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Course Description

Two men in a counselling session with a female counselor mediating their session.

Gain an understanding of foundational concepts, theories, and skills in the practice of couple therapy. You will begin with the fundamentals of structural and systemic couple therapy, and then move to focus on more recent developments in the field while emphasizing both modernist and post-modernist approaches to therapy with couples. Specific attention will be paid to the Gottman Method, Solution-Oriented, Narrative, and Dialogic forms of couple therapy, as well as Greenberg’s Emotion Focused Couple Therapy as the precursor to the more popular attachment-based Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy. Emphasis will be placed on socio-culturally attuned approaches. A comparative analysis of the various models will assist you in placing them into an integrated framework.

This is an interactive course that uses a variety of teaching and learning processes, including exercises and discussion, to effectively translate theories into practical methods for contemporary couple therapists. Many discussions and interactive methods will require reflection on personal experience.

This course is typically recognized by CAMFT and AAMFT as a therapy or studies course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate and integrate the knowledge of theoretical models in the field of couple therapy
  • Identify one’s own preferred approaches to couple therapy
  • Apply practical skills in conducting sessions with couples and families
  • Engage in critical analysis of couple therapy theories and practices
  • Consider differing perspectives on issues of social location, power, and oppression as they influence the therapeutic process
  • Exhibit advanced oral and written communication skills, as well as a strengthened ability to engage in generative dialogues
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues and clients in a context where diverse and sometimes opposing views, complex explanations, and challenging dilemmas are part of the process

Course Topics

  • What Is Couple Therapy?
  • Foundational Concepts
  • Socio-Culturally Attuned Couple Therapy
  • Structural and Systemic Couple Therapy
  • Bridging Structural and Systemic Couple Therapy with Post-Modern Couple Therapies
  • Post-Modern Couple Therapies: Social Constructionist (Dialogic and Collaborative Conversation)
  • Narrative Couple Therapy
  • Emotion focused and socio-culturally attuned couple therapy
  • Solution Focused Couple Therapy and Gottman Method

Additional Requirements

  • Prerequisite course: Theories and Methods of Family Therapy: Foundations of the Field
  • Note: If you wish to take the course but have not completed the prerequisite, please email Beverley Fretz, manager, program development.
  • As well as the in-class instruction, you can expect to spend approximately five to ten hours per week on course readings, activities, and/or assignments.
  • Course assignments are completed up to four weeks following the final day of the course.


Assessment Item Weight
Reflections and Questions about Readings 60%
Expanded Initial Consultation Summary and Supervision Preparation Form 40%
Total 100%

Please note that the course assessment is subject to change.

Sponsoring Partner

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


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