Competency-Based Training in Couple and Family Therapy

CE Credit: 2

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Length: 110 minutes

Session offered by Division 43. The current trend in professional psychology education calls for trainees to be evaluated on the basis of core functional and foundational competencies (Fouad et al., 2009). Despite calls for competency-based training in couple and family psychology (CFP; e.g., Kaslow, Celano & Stanton, 2009) and couple and family therapy (Celano, Smith & Kaslow, 2010), only recently has there been attention to the knowledge-, skill-, and attitude-base that a psychologist must possess in order to achieve specialty status as a CFP (Stanton & Welsh, 2011). As the field of CFP matures and more trainees move towards specialization in professional psychology, training models are needed that can facilitate competencies at the specialty level. This presentation presents training techniques and behavioral indicators designed to develop skills in three of the competences in CFP – case conceptualization, intervention, and interpersonal interaction. The Case Conceptualization competency in CFP is the framework for contextualizing assessment, diagnosis, problem description, case formulation, and treatment planning (Stanton & Welsh, 2011). The Intervention competency in CFP requires knowledge about interventions and evidence-based practice that is consistent with the specialty epistemology and science, as well as skills in the selection, provision, and evaluation of interventions, and attitudes that support the intervention competency (Stanton & Welsh, 2011). Finally, the Interpersonal Interaction competency entails the ability to establish and maintain an effective therapeutic relationship with individuals, couples, families, and larger social systems (Stanton & Welsh, 2010). The purpose of this symposium is to present training models and activities designed to facilitate skill acquisition in the above competencies in the specialty practice of CFP. Three speakers will provide a brief description of their training models, and then Mark Stanton (Discussant) will follow with remarks related to how the models advance or promote competency-based training in CFP for trainees at different levels and in diverse practice settings.

Learning Objective 1
Describe and implement the four session model used in conceptualizing couples'' problems.

Learning Objective 2
Describe and use the System for Observing Family Therapy Alliance model and the Objective Structured Clinical Examination model for building a strong therapeutic alliance and for improving couple and family therapy interventions.

Learning Objective 3

Anthony L. Chambers, PhD; Susana Blanco, PhD; Marianne Celano, PhD

Supplementary Materials

  • Blanco References
  • Blanco Friedlander SOFTA
  • Celano OSCE
  • Celano References
  • Chambers-Assessing Couples-Four Session Evaluation
  • Chambers References