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Your access to the course material extends for 1-year from the date of purchase.

How Systemic Thinking Informs Couple and Family Therapy

alt Course: How Systemic Thinking Informs Couple and Family Therapy

alt Instructors: Thomas Sexton, Ph.D., ABPP and Mark Stanton, Ph.D., ABPP

alt Approved for 2.0 Hours of CE Credit

alt Fulfills License Requirements

alt High Resolution Online Streaming Video

    sandra paulsen

Course Description

This workshop highlights how systemic thinking can inform and enhance the practice of individual, couple, family, and group psychotherapy (Sexton & Stanton, 2016). It demonstrates the shift in scientific analysis away from Cartesian reasoning alone to embrace a more complex systemic framework capable of identifying and treating the complex reality of people’s lives. This way of thinking is the foundation of contemporary couple and family psychology. A paradigmatic model is presented that identifies individual, interpersonal, and environmental or macrosystemic factors that can play a role in psychotherapy (Stanton, 2009). This unifying umbrella allows the therapist to readily conceptualize the primary facets that should be explored in order to understand presenting issues in their real-life context and to ensure that they do not “miss” important factors that are relevant to the presenting problem(s). This is especially important in working with diverse clients and complex questions (Magnavita, 2013). Contemporary barriers to the adoption of systemic thinking in psychotherapy are explored and examples of more systemic approaches to specific types of therapeutic interventions are provided.

A systemic approach to the primary stages of psychotherapy is provided. Ten systemic thinking habits (see the system; shift perspective; comprehend complexity; recognize reciprocity; conceptualize change; observe patterns; consider unintended consequences; contemplate connections; accept ambiguity; and factor in time) are introduced and participants are encouraged to adopt these habits of thought in their practice of psychotherapy. Illustrations and applications of each systemic thinking habit are provided in the context of treatment in psychotherapy.

The workshop concludes with an opportunity for questions.

Course Goal and Objectives

 Upon completion of this course, mental health professionals will be able to:

  1. Recognize different epistemological orientations that may apply to psychotherapy
  2. Adopt a systemic paradigm that will inform how they approach assessment, diagnosis, and treatment in psychotherapy
  3. Embrace habits of systemic thinking and apply them to psychotherapy
  4. Identify systemic interventions and apply them to particular aspects of the psychotherapy process 

Registration Information

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Online Video Version


CE Approval Information

  • The Steve Frankel Group, LLC is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for Psychologists. This course is also approved by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) for its licentiates' CE license renewal requirements. 
  • The Steve Frankel Group, LLC maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course meets the qualifications for 2.0 hours of CE credit for Psychologists, MFTs, LCSWs, and LPCCs.
  • SFG is an approved EMDRIA International CE Credit Provider, #15002 and maintains responsibility for its EMDR courses’ programs and contents in accordance with EMDRIA Standards.

Your access to the course material extends for 1-year from the date of purchase. This includes after passing the post-test, so you may continue to review its contents.

cce, cce-301, Div. 43