Foundations of Working with Families

Subject PSYT90038 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Currently working in field.

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 Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Sophie Havighurst


Administrative contact

Victoria Kingsley

Subject Overview:

This subject will cover:

• specific aspects of developmental theory, cognitive-behavioural theory, psychodynamic theory and systems theory perspectives which may be used to understand and work effectively with families;
• various forms of family therapy intervention and their application in specific situations;
• various forms of family behaviour and appropriate methods of intervention; and
• common challenges with respect to engaging and working with families.

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will develop their understanding of:

  • The principal theoretical orientations employed in clinical work with families;
  • The fundamental concepts that these theoretical orientations are based upon;
  • The rationale for selection of one form of treatment over another; and
  • The application of appropriate therapeutic interventions.
  • Essay of 4,000 words due end of semester (worth 75%)
  • Take-home test of 1,000 words due week 6 (worth 25%)
  • Minimum seminar attendance of 80% (hurdle requirement)
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, participants should be able to:

  • Establish a therapeutic relationship with families;
  • Identify which interventions might be effectively applied to specific presenting problems of families with whom they work;
  • Develop a treatment plan for specific presenting problems of families with whom they work.
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Science
Master of Mental Health Science

Download PDF version.