Our first experiences of forming and maintaining relationships happen within the family context. These early attachment patterns become shaping influences on how a person continues to approach other people, engage with change and learning in life, and form adult relationships. The influence of family can be both a strength to harness and a source of constraining patterns for a person – and every individual has a family background and context. Whether working with one person or the whole family, shifting perspective to consider the flow of stress as well as resilience through relationships can help expand possibilities for change. This workshop will provide information to help understand common dynamics at play within family systems. Participants will learn strategies for engaging and working with more than one person at a time and also how to match support to the level of need in a family system. This is a highly interactive and experiential workshop where participants will practice applying principles and strategies relevant for their own setting.

About This Workshop

Workshop Outline

  • Overview of Family Systems
  • Understanding Process and Patterns in Relationships
  • Who is Your Client? A Relational View
  • Health in Family Systems
  • The Positive Power of Attachment
  • The Cultural Context in Systems
  • The Structure of Boundaries
  • Spoken and Unspoken Rules
  • Strengths and Resilience in Family Patterns
  • Skills for Engaging Family Systems
  • Applying Systemic Concepts with Individuals
  • Levels of Health and Need in Families
  • Skills for Helping Change Happen in Systems

Method of Delivery

Lecture, personal reflection, video, case study review, experiential practice and small group discussion.

Target Audience

This is an introductory-intermediate level workshop intended for counsellors, family support workers, mental health professionals, community workers and those supporting children and youth.