PSYCH 337: Families, Trauma & Resilience

Family Systems Theory posits that the family is an emergent and dynamic entity, comprised of multiple interacting individuals and subsystems, that is ultimately greater than the sum of its parts. In settings of trauma, stress and adversity, the family responds in unique ways to maintain equilibrium (i.e., families, like individuals, show “resilience”). However, this often comes at a cost to relationships and individual functioning. When considering the family as a fundamental unit of analysis that is intricately tied to the broader social context, a model of helping emerges that seeks to create change in the structural and functional elements of family life, while combatting the tendency to make purely intrapsychic or medical attributions for individual and family struggles. This model of intervention is known as Family Therapy. The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of Family Systems Theory and Family Therapy from Trauma-Informed & Resilience frameworks, while embedding conversations in contemporary family psychology and developmental science. Students will get exposure to theoretical and applied content in family psychology and family therapy practice, while becoming increasingly versed in understanding how environmental stress impacts the relationships of families from diverse backgrounds. Moreover, the processes through which many families thrive in the face of adversity (are “resilient”) will be highlighted. Given the pandemic context, recent updates in family science and practice will be emphasized, as students learn how families have been coping during the pandemic from a scientific and clinical standpoint. 

PSYCH 337 Syllabus

PSYCH 605: Family Systems & Family Therapy

This course will provide an intensive training experience in the clinical foundations of family systems theory and family therapy practice. Classical and contemporary theoretical, clinical, and research applications will be reviewed so that students obtain the fundamental knowledge and skills surrounding family therapy. We will cover the systemic view of human functioning that gives rise to a particular form of intervention (family therapies). Clinical formulation will be heavily emphasized, and family-based formulation will be compared with individual psychological formulation. Students will develop a holistic perspective on “family therapy intervention”, with particular emphasis on Structural and Emotion-Focused Family Therapy. Direct clinical work and case review will be emphasized. Trauma-informed and multicultural lenses will also be utilized. Specifically, students will have opportunity for direct (i.e., “face to face”) clinical contact, either with their own or a shared (co-therapy) client at the CMHRT. In winter 2021, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the course will be offered completely online, and telehealth intervention will be utilized. Thus, this course is only open to students in the clinical psychology program. Graded on a CR/NRC basis. 

PSYCH 605 Syllabus

PSYCH 640: Epidemiological Methods for Psychological Science

The amount of publicly available data relevant to psychological research continues to proliferate. Yet, one of the great challenges of our scientific epoch is that the mass expansion of information does not always yield greater understanding of phenomena. There are many ways to tackle this dilemma, from knowledge integration exercises (scoping and systematic review, individual participant data, and standard meta-analysis), to artificial intelligence applications that are designed to read the literature and respond to queries. Another moderate approach is to think big about research questions and to consider the epidemiological, sociological, public health, and population-level manifestations of psychological research questions using publicly available data sets. Consistent with the idea of multiple levels of analysis in psychological research, we are being increasingly challenged to think about topics “from the neuron to the neighborhood” and beyond. Ask yourself, “How does my phenomenon of study show up in society, at large?” If the answer is unclear, you are in the right place! 

PSYCH 640 Syllabus