School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Graduate Certificate in Family Systems Health Care

Program Description

The Graduate Certificate in Family Systems Health Care offers students the fundamental applications of systemic family therapy in health care settings, including the discipline of medical family therapy.

The Graduate Certificate in Family Systems Health Care is appropriate for professionals who have already earned or are earning a graduate degree in their professional field, family systems, or related fields and who would benefit from an academic study of the applications of systemic thinking and strength-based models of relational and family systems that can be applied in health care and medical settings.

The Graduate Certificate in Family Systems Health Care focuses on the relationships between psychosocial medicine and biomedicine in the treatment and prevention of illness and disease. This program prepares professionals to offer systemic thinking in a variety of settings, including private practices, hospitals, community clinics, primary care/specialists' offices, health care and managed care agencies and organizations.

Specific areas of study include adjustment patterns of patients and their families to chronic and acute illnesses; models of integration and collaboration among medical systems and other health care professionals; the role of the family health care provider in the continuum of services; the politics and economics of health care; understanding human systems in health care; and brief interventions and systemic assessments useful in the treatment and care of patients, their families, and interactions within the health care milieu.

Program Formats

The Graduate Certificate in Family Systems Health Care is offered in a distance learning format, and some courses may also be available in a residential format. This flexible format allows mid-career working adults, and those unable to attend on-campus programs, to study in a creative, rigorous, and structured fashion. Students enrolled in the online program will be invited to participate in Residential Institutes on the main campus two times per year as part of their practical experience and add to their collaboration with co-professionals. Residential students in the family therapy master's or doctoral degrees can take their practicum experiences to apply their clinical and relational skills at a health care internship site. A minimum of 200 clinical hours, along with approved supervision, are required for this certificate.

Students may enroll full or part time, taking three to nine credit hours per term. Students who attend full time can expect to complete the program in one year. Students who complete Graduate Certificate courses online may wish to attend the Residential Institutes to further add to their collaboration with co-professionals and further their studies.

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