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PSY617A Family Systems

Lead Faculty: Dr. Brenda Lee Shook

Course Description

Part one of a two-part sequence. A comprehensive examination of the family as a social institution and how it shapes the course of human development. The student is exposed to models and systems of family development, the multifaceted dynamics of intrafamily relationships, and interactions of the family with various elements of the sociocultural environment. Attention is also focused on family interaction patterns, including communication processes, power relationships, open and closed family systems, parent-child relationships, and conflict resolution processes.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of family systems conceptualization of problems and approaches to therapy.
  • Articulate how various systems approaches conceptualize problems.
  • Articulate the historical development general systems theory.
  • Outline the contributions of major personalities within the field (both historical and current).
  • Demonstrate knowledge of family life cycle as it applies to family dynamics and presenting problem.
  • Articulate psychopathology from a systems perspective.
  • Demonstrate ability to analyze family interactions systemically, the interaction between family system problems and strengths and individual family members' problems and strengths, and the role of the family in helping family members with developmental, acute, and chronic problems
  • Demonstrate ability to think critically about the implications of these theories for assessing and working with vulnerable populations
  • Construct family genograms for their own families as well as families of multiple case presentations.