Introduction to Family Therapy

This workshop is for participants who are new to family therapy.  It covers some of the foundational concepts and practice of psychotherapy from a family systems perspective and explores the clinical implications of shifting from an individual to a family-relational framework.  Topics include: the evolution of family therapy; the “jump” from intrapsychic to systems thinking; the contextualization of the presenting problem (intergenerational; social, cultural, and political); the family lifecycle; tracking cycle of interactions; asking relational questions; forming systemic hypothesis; the use of decision dialogues; family premises, beliefs and meanings; and the collaborative stance of the family therapist.

The workshop’s interactive format will provide opportunities for active participation.  Content will be explored through case presentation with videos; small and large group discussions; and exercises to practice the application of family therapy concepts and techniques.

Learning Objectives:

  • The “jump” from intrapsychic to systems thinking the contextualization of the presenting problem (intergenerational, social, cultural, and political)
  • Tracking cycle of interactions, asking relational questions, forming systemic hypothesis and the use of decision dialogues
  • The importance of a critically conscious frame, the value of exploring systems of oppression and the multiple selves of the therapist


Molly Bobek, LCSW, is a graduate of the externship and faculty member. She works at the National Center on Addiction and Substance abuse as the Project Director of a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded study aiming to observe, identify, and describe the core family therapy techniques for adolescent substance abuse across three different evidence-based family therapy models. Molly works with individuals, couples, and families as a therapist at the Center for Optimal Living and in private practice in Manhattan.

Sarah Berland, LCSW, is a graduate of the Ackerman Institute, where she currently serves as a member of the Teaching Faculty and Director of The JUSTICE Project. Sarah attended the Smith College School for Social Work and maintains a private practice in Manhattan.


Date / Time:

Friday, June 28, 2019
10:00 am–4:00 pm

Continuing Education:

5 CE Contact Hours

Register Online:

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