Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

Couple and Family Therapy Training and Supervision

Psychiatric residents, advanced graduate students and professionals who desire advanced training in Couple and Family Therapy have the opportunity to engage in both individual and group supervision at CCAF. The time commitment to training in CCAF depends on the professional background of the trainee and availability of supervisors.

Our faculty uses an integrative theoretical approach to supervision, which  incorporates the most recent findings in the research on couple and family therapy, relational neuroscience, and the impact of culture upon family life.

A variety of training modalities will be employed in clinical supervision at CCAF.

Live individual supervision entails the supervisor observing the therapist working with a couple or family via live video feed.  The therapist has a small microphone in his/her ear, so that the supervisor can support and coach the clinician.  This enables the clinician to receive immediate feedback and shift interventions in real time with the couple or family. It also significantly improves the consultation given, as feedback is not limited to the perspective of just one therapist.  

Group Supervision: Students will also be able to meet as a group in which a variety of additional training modalities will be used:

  • historical readings in Couple and Family Therapy 
  • readings pertinent to a systemic analysis of current cases
  • familiarity with current family therapy research and theory as published in academic journals such as  Family Process,  Journal of Marriage and Family Therapy, Journal of Marriage and the Family
  • training in the use of genograms for family assessment
  • self of the therapist work; understanding one’s own genogram

Trainees will be expected to offer working hypotheses of their cases for supervision, and can show videotapes of their work.  They will also be expected to evaluate the presence of serious mental illness, addiction, and domestic violence.  Training will foster a familiarity with appropriate family based interventions for each; case management and integration with community resources will also be addressed.

Advanced trainees will be expected to gain mastery in articulating power dynamics as they relate to issues of social location such as gender and sexuality, race, socioeconomic class, ethnicity, immigration and ability.  In this endeavor, a core focus is on understanding and appreciating the impact of culture on family dynamics.    

Trainees also have the opportunity to observe faculty interviews, conduct co-therapy with faculty, and assess couples and families in regularly scheduled assessment clinics.

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