Thomas Jefferson UniversityJefferson College of Health Professions

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Family Therapy Track

The Family Therapy track offers specialized study in interpersonal issues facing couples and families. This includes matters such as family violence, substance abuse, chronic medical conditions, and the blending of families.

1) There are two didactic and experiential courses in Family Therapy training:

–  Issues of Violence and Abuse in the Family from a Systems Perspective (3)

This course will examine the characteristics and impact of intra-familial violence and abuse on adults and children. It will focus on the nature and scope of this epidemic problem and review key contributing factors. Issues of gender, power and socioeconomic status will be examined. Sexual, physical and emotional abuse of adults and children will be discussed. Systems oriented treatment for all family members approaches will be reviewed with an emphasis on accurate assessment and the development of appropriate interventions.

–  Medical Family Therapy (3)

This course will examine the complex interactions between physical illness and family functioning and the clinical interventions that can be utilized in these situations. A review of the empirical findings and theoretical concepts that form the basis of this emerging field will be undertaken. A biopsychosocial framework will be developed for understanding and treating a variety of common clinical problems such as psychosomatic symptoms, coping with chronic illness and chronic pain, grief and end of life issues. Collaboration with other health care providers will be discussed.

2) Practicum Experience
Students are required to complete 500 hours of direct clinical experience in order to graduate. Two hundred and fifty of these hours must be with couples and families, while the other one-half can be with individuals. Practicum placements are available at a variety of clinical settings, including Council for Relationships locations in the Philadelphia region, affiliated community organizations, as well as sites within the Jefferson Health System. Students have the opportunity and are expected to choose from a wide spectrum of placement options, such as outpatient mental health clinics, Colleges and homeless shelters for their clinical training.

3) Supervision
Students will receive a minimum of 100 hours of supervision, at least 50 hours of which will be based on direct observation, videotape, or audiotape. During the program students will complete 12-16 hours of face-to-face clinical work per week. Students will receive supervision based on a 5 to 1 ratio of clinical hours to supervision hours. Students will receive a combination of individual, dyadic and group supervision.