Details for Working With Families

This subject will introduce a comprehensive, inclusive understanding of the concept of family. It will present a variety of perspectives and theories for understanding families, their dynamics, and the impact on the individual. Counselling individuals, couples and families from a systemic versus individualistic perspective will be explored, with reference to modern and post-modern theoretical approaches to counselling. Role plays will form a significant learning tool to enable students to develop awareness of the challenges and effective interventions that can be utilised when working with individuals, couples and families in a systemic counselling model. This subject also provides a framework for students to explore their own family experiences and to assess how those experiences have impacted their development and may influence or impact their counselling practice.

Quick Info

  • Currently offered by Alphacrucis: Yes
  • Course code: SSE203
  • Credit points: 10
  • Subject coordinator: Rebecca Loundar


The following courses are prerequisites:

Awards offering Working With Families

This unit is offered as a part of the following awards:

Unit Content


  1. Discuss the concept of family and specific family therapy approaches in contemporary Australia;
  2. Analyse family dynamics using current approaches to family counselling and apply these in role play situations;
  3. Identify and comment on some of the differences between individual and family therapy (systemic counselling) and the implications these have for professional interventions;
  4. Use principles and theories taught in this subject for reflection on your own family of origin and identify personal issues that may influence your counselling practice.

Subject Content

  • Family: Definitions, function in society, a Biblical framework, cultural implications
  • Family development: Life cycle, Attachment Theory, family patterns, genograms
  • Understanding the system: Systems Theory, cultural considerations, Emotionally Focused Therapy
  • Assessment, treatment goals, treatment planning
  • Postmodern theories
  • The couple, parenting
  • Family forms, challenging transitions
  • Ethics

This course may be offered in the following formats

  • Face to Face (onsite)
  • Distance/E-Learning (online)
  • Intensive (One week: 7 hours per day for 5 days = 35 class hours + approx 85 hours out of class time for research, writing, exam preparation and execution, ancillary activities associated with completion of assigned tasks.)
  • Extensive (5 days spread over the semester)

Please consult your course prospectus or enquire about how and when this course will be offered next at Alphacrucis College.

Assessment Methods

  • Case Study (20%)
  • Research Paper and Group Presentation (50%)
  • Exam (15%)
  • Reflective Journal (15%)

Prescribed Text

  • Barker, P. 2013. Basic Family Therapy. (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ; Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Please consult your instructor before purchasing any texts