The Four Pillars of Ecosystemic Structural Family Therapy

CE Hours: 2.0
Cost: $24
Instructor: C. Wayne Jones, PhD

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.

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