Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

Graduate Courses

SOWK 612: Family Assessment and Intervention

Credit Hours



The course examines different theoretical approaches to assessment and intervention with families. The focus will be on interpersonal interaction patterns and on systems rather than on individual feelings and behaviors, although those aspects of working with family members are not excluded. Different models of family therapy will be described, applied to case problems, compared with other models and/or theories, and evaluated for their effectiveness. 

The primary models of family therapy will be communications/humanistic, structural, family of origin/multigenerational, solution-focused, and postmodern/narrative family therapy. The integration of the various theories and models as they apply to specific, complex family system problems will be explored and discussed. Theoretical constructs, strategies for change, and the application of social work assessment and intervention with families will be examined for each approach. Students will learn to assess the influence of the clinicians’ and of the clients’ culture (which includes, race/color, ethnicity, social class, age, religion sexual orientation and gender, etc.) on family therapy. In addition, the implications for working with families at risk, trauma in families, and non‑traditional family structures will be discussed in this course. Special issues impacting family processes when assessing and treating families (i.e. intrafamilial violence, substance abuse, mental illness, divorce/separation, mental and physical disability, etc.) will be explored.