TeacherDr. T. Gorbacheva
SemesterFallDuration8 Weeks
FrequencyEvery three years
Credits5 ECTSWorkload125-150 Hours
Module formatIntensive
ApplicabilityThis Module will be useful in counseling and conflict resolution in the family setting. All practical and counseling modules will benefit from this teaching.
Course structureSee module and courses
Contact time35-45 HoursSelf-Study105-125 Hours
Participation requirementSee access to the program
Phase 15020%
Readings & Journal
Reading & Reflection paper
Phase 24050%
Phase 36030%
Research Paper
Content of the ModuleThis course is designed to introduce students to the traditional and current clinical thinking with regard to family stress and resilience. Students will develop their understanding of specific systemic contexts that contribute to increased stress in family and couple relationships. Traumatic events with emphasis on infidelity will be explored. Students will also develop their understanding of the factors that protect family, couple relationships, and promote resilience.
Learning Objectives

A. General Learning Objectives
This course seeks to:

  1. Acquire specific techniques for dealing with stress in family and couple therapy.
  2. Demonstrate case conceptualization of the context of family stress and resilience.
  3. Demonstrate effective treatment planning regarding family stress and crisis management.
  4. Discuss strengths and limitations of past and current stress theories and interventions for diverse families.
  5. Explore how society and culture impact family stress and resilience.
  6. Review etiological considerations of infidelity.
  7. Demonstrate effective treatment planning regarding infidelity.

B. Specific Behavioral Objectives
As a result of the activities and study in this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Diagnose and assess client behavioral and relational health problems systemically and contextually (AAMFT 2.3.1.)
  2. Screen and develop adequate safety plans for substance abuse, child and elder maltreatment, domestic violence, physical violence, suicide potential, and dangerousness to self and others (AAMFT 2.3.5)
  3. Elicit a relevant and accurate biopsychosocial history to understand the context of the clients’ problems (AAMFT 2.3.7)
  4. Identify clients’ strengths, resilience, and resources (AAMFT 2.3.8)
  5. Evaluate the accuracy and cultural relevance of behavioral health and relational diagnoses (AAMFT 2.4.3)
  6. Know which models, modalities, and/or techniques are most effective for presenting problems (AAMFT 3.1.1)
  7. Develop, with client input, measurable outcomes, treatment goals, treatment plans, and after-care plans with clients utilizing a systemic perspective (AAMFT 3.3.1)
Outline- Class Introduction &The Contextual Model
- Defining Stress Theory & Coping
- Family Issues: Boundary Ambiguity, Denial, & Family Values
- Social Pressures, Family Crisis, & Future Issues
- Marital Distress
- Families with Children
- Economic Stress
- Aging & Adaptation
- Mental Illness
- Death, Dying, & Grief
- Divorce
- Remarriage & Recoupling
- Violence, Abuse, & Neglect
- Immigration & Acculturation
- Development of treatment/counselling plan
ExaminationSee Evaluation
Core LiteratureBainbridge, D., Kruegen, P., Lohfeld, L., & Brazil, K. (2009). Stress processes in caring for an end-of-life family member: Application of a theoretical model. Aging and Mental Health, 13(4), 537-545.
Baucom, D. H., Gordon, K. C., Snyder, D. K., Atkins, D. C., & Christensen, A. (2006). Treating affair couples: Clinical considerations and initial findings. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy: An International Quarterly, 20 (4), 375-392.
Boss, P. (2002). Family stress management: A contextual approach. 2nd(ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Glass, S. P. (2003). Not just friends: Rebuilding trust and recovering your sanity after infidelity. New York, NY: Free Press.
Jill D. Duba, J. D., Kindsvatter, A., Lara, T. (2008). Treating infidelity: Considering narratives of attachment. The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families, 16(4), 293-299.
Hall, J. H, & Fincham, F. D. (2005). Relationship dissolution following infidelity. In M. Fine & J. Harvey (Eds)., The Handbook of Divorce and Romantic Relationship Dissolution. (pp. 1-34). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Kimmel, M. S. (2000). Gendered health. In Kimmel, M. S., The Gendered Society. 2nd(ed.). (pp. 261-263). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Lamanna, M. A. & Riedmann, A. (2011). Marriages, Families, & Relationships: Making Choices in a Diverse Society. Wadsworth publisher
Matsen, A. (2014). Ordinary Magic: Resilience in Development. New York: Guilford Press.
Price, S. J., Price, C. A., & McKenry, P. C. (Eds.). (2010). Families and change (4th Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Rothwell, D. W., & Chang-Keun, H. (2010). Exploring the relationship between assets and family stress among low-income families. Family Relations, 59, 396 – 407.
Walsh, F. (2003). Family resilience: A framework for clinical practice. Family Process, 42, 1-18.
Other information