding and approach to supporting individuals, couples and organisations, as well as families.


Visit the Family Therapy and Systemic Practice - PGCert page on the Ulster University website for more details!

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