Practice to make a difference.
Assessing Family Dynamics

Assessing Family Dynamics

Date: 4th February 2020

Facilitator: Peter Marrington


Workshop Duration:

1 Day (Tuesday 4 February 2020)

Workshop Time:

9:30 – 16:00


Fee: $160.00 including morning tea, all associated handouts and a certificate of attendance.


Workshop Venue:

Lighthouse Resources Upstairs Training Room

Kyabra Street RUNCORN, QLD. 4113

Target Group:

For people who:

  • Provide counselling or work with children and families.
  • Assist parents (or others) to understand and manage children’s behaviour.
  • Assess family functioning, for example: court reporting, foster placement.
  • Provide education – for parents and health/welfare/education professionals

Workshop Outline:

Structural family therapy, developed in the 1970s, has become one of the most widely used models in the field.  The theory is popular because it is simple, inclusive and practical. The basic structural concepts - hierarchy, boundaries and subsystems – are easily understood and applied.  They take into account the individual, family and social context, and provide a clear organising framework for understanding and treating families.

This workshop provides a theoretical framework for understanding family functioning, how behaviour problems develop in children, and how children’s emotional development can be facilitated.

Participants have the opportunity to apply the theoretical concepts to assessment, formulating interventions, and other applications.

Workshop Outcomes:

At the completion of the workshop, participants will have:

  • Knowledge of a theoretical framework for understanding family functioning based on Structural Family Therapy and Developmental Theory.
  • An understanding of the following concepts, and how they relate to functional and dysfunctional families: family system, subsystems, circular causality, sequence, homeostasis, hierarchy, boundaries, enmeshment, disengagement, coalition, triangulation, and detouring.
  • An awareness of how these theoretical concepts are applied in family assessment, therapy, and other applications.


 Some of the great feedback we received about this event:

  • I really enjoyed revisiting the theoretical frameworks and hearing from an experienced therapist who has been utilising it.
  • The framework for assessing family dynamics - the diagrams was really useful.
  • Putting the theory to what I already do in practice and learning that numerous evidence based theories have a baseline that is “drawing a distinction”
  • I enjoyed learning about the boundaries within the family, clear, rigid, diffuse and learning about resistance as normal, predicting it and the systems-hierarchy.
  • I will definitely incorporate functional family concepts into conversation with parents.
  • Very knowledgeable trainer – thank you Peter for bringing your wealth of experience to the group. 
  • The role play was good to support the content and it was good when the group had input and diverse experiences can be used as teaching.
  • Very knowledgeable presenter and good case study examples provided.
  • The presenter was very engaging and I enjoyed his use of real world situations.
  • The pace of the information and delivery allowed time to reflect and consolidation.

Facilitator Bio:

Peter Marrington is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with a special interest in trauma counselling, currently working in private practice in Brisbane.

Peter has more than 35 years experience working as a child and family therapist in government and not-for-profit organisations, and in private practice: providing counselling to children and adults, consultancy and training to health and welfare professionals, managing clinical services, and in the research and development of treatment programs for abused children and adults.

Workshop Cancellations:


By completing and submitting this registration form, you are indicating your intention to attend this workshop and you will be liable for the full fee as indicated.

If you are unable to attend the workshop for any reason, fail to attend without notice or cancel your registration payment will not be refunded.

Workshops occasionally need to be cancelled due to insufficient participant numbers. Should this be necessary, we will notify you as soon as possible and a full refund will be given.