Family in Psychiatry: Theory & Practice

Subject PSYT90009 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 6.25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

May, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 6 weeks x 3.5-hour seminars
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Objectives, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.
It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit:


Dr Colin Riess


Academic Contact:

Dr Colin Riess

Administrative contact:

Aris Cologon

Subject Overview:

Students will gain a comprehensive grounding in family based approaches in mental health management and treatment. There will be opportunities for understanding theory, developing some practice skills and exploring practical applications of systems and narrative based work with families.

  • Recognise the complex role that the family and other carers play in the life of individuals with a mental illness develop and apply family sensitive practice principles in the context of mental health services and management
  • Describe the history of ‘family-based’ approaches in psychiatric management and psychotherapy, the principles of general systems theory, the major structural practice models and theories in family therapy, ‘post structural’ theory and the derivation of narrative and solution focus practice models in family therapy, the legislation concerning confidentiality and its impact on family and carer involvement and outcome research regarding family involvement in mental health treatment approaches and family therapy
  • Recognise the influence of therapist’s personal, ethnic, gender, professional and work contexts in the shaping of any therapeutic encounter with individuals and families including their own personal values and belief systems as they arose from their own families of origin
  • Describe and apply the principles of conducting conjoint family sessions in regard to joining engagement, assessment, interventions and recognise the factors which affect engagement and treatment outcome
  • Demonstrate the ability to work to assimilate and integrate the various modalities of family based work covered in this series with the rest of their psychiatric training and knowledge and be able to use the skills necessary using approaches based on systemic and post structural principals in family therapy to implement family based interventions as a part of total patient management and treatment

Verbal and written presentation of this material to the class. The written material will take the form of a critical review of 1500 words (60%) associated with a short matching oral presentation (40%)

Prescribed Texts:

Horne AM, Famoly Counselling and Therapy, 3rd edition, E Peacock Publications. Itasca Illinois, 2000

Carr A, Family Therapy: Concepts, Process and Practice, John Wiley & Sons, Europe, 2000

Bloch S, Hafner H, Harari E, Smukler G (eds) The Family in Clinical Psychiatry, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1994

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Course(s): Master of Psychiatry

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