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Course Description

A mother and two young children sitting outside and smiling

Increase your understanding of the systemic dynamics of families in transition and strengthen your clinical skills in working with families who are engaged in these transitions—including separation and divorce, remarriage, blended family and other forms of parenting, illness, death and loss, domestic violence, grandparents raising their grandchildren, and multi-generational families.

Attention will also be given to some transitions that have either been marginalized, or which have become increasingly relevant to diverse, multicultural populations. These include transitions related to gender and sexuality, migration and refugee experiences, and military service.

The focus will be on the impact of these transitions on family relationships, as well as the therapeutic implications for working with such changing family systems.

An appreciation for inclusivity and contextual thinking will assist you in utilizing various systemic therapeutic approaches in an integrated framework for working with transitions faced by couples and families.

This course is typically recognized by CACFT and AAMFT as a couple/marriage and family therapy or studies course.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Examine the experience of families, and/or individual family members, undergoing transitions in family structure, following parental separation and divorce, the death of a parent, re-marriage, and/or other transitional family situations
  • Apply clinical applications for working with family members at various stages of these transition processes
  • Develop a practice model, which includes family life cycle stages and phases at each transitional cycle, with your own practice theory
  • Construct an integrative therapeutic treatment plan

Course Topics

  • Theoretical Perspectives
  • Positioning Ourselves to Respond Appropriately to Family Transitions
  • Separation and Divorce
  • Co-parenting
  • Remarriage, Step Parenting and Blended Families
  • Single Parenting
  • Adoption
  • Foster Parenting
  • Domestic Violence
  • Death and Loss
  • Illness
  • Sexuality
  • Other Family Transitions
  • Grand-parenting and Multigenerational Families
  • Resilience

Additional Requirements

  • As well as scheduled instruction time, 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
Class Attendance and Participation 20%
Case Presentation (Group) 20%
Exploring Your Family Transitions 25%
Major Paper 35%
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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