Recognizing and Treating Authoritarian Families

CE Hours: 6.0

Cost: $125


C. Wayne Jones, PhD

Thursday, 12/19/19, MCIU Conference Center, Norristown, PA
Thursday, 11/7/19, PA Counseling Services, Lebanon, PA

Authoritarian families are focused on maintaining order, control, and compliance.  Although there is diversity among these families, as a group they tend to be organized hierarchically, with rigid boundaries both between caregivers and their children and between the family and the outside world.  Coercion, bullying, abuse, and violence are common in more extreme versions of an authoritarian family. This workshop provides an eco-systemic framework for understanding these families, the caregivers who head them, and the types of problems they typically encounter.   The more rigid the caregivers are, the more challenging it can be for therapists to avoid power struggles, which can quickly derail treatment. This and other common traps are identified and strategies for avoiding them are presented. Treatment guidelines are provided for introducing more softness into interactions between family members, cultivating more tolerance for mistakes and uncertainty, and supporting tolerance for dissent in the family.  


 As a result of participating in this training, attendees will be able to:  

  1. Recognize the structural characteristics of an authoritarian family 
  2. Identify authoritarian parenting patterns  
  3. Identify coercive patterns of control and how they are linked to presenting problems
  4. Describe common traps when working with authoritarian families and how to avoid them
  5. Describe strategies for safely supporting dissent in the family
  6. Describe strategies for helping caregivers in authoritarian families provide more emotional support to their children

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