The Fundamentals of Eco-Systemic Structural Family Therapy

CE Hours: 2.0
Cost: $36
Instructor: C. Wayne Jones, PhD

This course provides an orientation to the EcoSystemic Structural Family Therapy (ESFT) model. Although ESFT can be used across the continuum of care, this course primarily focuses on its application to intensive in-home treatment programs serving youth with SED.  The course is comprised of webinars describing its’ history and evolution from Structural Family Therapy, characteristics of the population the model was developed to treat, how ESFT practitioners define clinical problems, the core components of the model, and the goals of ESFT treatment.  In this course, the ESFT Logic Model is introduced and described in detail.  The logic model presents a macro or big-picture view of treatment, showing the progressive stages of ESFT treatment, the clinical focus and actions related to each stage, and the objectives of each treatment stage.  The logic model enables therapists to see the link between what they do in each stage of treatment and the ultimate outcomes of an episode of treatment.  It is also helpful as a road map to treatment, helping therapists determine where they are in the treatment process and what comes next.

A webinar is also devoted to the ESFT theory of change, a session-level description of actions promoting change.  While the Logic Model is descriptive and highlights the “what” of ESFT treatment, a theory of change is explanatory, highlighting specific therapist actions believed directly linked to treatment outcomes.  It addresses the question, “What do I do in sessions to promote change?”  Six mechanisms of change and the actions associated with each are described in detail.  The final webinar in the course reviews the evidence base for ESFT.

Two of the webinars in this course are comprised of edited excerpts from a 2023 live-streamed collaborative presentation on ESFT by Dr. Steve Simms, Director of the Philadelphia Child and Family Therapy Training Center (PCFTTC), and Pinky Mehta, Associate Director of the Philadelphia Child and Family Therapy Training Center (PCFTTC).

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

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

  1. Describe the key components of ESFT and overarching goals of treatment (outcomes).
  2. Identify the six stages of ESFT treatment and the intermediate objectives of each stage.
  3. Identify the six mechanisms of change and the actions associated with each.
  4. Describe the evidence base for ESFT as applied to intensive, in-home programs.

Frequently Asked Questions
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