Assessment and Engagement in Family Therapy

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Monica McGoldrick is a master Family Therapist, who makes her moment to moment thinking and action accessible to both beginners in training and experienced therapists. Using humor, warmth, gentle confrontation, exquisite timing and connection, she weaves the complexities of gender, ethnicity, migration, social class, loss, step-families, adolescence and marriage in to a gorgeous tapestry.

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Many mental health clinicians are exposed to various theories of family therapy during their training, but there is much less information on what you actually do in session with families. How do you handle the initial phone call? Which family members do you see in the first session? How do you shift the attention away from the “identified patient” and onto the family system? How do you use the genogram to help gain insights about the historic family patterns that may be influencing the current family system?

In this compelling new video, Monica McGoldrick shows you how to do all this and more, as she engages in the early stages of treatment with a Latino family experiencing teenage self-harming and parental grief. You’ll see her conduct five sessions of family therapy with 15-year-old Maria, her immigrant parents Rosa and Roberto, and her young-adult half-sister Vanessa. With her characteristic warmth, McGoldrick seamlessly illustrates how to deepen rapport, manage risk, encourage communication, and turn clients’ unique talents into tailored homework assignments.


You’ll also watch McGoldrick deftly and strategically switch between seeing various combinations of family members. With Rosa and Roberto, McGoldrick uncovers their issues as a couple and makes use of their cultural values to suggest possible solutions. In individual work with Maria, she gains her trust and encourages youthful autonomy. With this warm but conflicted family, McGoldrick makes authentic connections while also using collaboration, direction, and transparency to reinforce their commitment to change.

This video is a valuable introduction to the nuts and bolts of assessment and engagement in family systems therapy, complete with live examples of its challenges and successes. Clinicians looking to sharpen their skills in family therapy, systems-based interventions or working with genograms will find it an invaluable resource.

Save on the complete 3-video series: Using Family Systems Theory in Psychotherapy