Foundations Series 2023-2024

This series is designed for first year trainees in ESFT who are working toward Level 1 ESFT certification. There are three components: 1) a half-day in-person start-up orientation to ESFT-FBMHS, 2) selected introductory webinars from our online learning center, 3) ten live streaming half-day clinical workshops.  Each clinical workshop begins with a brief didactic focusing on one ESFT concept or skill linked to readings from the treatment manual Setting the Stage for Change and the online webinars. Then a video is shown that demonstrates application of the concept or skill. There are two clinical case presentations in each module.  Although guidance is provided to the presenting teams on case conceptualization and treatment direction, the primary focus of case discussions is on how the “clinical theme of the day” is represented. The case material is used to create role-plays so that all participants have an opportunity to build on and practice ESFT clinical skills. 

The Foundations series introduces and familiarizes trainees with 1) the basic conceptual foundations of ESFT, 2) common clinical presentations of trauma-impacted children and families, 3) the six stages of ESFT implementation and the treatment tasks associated with each, and 4) the six mechanisms of change that drive ESFT intervention. The overarching goals for the Foundations series are aligned with the basic skills required to complete Level 1 ESFT certification. These include the following: 

  1. Develop trauma-informed, developmentally grounded EcoSystemic case conceptualizations that reflect the contributions of lagging skills, child and family history, and current social context on presenting symptoms.
  2. Use family observation, the relational timeline interview, the ecomap, and the genogram to identify family structure, negative interactional patterns, and important emotional processes.
  3. Maintain a relational focus in treatment and avoid induction into a behavioral, individualistic focus.
  4. Adopt a facilitative role in family sessions and encourage family members to solve problems by talking to one another.
  5. Cultivate positive, collaborative relationships with family members, community professionals, and co-therapists.  
  6. Identify and build on child and family strengths.     

See the list of required online Foundations Courses here.

Foundations Faculty
Adam Boguski, MDiv
Dan Gilmore, MA, LPC  
Frani Pollack, MSW, Ph.D.
Joshua Irvine, MA, LPC
Marlene N. Reiff, LCSW/LMFT
Shannon Stalnaker, MS

Foundations Series