Counseling 2: Family Systems Theories & Therapies

Marilyn Ekladios, Ed.D: FMP Faculty Instructor
Samuel Hanna, Ph.D: FMP Graduate Assistant

Text: Family Therapy Review: Edited by Anne Rambo, Charles West, Annalynn Schooley,
Tommie V. Boyd

Method of Instruction

This class is taught in a dual mode of on-site [specifically announced dates 08/31–09/04]
and by online webinars in a lecture, discussion, case studies, and role-play formats. Student
knowledge will be assessed by assignments and participation. This fast-paced
comprehensive course requires intense preparation and reading ahead of class. All
students are expected to adhere to assignment due dates. In case of emergency and student
is unable to attend online webinar classes, a written explanation must be emailed to the
instructor ahead of class.

Course Description

This course will provide students with the foundation of Family Systems Theories and
Therapies, introduction to General Systems Theory (first order and second order
cybernetics), and the dynamics of family interaction from a systems perspective. Historical
and conceptual development, understanding of family roles, rules, structure, inter-actional
patterns, functional and dysfunctional systems, life cycle issues in marriage and family,
ethnicity, gender, and basic processes of counseling from intake to termination of therapy
will be delivered in a foundational, practical, theoretical, and theological approach within
the scope of Family Systems Theories and Therapies.

Course Objectives

Students will demonstrate understanding of the theoretical concepts of Family Systems
Theories and Therapies. Students will explore the landscape and development of family
therapy, its influence on understanding family organization, relationship systems, family
subsystems, the inter-generational processes, assessment, motivation, including interview,
genogram, formal instruments of evaluation, case studies, one’s self in relation to one’s own
family of origin, and purpose and intervention restrictions of psycho-therapeutic theory as it
applies to yielding change in human systems. By surveying contemporary family therapy
approaches, students will be able to formulate a theologically and personally integrated
model of family therapy and articulate a broad understanding of family systems therapies
and a critical appraisal of fundamental theoretical models in Family Systems Theory and

On-Site Instruction:

Lecture 1:

Overview/The Field of Family Therapy
Psychoanalytic/Experiential Model
Inter-generational Models

Lecture 2:

Structural and Strategic Models
Brief Therapy Models
Narrative Models

Lecture 3:

Collaborative Models
Integrative Models
Psycho-educational Family Therapy

Lecture 4:

Couples Therapy, Separately Considered

Webinars & Assignment Dates:

Date Webinars/Assignments
09/18/17 Webinar
10/02/17 Assignment 1
10/16/17 Webinar
10/30/17 Assignment 2
11/13/17 Webinar
11/27/17 Assignment 3

Assignments: 3 Scholarly Papers

Students will be provided with 3 case studies per assignment and asked to describe the
application of a particular Family Systems Theory model per scenario. Students must fully
explain the theory, identify the theorist and institution where the theory was developed,
and apply the major elements of the theory as it applies to the specific presenting cases.
Each assignment must be at least 7 pages written in APA style:
1 Title Page
1 Abstract Page
6 Body of Paper [2 pages per case study]
1 Reference Page

Assignment #1: 30 Points

Psychoanalytic/Experiential Model
Inter-generational Models
Structural/ Strategic Models

Assignment #2: 30 Points

Brief Therapy Models
Narrative Models
Collaborative Models

Assignment #3: 30 Points

Integrative Models
Psycho-educational Family Therapy
Couples Therapy, Separately Considered

Participation: 10 Points [Students must be punctual for on-site and webinars]

On-Site – 4 points [1 point per class]
Webinars – 2 points per webinar [3 webinars scheduled]


A: 90 – 100
B: 80 – 89
C: 70 – 79


All students must attend all the on-site classes on time. Arriving more
than 15 minutes late to class will count as absence. [In case of an emergency, the instructor
must be notified]. Video or audio recording of on-site classes is not permitted.


Any form of plagiarism or submitting work that is not the student’s
original material will not be accepted and no credit will be issued for the plagiarized


All cell phones and pagers are to be turned off or set to vibrate
mode during class time. If a student has a particular need s/he is expected to notify the
instructor prior to the beginning of class.

The Textbooks in the syllabus:


Family therapy Review: Contrasting Contemporary Models (1st Edition)

Anne Rambo (Editor), Charles West (Editor), Annalynn Schooley (Editor), Tommie Boyd (Editor).

ISBN-13: 978-0415806633


Christian Counseling, Revised and Updated Third Edition.

Gary R. Collins, Ph.D.

ISBN-13: 9781418503291

Encyclopedia of Christian Q & A.

H.G. Bishop Youssef.