Couple Therapy

Module titleCouple Therapy
Module codePYCM057
Academic year2018/9
Credits15
Module staff

Mrs Hannah Sherbersky (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

10

Number students taking module (anticipated)

12

Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Couple therapy is an integral aspect of contemporary family therapy practice. This module will enable you to understand the couple relationship both from within and outside of the family context, drawing on existing knowledge of gender and power from the first year. This module will enable you to understand the different theories pertaining to couple therapy and how to plan, implement and evaluate a piece of therapy in a variety of clinical settings. This module will help you explore the recent developments in evidence based couple therapy, in particular The Exeter Model - an evidenced based couple therapy programme in the treatment of depression.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to enable you to:

  • Develop an understanding of couple relationships within family and social contexts;
  • Understand the different models of couples therapy;
  • Understand the theories of how to work with couples within families;
  • Develop a context for thinking about how, when and why to work with couples and how to choose in which modality to work with couples;
  • Understand how culture, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation will impact on the couple dynamic.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to...

  • 1. Describe the role of couple therapy and couple relationships in contemporary society
  • 2. Outline and explore common couple interactional patterns
  • 3. Identify various models of couple therapy and apply a systemic model to clinical practice.
  • 4. Diagnose the challenges to couple relationships that present in clinical work
  • 5. Analyse recent innovations in evidence based practice within couple therapy and review and critique the use of specific manuals (i.e. The Exeter Model)

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to...

  • 6. Understand, critically evaluate and apply theoretical contributions
  • 7. Illustrate diverse couple relationships that span sexual orientation, disability and culture

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to...

  • 8. Select and organise material to produce a coherent written argument
  • 9. Monitor your own progress
  • 10. Link theory to personal and professional experience

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The module will run over term 1 of the second year and will be interspersed with reflective learning sessions (including supervision groups and systemic self-awareness groups). Reading seminars will concentrate upon set reading, while each day will primarily focus on a theme related to couple therapy. Teaching will be in groups and will have a high element of experiential learning. There will be individual tutorials, work groups and independent study-time. Encouraging self-enquiry and awareness, to enable you to keep a questioning and open stance to your clients and to remain aware of your own fallibility, accountability, and prejudices will form part of the teaching.

Indicative topics:

  • Personal/professional development
  • Partnerships: an overview of couple issues
  • Gender and power in couple relationships
  • Intimacy: attachment within couple relationships
  • Monogamy, affairs and sexuality
  • Violence
  • Separation and divorce
  • Illness and couple relationships
  • Evidence-based practice

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
70800

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching40Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching30Seminars/discussions within the whole group
Guided Independent Study20Reading and preparation for presentation
Guided Independent Study60Reading and preparation for case study

Assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Presentation of reading seminar paper10 minutes1-5Oral
Attend a series of systemic self-awareness sessions 15 hours9-10Oral given in tutorials

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
80020

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Case study describing an example of your own practice with a couple showing your ability to draw on and critically evaluate relevant theoretical contributions, to plan and implement a course of therapy, and to critically evaluate and identify areas for development within your practice (this assessment must be passed; failure in this assessment will lead to failure in the module and the programme)804000 wordsAllWritten
Short presentation of a specific aspect/model of systemic couple therapy, including power point presentation (this assessment must be passed; failure in this assessment will lead to failure in the module and the programme)2045 minutesAllWritten

Re-assessment

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Case studyEssayAllFour weeks from the date that feedback was provided
Short presentation of a specific aspect/model of systemic couple therapyShort presentation of a specific aspect/model of systemic couple therapyAllFour weeks from the date that feedback was provided

Re-assessment notes

Two assessments are required for this module. In all cases re-assessment will be the same as the original assessment. Where you have been referred/deferred for any form of assessment detailed above you will have the opportunity to retake within four weeks from the date that feedback was provided.

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of deferral, your re-assessment will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment and the overall module mark will not be capped.

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of referral (i.e. following initial failure in the assessment), the overall module mark will be capped at 50%.

If you fail re-assessments taken as a result of referral (i.e. following initial failure in the assessment), you will be failed in the module and as a consequence you will be failed in the programme and your registration as a student of the University will be terminated.

Resources

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Gottman, J. (1994) Why Marriages Succeed and Fail. New York: Simon and Schuster.
  • Jones, E. and Asen, E. (2000) Systemic Couple Therapy and Depression. London: Karnac.
  • Reibstein, J. (1997) Love Life. London: Fourth Estate.
  • Reibstein, J. (1997) ‘Rethinking marital love: Defining and strengthening key factors in successful partnerships.’ British Journal of Marital and Sexual Therapy,12, 3.
  • Reibstein, J. (2007) The Best Kept Secret. London: Bloomsbury.
  • Reibstein, J. and Richards, M. P. M. (1992) Sexual Arrangements: Marriage, Monogamy and Affairs. London: Heinemann.
  • Reibstein, J. and Sherbersky, H. (2012), Behavioural and empathic elements of systemic couple therapy: the Exeter Model and a case study of depression. Journal of Family Therapy, 34: 271–283

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE – http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=6019 (all resources will be made available on ELE, including additional material covered in the tutorials, the required readings, information about assessment and additional material (e.g., videos))

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Family therapy, evidence based practice, manuals

Credit value15
Module ECTS

7.5

Module pre-requisites

PYCM053 Key Concepts and Skills in Systemic/Family Therapy Practice and PYCM054 Systemic Clinical Practice: Part 1

Module co-requisites

PYCM055 Systemic Clinical Practice: Part 2

NQF level (module)

7

Available as distance learning?

No

Origin date

13/07/2017

Last revision date

13/07/2017