Study Family Counselling by Distance Learning

  • Understand family dynamics and problems that typically arise in families.

  • Learn techniques to conduct therapy sessions for families.

  • Assist with resolving problems in families.

  • Help families to build positive relationships.

  • Learn how to build a positive relationship with your client.

  • Improve your job and careers prospects in the field of counselling and caring.

  • Or, study for your own personal interest to learn more about helping families in distress.

Study Family Counselling by Distance Learning

  • Learn to understand families and problems that typically arise in families.

  • Learn techniques used to conduct therapy sessions for families, to assist with resolving problems


Example of an approach to family counselling

The family systems approach to counselling holds that clients are best understood in terms of their relationships with other family members rather than as individuals. Therefore, client problems are also viewed as emanating from within the family system. A client’s difficulties may:

  • Play an important role within the family

  • Be the manifestation of poor family practices passed down from previous generations

  • Be symptomatic of ineffective family systems.


Course Structure and Lesson Content

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Nature & Scope of Families

    • Different types of families

    • Traditional Family Structures

    • Family Systems

    • Cultural variations

    • Family Lifecycles

  2. Family Dynamics

    • Crises

    • Changing cultures (immigrant families)

    • Evolving Structures (Religion, new siblings, departing siblings, changing parents, incoming grandparents)

    • Breakdowns

    • Merging two families

    • Abuse

    • Violence

    • Death

    • Illness

    • Changing location (losing friends etc)

    • Changing income (loss of job etc)

    • Disintegration & Reintegration

  3. History

    • How are dynamics different & similar today to in the past.

    • How did we cope with family problems in the past in different places, cultures etc.

    • What can we learn from this? How can we draw strength from knowing all this is not new?

  4. Identifying Problems

    • Patterns

    • Critical incidents

    • Long standing incidents

    • Common problems for families

    • Common problems for couples

  5. Support Structures

    • What support services might be accessed

    • Extended family

    • Community services

    • Social networks

    • Religion

    • Types of counselling, -individual, Group Work etc (incl. problems with Group work) etc.

  6. Approaches to Family Therapy I

  7. Approaches to Family Therapy II

  8. Conducting Initial Interviews/Sessions

  9. Considering Solutions

    • Determining Roles

    • Establishing Rules

  10. Case Study

    • Consider a situation establish & consider alternative strategies & select a strategy.


Duration: 100 hours


Course Aims

  • Describe family diversity in terms of a variety of factors including structure and function.

  • Explain the interactions and motivations at work in different families.

  • Describe how we have dealt with family problems in the past; then evaluate the results of these past strategies, and learn from those results.

  • Determine precisely what problems exist in a family; and evaluate the relative significance of those different problems.

  • Identify and compare support options that may be available to a family with problems.

  • Understand what is meant by a family systems approach to counselling and describe different theoretical perspectives.

  • Describe further theoretical approaches to family therapy and understand the usefulness of an integrated approach.

  • Plan the initial interview for a couple or for a family, in need of counselling.

  • Identify optional approaches for counselling a family or couple with problems.

  • Plan a program of counselling and if relevant, other strategies, to address a family or couple in crisis.


What Does A Family Counsellor Do?

Typically, the counsellor who is dealing with an individual will focus on the cognitive, emotional and behavioural problems of their client from the client’s perspective in order to understand, and perhaps diagnose, the problem. They will then work with the client so as to find ways to help the client to resolve those issues.

Given that the family systems counsellor is more interested in the client’s relationships and roles within the family, the focus of family therapy is to understand the client’s experiences and perspectives within this system and to try to change the way the client experiences the family system. The counsellor will still consider the client as an individual but will look to the interactions and relationships of the client within the family system, and perhaps community, to see how the client is influenced by, and indeed influences, the system. It is in this context that the counsellor will strive for interventions which lead to change.

It follows then that the family systems counsellor will address the client’s cognitive, emotional and behavioural problems but consider them in the way in which they affect the family system in terms of how they affect other family members. An individual’s functioning might be reflective of the whole family’s functioning. Whilst family therapists acknowledge that not all problems are indicative of problems within the broader family, the individual client’s problems will have an impact upon the family system because the family will have to accommodate those problems.

By bringing about change in a family system, it is considered that this will necessarily bring about change in the individual members of that system. One of the difficulties with the family systems approach is that families are often reluctant to change their perspectives for fear of the unknown. As such, bringing about change can be a long process. Strategies used may have to be more directional and educational. However, families which benefit from this approach may be better able to resolve problems which arise in the future.

As with individual therapy, there are many approaches to family therapy. Whilst some counsellors prefer a particular approach, it may be prudent to use techniques from a variety of approaches as and when the need arises. In some cases, you may find one particular approach is more useful.


Improve Your Counselling Skills

Study Family Counselling for personal or professional reasons. This course will provide you with a detailed insight into families and the distress they may experience. You can improve your counselling skills to help the person as a counsellor or carer or as someone who is interested in supporting families.

This course is suitable for -

  • Counsellors who may wish to expand their training.
  • CPD/Professional Development.
  • Carers.
  • Support Workers.
  • Foster Carers.
  • Parents.
  • Children and Family Workers.
  • Teachers.
  • Teaching Assistants.
  • Educational Staff.

And anyone interested in families and their well-being.


If that sounds like you, why not enrol today and get started?

If you have any questions or want to know, you can contact us by -

Phone (International) +61 7 5562 1088 or (in Australia) 07 5562 1088, or

Email us at [email protected], or connect with our specialist tutors, use our


More from ACS

Family & Relationships Counselling

The Family and Relationships Counselling ebook is an informative and helpful read for anyone who wants to improve their relationships or even help other people improve or nurture their own relationships.