Introduction to Family Therapy

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSHS3038202

Semester and Year Offered: 2nd Semester, 1st Year

Course Coordinator and Team: Yungpang, Neetu Sarin, Honey Oberoi Vahali

Email of course coordinator:

Pre-requisites: Completion of 1st Semester courses

Aim: The primary aim of the course is to introduce students to think about individuals as existing within a web of relationships and systems of relationally.

Course Outcomes:

  1. Theoretically understanding of the key concepts on family therapy.
  2. Developing systemic thinking to engage with families and couples, beyond an individual.
  3. To be able to gather information, assess and make a intervention plan from systemic lens.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Participants will be exposed to some key concepts from different schools of family work including Bowen, Structural, Strategic, the Milan Systemic Approach, and post-modern practice such as Narrative Therapy. The course will be focused on the initial stage of treatment – how to make an assessment and develop a treatment plan from a systemic lens. Students will learn to think beyond the “individual” to include the larger context of family, socio-economic and cultural background, gender and other beliefs systems. This family therapy course will include didactic presentations, discussions of the reading materials and case consultations. Students will have the opportunity to experiment with the practical applications of the concepts, as well as engaging in experiential exercises such as role play, genograms and reflecting team. It will enable participants to incorporate systemic ideas and techniques into their learning and practice.

Assessment Details with weights: Viva- 50%; and Written Assignment – 50%

Reading List:

  • Ackerman. N. (1958) The Psychodynamics of Family Life: Diagnosis and Treatment of Family Relationships, Jason Aronson, Reprint Edition, 1994
  • Bateson. G (1972) Steps to an Ecology of Mind. University of Chicago Press.
  • Bowen. M., (1976) “Theory in the Practice of Psychotherapy”, Chapter 3, Family Therapy: Theory and Practice. Eds. Guerin, P. New York: Gardner Press
  • Carter, E. and McGoldrick, M. (1989) The Changing Family Life Cycle: A Framework for Family Therapy. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
  • Ceccin. G., (1987) Hypothesing, Circularity, and Neutrality Revisited: An Invitation to Curiosity. Family Process. December 1987
  • Doherty. W., (1991) Family Therapy Goes Post Modern, Family Therapy Networker
  • Goldner, V. (1990) Love and Violence: Gender Paradoxes in Volatile Attachments. Family Process, 29, 343-363.
  • Haley, J. (1976) “Therapy in Stages”, Chapter 5, Problem Solving Therapy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Haley, L. (1973), Chapter 1, Uncommon Therapy. New York: Norton.
  • Hoffman, L., (1981) Pgs. 262 to 270, Foundations of Family Therapy. Basic Books.

Additional References:

  • Korman, S.L.&Stechler. G. (1985), “Making the Jump to Systems”, Chapter1. Handbook of Adolescent and Family Therapy, Eds. Mirkin and Korman, New York: Gardner Press
  • Lax. W.D., (1992) Postmodern Thinking in Clinical Practice, Therapy as Social Construction. Eds. McManee and Gergen.K.,
  • Lebow, J. (1997) The Integrative Revolution in Couple and Family Therapy. Family Process, 36, 1-18.
  • McGoldrick M. (2008) Genograms: Assessment and intervention. 3rded.NewYork:Norton
  • Minuchin, S. (1974) Families and Family Therapy. Cambridge, Mass, Harvard University Press.
  • Nichols, M. & Schwartz, R.,(1998) Chapters 4, 5 and 8, Family Therapy Concepts, Fourth Edition, Boston: Allyn& Bacon.
  • Tomm, K. (1988) Interventive Interviewing: Part III.Intending to Ask Lineal, Circular, Strategic or Reflexive Questions.Family Process, 27, 1, 1-15.
  • Tomm. K., (1984) One Perspective on the Milan Systemic Approach: Part 1. Overview of the Development, Theory and Practice.Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, April 1984
  • Tomm. K., (1984) One Perspective on the Milan Systemic Approach: Part 2. Description of Session Format, Interviewing Style and Interventions. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, July 1984
  • Wachtel. E., (1982) The Family Psyche over Three Generations: The Genogram Revisited. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. July 1982
  • Walters, M., Carter, B., Papp, P. and Silverstein, O. (1988) The Invisible Web. Toward a Feminist Perspective in Family Therapy; Gender and Patterns in Family Relationships. London, Guilford Press.
  • Watzlawick.P., Bevin-Bavelas.J.,& Jackson. D., (1967) Pragmatics of Human Communication: A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies, & Paradoxes, New York. W.W. Norton & Co.
  • White, M. and Epston, D. (1989) Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends. Adelaide, Dulwich Centre Publications.