FAMILY/SYSTEMS ORIENTATION

My orientation and training is strongly situated in family systems models of practice.  For me, this means that I see problems and their solutions as being invited through patterns in our interactions with people, institutions, and societal/cultural messaging.  In our conversations we will work to bring forth what family therapists call circular interpersonal patterns between people or "IPs" as we call them at the Calgary Family Therapy Centre.  Our lens allows us to understand individual struggles as being created, sustained or challenged relationally.  In our conversations, you will notice that our focus on the space between a people (eg., between parent/child, partner/partner etc.) allows us to add this piece to the puzzle of what makes us “tick”.  In addition to personal ways of being and functioning, we explore how patterns in our relationships with others often invite problems and ways forward.  As we investigate patterns that get in our way we can begin to replace these problematic interactions with “antidote” patterns that heal or invite long term wellness. 

Much of this orientation stems from my involvement with the Calgary Family Therapy Centre where I continue to work with an amazing group of family therapists and interns.  For a more detailed description of our approach please see the book the staff at the program wrote together that encapsulates our way of seeing this work. 

Tomm, K., St. George, S., Wulff, D., & Strong, T.  (2014). Patterns in Interpersonal Interactions Inviting Relational Understandings for Therapeutic Change. New, NY: Routledge.

My contributing Chapter I wrote with Karl Tomm:

Couture, S., & Tomm, K. (2014). Chapter 3: Teaching and Learning Relational Practice. In K. Tomm, S. St. George, D. Wulff, & T. Strong (Eds.), Patterns in Interpersonal Interactions Inviting Relational Understandings for Therapeutic Change (pp. 57-81). New, NY: Routledge.

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