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The Four Pillars of Ecosystemic Structural Family Therapy

This course addresses the question: What creates, maintains, and exacerbates social-emotional disturbance (SED) in children and adolescents?  There are four major intersecting vulnerabilities in families associated with SED, each of which is described in detail in this course. They include 1) problems in individual and family emotion regulation, 2) insecure attachment and strained emotional connection between caregivers and their children, 3) problems in the caregiver’s ability to maintain an executive or leadership role in the home, and 4) inadequate support for the caregivers’ parenting role inside and outside the home.   These four family vulnerabilities are referred to as the “four pillars of ESFT” because they are central in organizing both assessment and treatment.  The ESFT Relational Treatment Plan is designed around these four domains.

A case study involving a single parent and her 9-year-old son is used to exemplify the types of questions to consider when viewing family interactions in each of these four vulnerabilities.  The primary goal for participants in this training is to improve a general ability to recognize strengths and weaknesses in each of the four pillars as they play out in families.

This is a Beginning Level course. The target audience is behavioral health professionals working with children and adolescents.

Course Objectives
As a result of completing this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe four core vulnerabilities that create and maintain a SED System.
  2. Identify clues about individual challenges with emotion regulation and the security of parent-child attachment by listening to a caregiver’s stories about parenting. 
  3. Identify clues about a mother’s executive functioning and the level of support available for parenting by listening to her stories about her relationship with extended famil

This course uses an online distance-learning self-paced format.  It includes recorded audio, recorded video-based webinars, and selected readings.  There are post-tests to ensure comprehension of the material. Participants can communicate with the instructors via the online moodle interface. Real-time communication with the instructor in our online, self-paced distance learning courses is not possible. However, participants can send an email to the instructor via the online moodle interface within the course and expect to receive a response within 48 hours. All course content, including post-tests, should take approximately two hours to complete.

Frequently Asked Questions
Visit our Online Course Policies for additional information regarding the CFBT online learning center, accommodations for disabilities, reporting problems with the course, instructions for viewing webinars, etc.

An Introduction to Systems Theory & Eco-Systemic Family Therapy

This course is an initial orientation to the ESFT clinical model for therapists providing intensive, in-home family treatment to children with SED and their families. The ESFT model is placed in historical context and an overview of the model is provided.  Because systems theory is at the core of ESFT case conceptualization and practice, several webinars in this course are devoted to describing in detail the nature of a systemic mindset and what makes it distinctive from other clinical perspectives.  Many of the basic concepts used in ESFT are introduced in order to help therapists become familiar with the language of the model.  

This is a Beginning Level course. The target audience is all behavioral health professionals working with children and adolescents.

Course Objectives
At the end of this course, participants will be able to:
  1. Describe the key elements of Eco-Systemic Family Therapy.
  2. Identify the distinguishing characteristics of a systemic mindset and how it shapes treatment
  3. Describe four non-systemic mindsets and how they shape treatment

This course uses an online distance-learning self-paced format.  It includes recorded audio, recorded video-based webinars, and selected readings.  There are post-tests to ensure comprehension of the material. Participants can communicate with the instructors via the online moodle interface. Real-time communication with the instructor in our online, self-paced distance learning courses is not possible. However, participants can send an email to the instructor via the online moodle interface within the course and expect to receive a response within 48 hours. All course content, including post-tests, should take approximately two hours to complete.

Frequently Asked Questions
Visit our Online Course Policies for additional information regarding the CFBT online learning center, accommodations for disabilities, reporting problems with the course, instructions for viewing webinars, etc.

Understanding Attachment in Families

This four part webinar series provides an introduction to attachment theory and how it can be applied to the family treatment of children and adolescents with serious social and emotional issues. The first module describes the role of an attachment focus in the operationalized version of ESFT and identifies clinical competencies involved in helping caregivers become a more reliable source of emotional support to their children. The second module describes the nature of attachment problems.  In the third module, the attachment system and how it creates an internal working model is explained.  The fourth module focuses on the nature of secure attachments, with a particular emphasis on how the concepts of attunement and intersubjectivity can be utilized to deepen therapeutic relationships.

This is a Beginning Level course. The target audience is all behavioral health professionals working with children and adolescents.

Learning Objectives

1. Describe the attachment system and how it creates an internal working model
2. Explain the reasons working with attachment is critical in the treatment of children with SED and their families.
3. Describe the features of a secure and insecure attachment patterns in families.
4. Describe the concepts of affect attunement and miscuing emotional needs.

This course uses an online distance-learning self-paced format.  It includes recorded audio, recorded video-based webinars, and selected readings.  There are post-tests to ensure comprehension of the material. Participants can communicate with the instructors via the online moodle interface. Real-time communication with the instructor in our online, self-paced distance learning courses is not possible. However, participants can send an email to the instructor via the online moodle interface within the course and expect to receive a response within 48 hours. All course content, including post-tests, should take approximately six hours to complete.

Course Outline

  • Unit 1: The Role of an Attachment Focus in Family Based Treatment (90 minutes)
    • Readings on communal rituals, attachment process in family therapy,  and the influence of attachment on treatment
    • Webinar: The Role of Attachment in Family Based Treatment
  • Unit 2: The Nature of Attachment Problems (60 minutes)
    • Webinar: Differentiating Attachment Problems from Attachment Disorder
  • Unit 3: Attachment and the Attachment System (90 minutes)
    • Webinar: Defining Attachment and It’s Relationship to the Internal Working Model Video on the Strange Situation experiment
    • Reading on attachment patterns from Setting the Stage for Change
  • Unit 4: What Secure Attachments Can Teach Us About Treatment (90 minutes)
    • Reading on attachment-focused parenting
    • Video on attachment theory
    • Webinar: Applying the concepts of affect attunement and miscuing to Treatment

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions
Visit our Online Course Policies for additional information regarding the CFBT online learning center, accommodations for disabilities, reporting problems with the course, instructions for viewing webinars, etc.