Details for Engaging 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: SSE503
  • Credit points: 10
  • Subject coordinator: Katherine Hurrell


The following courses are prerequisites:

Awards offering Engaging Families

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

Unit Content


  1. Analyse family dynamics using current approaches to family counselling and apply these in role play situations;
  2. Identify and comment on some of the differences between individual and family therapy (systemic counselling) and the implications these have for professional interventions;
  3. 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.
  4. Discuss the concept of family and specific family therapy approaches in contemporary Australia;

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

  • Exam (10%)
  • Reflective Journal (15%)
  • Case Study (25%)
  • Reflective Paper and Group Presentation (50%)

Prescribed Text

  • Carr, A. (2012). Family therapy: Concepts, process and practice (3rd edn). Wiley and Sons., US.

Please consult your instructor before purchasing any texts