Week 1: Family Theories
Understanding family systems and the complex interactions among the members is extremely valuable to a clinical social worker. Throughout clinical practice, the social worker works with families in some capacity. Family theories help guide the social worker in practice. Many family theories exist from which to choose, and most of them complement one another. This week, you are introduced to major contributors to the field of family theory. You will evaluate family theories, and you will apply concepts and models to social work practice.
Note: In this course, students in your peer group will create videos and/or PowerPoint presentations, and you will be asked to review them. The goal is to make these materials accessible to everyone, regardless of disability or language of origin. If you are unable to access these materials, it is your responsibility to request appropriate accommodations from the Office of Disability Services at your University within the first week of the course start date.
Apply family theory concepts/models to social work practice
Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.
Walden University. (n.d.). MSW interactive home page [Multimedia]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu
Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. (Eds.). (2013). Sessions case histories. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing.
“The Petrakis Family” (pp. 20–22)
Banmen, J. (2002). The Satir model: Yesterday and today. Contemporary Family Therapy, 24(1), 7–22.
Brown, J. (1999). Bowen family systems theory and practice: Illustration and critique. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 20(2), 94–103. Retrieved from http://www.thefsi.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Bowen-Family-Systems-Theory-and-Practice_Illustration-and-Critique.pdf
Vetere, A. (2001). Structural family therapy. Child & Adolescent Mental Health, 6(3), 133–139.
Bowen Center for the Study of the Family: Georgetown Family Center. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.thebowencenter.org
Document: Group Wiki Project Guidelines (PDF)
Document: Wiki Instructions (PDF)
Laureate Education. (Producer). (2013e). Petrakis (Episode 6) [Video file]. In Sessions. Baltimore, MD: Producer. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 2 minutes.
Describe your experience in working with groups and families, whether as a participant, leader, and/or observer (e.g., agency committee, interdisciplinary team, book club, church group).
Describe what you are hoping to gain from this course.
If you are comfortable doing so, relate a fun fact about yourself, such as hobbies, personal interests, or experiences.
Discussion 2: Family Theory
Murray Bowen is one of the most respected family theorists in the field of family therapy. Bowen views the family unit as complex and believes it is important to understand the interactions among the members in order to solve problems. Satir and Minuchin also advanced family therapy with their concepts and models. As a clinical social worker, using these models (along with having an ecological perspective) can be very effective in helping clients.
For this Discussion, review the “Petrakis Family” case history and video session.
By Day 4
Post (using two concepts of Bowen’s family theory) a discussion and analysis of the events that occurred after Alec moved in with his grandmother up until Helen went to the hospital. If you used the concepts of structural family therapy, how would your analysis of the situation be different? Which family theory did you find to be most helpful in your analysis? Finally, indicate whether Satir’s or Minuchin’s model is the more strength-based model. Why?
By Day 6
Respond to two colleagues who chose a different Bowenian concept in analyzing the events, and offer an alternative viewpoint.