About the Intensive Certificate Program in Family Therapy

This course creates a supportive learning environment to empower beginning and intermediate family practitioners from a variety of backgrounds to become more skilled, self aware, confident family-centered clinicians, supervisors and teachers. "Intensive" is a program that will enable you to be on a path to master the art of working well with a family approach regardless of the number of clients in the room. Participants gain clarity about their strengths, develop new ways of working and become more articulate about their own model of helping. Special attention is paid to creating a shared group learning experience. The Intensive Program was the hallmark program of the former Family Institute of Cambridge for 35 years. We continue to teach the Intensive Program in the comprehensive, immersive and experiential tradition of FIC.

Our annual weekend retreat on Chappaquidick Island, Martha’s Vineyard is a highlight of the course. In addition to the retreat, we meet for 11 day-long classes scheduled on Fridays every few weeks to promote in depth learning while attending to work life balance. The opportunity to learn then digest, practice and return to learn more enhances the experience.

Helping families through difficult times can be joyful service or a daunting task. Today more practitioners in New England are being challenged to help families support children with serious emotional and behavioral problems at home and in a myriad of settings. Working well with families is a critical way to improve the lives of struggling children, adolescents and adults. Our course supports work with all kinds of families in varied forms. We attend to the needs of families and helping professionals working in all settings.

Family systems models provide a lens for understanding families and the skills to develop a mutually agreed upon focus. Trained family therapists know how to lead conversations so that everyone participates constructively. They also know how to help parents avoid making things worse in attempts to solve problems. Without specialized training, holding meetings with families can be overwhelming, difficult to manage and unproductive. Understanding families as a system with clear patterns helps clinicians do what is best for everyone involved.

Participants will study concepts and methods from a variety of theoretical approaches, including historically important, enduring models and more recent developments in the field. Drawing on their own unique styles and abilities, students will examine their underlying assumptions about families and therapy, developing a relational, empowering systems-oriented clinical stance.

The goals of the Intensive Program in Family Systems Therapy are for participants to:

Teaching methods include discussions about reading material, didactic information sharing, experiential exercises, live and videotaped interviews. Smaller group work is an integral part of the course, providing the opportunity to attend to each student's development.

We look forward to enlivening your work and learning together!

Who should apply: Social workers, mental health counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, educators, substance abuse counselors, parent partners and other professionals interested in learning more about counseling individuals, families, couples and working effectively with larger systems. Helping professionals in direct service and supervisory roles are welcome to attend the course.

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