Recognizing & Treating the Authoritarian Family

CE Hours: 4.0
Cost: $48

Published 1/29/21

Authoritarian families are focused on maintaining order, control, and compliance. Coercion, bullying, abuse, and violence are common in these families. This workshop provides an eco-systemic framework for understanding these families, the caregivers who head them, and the types of problems they typically encounter with their children. Common traps therapists make when working with these families are identified, as are strategies for avoiding them. An in-depth discussion of a classic PCGC training video, Family With a Little Fire, is used to highlight methods for introducing more softness into interactions between authoritarian caregivers and their children, as well as fostering greater tolerance for imperfection. This online course is an edited version of an extended live training presented on November 7th 2019 at the Pennsylvania Counseling Services conference center.


As a result of participating in this educational activity, participants will be able to:

1. Identify the structural characteristics of authoritarian families
2. Identify authoritarian parenting patterns and their impacts on children
3. Recognize coercive interactional patterns and how to interrupt them
4. Identify personality and social context variables that leave parents vulnerable to authoritarian parenting
5. Describe common traps when working with authoritarian families and how to avoid them

This is a beginning level course, introducing therapists to complex developmental trauma and its implications for treating families.

Course Outline

  • Unit 1: Family Structure (40 minutes)
    • Webinar: What Makes a Family Structure Dysfunctional?
    • Webinar: What Makes a Family Structure Authoritarian?
  • Unit 2: The Perspectives and Actions Associated with Authoritarian Parenting (60 minutes)
    • Webinar: The Authoritarian Mindset
    • Webinar: Authoritarian Parenting
  • Unit 3: Recognizing Coercive Patterns of Control (40 minutes)
    • Webinar: Recognizing Coercion
  • Unit 4: Caregiver Motivations and Child Adaptations (35 minutes)
    • Webinar: How Authoritarian Parenting Shapes Child Development
    • Webinar: What Motivates an Authoritarian Parenting Style?
  • Unit 5: Treatment Considerations (60 minutes)
    • Webinar: A Case Study

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 4.0 hours to complete.

Frequently Asked Questions
Visit our Self-Paced, Online Continuing Education Policies & FAQs for additional information regarding the CFBT online learning center, accommodations for disabilities, reporting problems with the course, instructions for viewing webinars, etc.

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