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my clinical training and private-practice experience since 1979,
this Web series for clinicians proposes a
(framework) of effective service to
of the model proposes
suggests seven modular in-service topics for clinicians, program
directors, admin-istrators, coaches, and consultants who serve families. Raising
professional awareness of these topics can significantly improve
clinical outcomes with typical client families and individuals. The topics
build on each other, so the order matters. They are...
premises underlying this proposed educational
(a) perspective and (b) links to tutorial information on each topic, and...
summary comments on how the topics relate to effective clinical
interventions with typical family clients.
you're not yet familiar with all these topics, I suggest you follow all the
links above before designing an educational program from the links below.
life-coaches, and family-life educators aim to help clients "function" better - i.e. to learn how to
consistently identify and fill their personal and family needs more
effectively. Clinical professions and programs exist because our
wounded, ignorant society
doesn't (a) screen for unqualified parents or (b) teach parents how to
nurture their family
members effectively and prepare their kids to do the same.
These seven topics are
interactive, rather than stand-alone concepts. For example,
healthy three-level grieving is strongly affected by family-members'
respective personality subselves + their ability to communicate
effectively + their awareness of primary human needs and family
nurturance-levels. Implication: for best long-term results, focus on
each topic in the context of how all seven affect intra-personal and
interpersonal family systems together.
Premise - Clinical outcomes can be significantly improved if clinicians are able to
assess clients' (a) self-awareness and
(b) knowledge of the topics above,
illustrate how appropriate topics relate to the clients' presenting (surface)
motivate clients to (a) learn and apply the topics in their
situation, and (b) note the results.
do this, clinicians need to be (a) conceptually knowledgeable of the
topics, (b) experienced at using them in their own lives, and (c) aware of
the results. These are part of the requisites for effective professional service. To gauge your current
knowledge of these topics, try these
when you're not distracted. As you do, imagine typical client-adult
reactions to doing the quizzes.
This nonprofit divorce-prevention site offers many practical articles on these seven
topics, which can be used to help design an effective self-education and/or
Realities - the design and delivery of effective professional
training will acknowledge that individual clinicians (including supervisors
and case managers) will differ on (a) personalities and gender-priorities,
(b) preferred modalities and models of client assessment and
intervention; and (c) different levels of clinical experience. In group
service-delivery settings (agencies, departments, program staffs),
in-service training will be shaped by existing organizational policies that
were probably not designed to include some or all these seven topics in
serving client families.
Where true, the person/s responsible for designing and implementing an
in-service program must (a) ignore existing policies or (b) persuade
policy-makers to revise organizational guidelines to include the topics. Implication: often, the second step in facilitating effective in-service
programs is (a) informing policy-makers that the topics are well-grounded,
relevant, essential, and compatible with "standards of effective clinical
service." The first step is becoming personally convinced of these things.
Reality check: if you work in a group setting, (a) who makes your
service-delivery standards and policies, and (b) how would they react to
educating professional staff on each of these seven topics? If individual
policy-makers and administrators have clinical training and experience, it's
likely they were never trained in these topics - specially the concept of
non-pathological multi-subself personalities.
Increasing clinicians' knowledge and awareness of these seven topics can be
individual self-improvement, plus semi-structured discussion groups;
informal or formal (structured) classes and discussions (seminars); and/or...
peer case-reviews including focus on these
In-service sessions may be led by qualified co-workers and/or qualified
outside consultants. "Qualified" means the leader clearly has (a)
and (b) significant professional experience using the topics above in
direct client contacts.
The usefulness of this in-service training can be amplified if supervisors
and case and program managers intentionally plan and
monitor individual cases for effective use of these topics in client assessments and
Resources - each modality may include: (a) topical handouts (e.g. reprints of articles
here or equivalent); (b) selected reading lists, and (c) reality-checks to
help clinicians demonstrate their conceptual knowledge.
In-service sessions can be required or voluntary, and may
stand alone or be blended into a
larger professional educational program. Content resources on these topics
can include printed and
on-line articles, e-booklets, and/or
slide-presentations. Also note this
8-Part self-improvement course for lay people which you
may tailor to suit your situation.
programs on these topics can target...
client-family adults and groups of such
non-clinical human-service providers like mediators,
family law professionals, family-life educators, and social case workers; and/or to...
the general public in the community.
Doing this is a high-return way
of preventing family stress
Before we focus on in-service options on each of the seven topics, pause and
reflect - why are you reading this article? What do you need?
In-service Parts for Each Topic
following acknowledges that there are always other relevant topics to
include in any comprehensive in-service program, and tries to make these
seven topics modular, so they can "fit in" with an overall in-service
goals of in-service training are the same for each topic and all of
them together: to...
enable clinicians to clearly understand
these topics as a mosaic of interactive
motivate clinicians to validate and apply
these concepts in their own lives and families;
evaluate the practical benefits of melding
these concepts into existing and future client-treatment plans and
motivate clinicians to tailor and apply
these concepts in their work with client families, and perhaps the local
invite clinicians to evaluate the pros and
cons of alerting professional colleagues and organizations to the
validity and utility of these topics.
Can you think of other goals of in-service
programs on these topics?
In-service Parts by Topic
Part 1) Human needs and
proposes that all human behavior is
motivated by the ceaseless urge to reduce current physical, mental,
emotional, and spiritual discomforts - i.e. "needs." A corollary is
that all individual and relationship "problems" are unfilled needs in one or
more people, who often can't identify their needs, and/or don't know how to
fill them effectively.
model further proposes that normal
adults and children are unaware of the
that cause their surface or secondary problems. Where true, this
means they will try to reduce the local surface stressors, and the primary
needs go unfilled. - so the symptoms often return in some form.
premise here is that the priority (vs. the nature) of adults' and
kids' primary needs vary with time and circumstances, as the family evolves
through it's natural developmental path.
like respect, security, freedom, and belonging are constant.
the model proposes that
when the adult leaders are consistently able to...
identify their members' current primary
devise and implement effective strategies to
fill key needs (i.e. to nurture), and to...
teach minor children how to do this on their
Family leaders' ability to do this determines where their family ranks on
the continuum between "very low nurturance" and "very high nurturance."
This model calls this ranking a
family's "nurturance level." It is a primary client-assessment
factor. Final premise here are: (a) that high-nurturance family systems
display observable traits like these, and (b)
low-nurturance family trees have many of these
These premises suggest that
effective clinical work with any clients will...
learn to assess client-family's (a)
nurturance levels and (b) family-tree characteristics;
identify the primary needs causing clients'
educate clients on (a) primary and secondary
needs and (b) how to
the former; and...
facilitate effective client strategies to
fill their primary needs - i.e. help client adults to (a) be aware of
and (b) permanently raise their family's nurturance level.
Corollary - for effective outcomes with client-families including minor
and grown kids and grandkids,
clinicians need to know and understand kids' (a) normal
developmental needs, and (b) any special
adjust-ment needs from family
changes, like parental death, desertion, separation, divorce, and/or
parental re/marriage. (The "/" notes that it may be a stepparent's first
union.). Then they need to assess family adults' (a) awareness of these
needs, and (b) their ability to fill them - and their own needs - well in
calm and stressful situations.
and reflect: what percentage of your co-workers would agree with these
premises? Do you agree with them?
2) Human personality development, structure,
and functioning - internal family systems
3) The silent [wounds + ignorance]
is steadily degrading our families and culture;
4) Effective communication and
5) Attachment, loss, and healthy three-level
6) Human relationships and
7) Effective clinical work with typical
+ + +