Enactment, an experiential method grounded in systems theory that brings interactional problems into the session for direct observation and change, is a component of all current evidence-based child and adolescent focused family therapies. Enactment is the cornerstone of ESFT, where it is used to disrupt and shift negative interactional patterns to more functional ones. This course introduces the method, describes what it is, differentiates it from other widely used interventions, and explains how and why it works. A five-phase model based on Nichols and Fellenberg’s work is introduced as a framework for learning how to do an enactment, including setting the stage and looking for opportunities to initiate emotionally meaningful conversations, facilitating family members through the ups and downs of the process, and meaning making. A step-by-step guide to enactment using excerpts from a family therapy session is provided.
The course is an edited, condensed version of a live training with therapists working in PA’s FBMHS program.
This is a Beginning Level course. The target audience is all behavioral health professionals working with children and adolescents.
As a result of completing this course, participants will be able to:
- Describe what enactments are and how they work.
- Identify when to use enactments in treatment.
- Explain actions involved in each of the five stages of an enactment.
Frequently Asked Questions
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