Sharpening Skills in Discovering Negative Interactional Cycles

CE Hours: 6.0
Instructor: C. Wayne Jones, PhD

Friday, February 7, 2020, Philhaven, Mount Gretna, PA
8:30am to 3:30pm

It can be difficult for therapists working with multi-stressed families to determine which interactional patterns to focus on in treatment.  When this happens, it is usually because the case conceptualization is incomplete. In ESFT, case conceptualization is based on the identification of family interactional patterns directly linked to the child’s presenting problems. This pattern is referred to as a negative interactional cycle (NIC).   It is important that the NIC is derived from observed interactions and collaboratively developed with families.  The NIC explains how a child’s symptoms are evoked and maintained within the context of his or her current relationships, and helps to direct treatment focus.  This workshop reviews the six steps of an NIC, clarifies what to look for in each step, and provides guidance on strategies for illuminating the NIC.  This is a hands-on experiential workshop where Family-Based teams present a brief overview of a case, along with a videotape from a family session, then utilize the group to develop and refine the NIC.


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

  1. Describe and define the six steps of an NIC
  2. Identify the child’s hidden lagging skills and emotional issues that create frustration
  3. Explain how the caregivers’ response to the child’s frustration escalates behavioral issues and crystallizes negative self-narratives
  4. Explain how  family structure shapes the caregivers’ response to the child
  5. Describe strategies for discovering and developing an NIC with families
  6. Construct an NIC based on observations of family interaction in videotaped treatment sessions    

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