Graduate Diploma in Family Therapy & Systemic Practice

Bower Training offers the Graduate Diploma in Family Therapy & Systemic Practice which provides students with a Nationally Recognised Qualification.

 When does this course commence?

Intakes have commenced and course starts February.

Enrolments open now!

This course is completed in 8 separate units, consisting of some online content, as well as some practical work and workshop attendance. The course is outlined in more detail below.

For enquiries, please call (08) 8221 6066 or email

We will arrange an interview to discuss the value of this course for you and for us to assess your suitability before lodging your application

Click here to apply

Unit 1:  Introduction to Key Concepts in Family Therapy

Students are introduced to the key theoretical concepts underpinning systemic family therapy through readings and assignments. This unit is conducted online providing maximum flexibility.

Online, 20 hours

Units 2 & 3:  Family Therapy & Systemic Practice; Professional Practice Workshops

This unit comprises of attendance at workshops presented at Bower Place which cover a range of topics addressing individuals, couples and families through systemic theoretical perspectives. Each workshop is conducted by Malcolm Robinson or Catherine Sanders and other practitioners from Bower Place including Pam Davis, Carol Manning and Lynette Rose. Michele Banks, who has extensive experience both in Australia and overseas presents as an occasional guest lecturer. The program for 2016 & 2017 offers 20 workshops, 10 of which are offered in the first year and the remainder in the Year 2 of the course.

20 x 3 hour Workshops over 2 years

30 hours/Unit (60 hours)

Workshops 2019 – 2pm-5pm

  • 8th Feb- Major Mental Health Difficulty & Family Therapy
  • 8th Mar- Co-Morbidity & Complex Case Management
  • 12th Apr- Working with Children and Schools
  • 3rd May-Working with Violence in the couple relationship
  • 7th Jun- Aggressive children & Adolescents
  • 5th Jul- Men as Clients
  • 2nd Aug- Drinking Alcohol & the family
  • 6th Sep- Eating disorders & Family Therapy
  • 27th Sep- Family Therapy & Disability
  • 1st Nov- Overview & Integration / Locating the Bower Place Method

Unit 4: Observation of Clinical Practice

Students are introduced to the Bower Place Complex Needs Clinic as observers where they begin to understand the practical application of theoretical concepts addressed in Unit 1. They are inducted into the processes and procedures of the clinic and team and actively participate in the pre and post session discussions which link theory to practice.

20 hours

Wednesday evenings between 5.00 p.m. – 7.30 p.m.

Unit 5:  Supervised Clinical Practice

Students’ progress from observers of clinical practice to active participants in the room with clients. The student is supported by experienced practitioners and is required to participate at a level commensurate with their level of skill and theoretical sophistication. Students receive feedback from teachers and peers. Students work with their peers participating in briefing and debriefing sessions, developing observational and analytic skills and designing intervention.

38 hours

Wednesday evenings between 5.00 p.m – 7.30 p.m.

Units 6, 7 & 8:  Supervised Clinical Practice

These units requires a more full and active participation in the Complex Needs Clinic. Students are expected to progress from the supported role taken in Unit 5 to actively managing their own cases, both in the room and outside. Teachers continue to maintain a strong supervisory role but expect greater levels of skill, initiative and participation. In some cases students at this level work as co-therapists with less experienced students.

3 x 38hrs (114 hours)

Wednesday evenings between 5.00 p.m. –  7.30 p.m.

What are the application requirements?

  • Applicants are required to have completed a Bachelor Degree or equivalent as defined by the Australian Qualification Framework
  • Currently working in the field/industry
  • Relevant vocational experience in counselling and/or family therapy

Applicants for Family Therapy Training programs who wish to become clinical members of AAFT must have met the requirements listed above. They are presumed to have knowledge and a skills base in the social and health sciences or relevant fields. Family Therapy courses build on these already acquired skills and extend into Family Therapy competencies.

Block Placements

Block Placements are an option if you are unable to attend Wednesday evenings. This would involve 4x35hr weeks per year for two years. Placements will occur during School & TAFE holidays only.