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Course Details
Price $29.00

Modern Systems Thinking for Psychotherapy (2 CE Credits)

Systems thinking differs from rationalism and empiricism in that it requires us to think in terms of patterns and relationships, rather than in terms of “truths” or things “out there” to be discovered, diagnosed, medicated, or removed.


Course Objectives

This intermediate/advanced level course on modern systems theory for psychotherapy is designed to help the participant: 

  • examine several systems models from complexity and chaos theory as they may apply to the larger framework of a systems epistemology, and
  • apply systems principles to the behavioral sciences and psychotherapy.


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Product Description

Modern Systems Theory for Psychotherapy

Modern Systems Theory for Psychotherapy-Ambiguous FigureThis course on modern systems theory for psychotherapy focuses on relationships and systems as the context for studying people.  This epistemology is still greatly underappreciated by many in the behavioral sciences. 

Systems thinking differs from rationalism and empiricism in that it requires us to think in terms of patterns and relationships, rather than in terms of things “out there” to be diagnosed, mediated, or removed.  Unlike systems theory,  rationalism and empiricism presuppose that there is a truth “out there” to be discovered, that truth is uncovered by sound linear logic and evidence, and that truth is a constant and an absolute.  Consider, for example, the familiar and often unchallenged sequence: if A > B, and B > C, then A > C.  But what if A is rock, B is paper, and C is scissors?  Now, their relationships cannot be understood in a linear fashion.  As in human relationships, it may be that A > B, B > C, and C > A.

In this intriguing course on modern systems theory for psychotherapy, constructs maintained by general systems theory, cybernetics, information and communication theory, complexity theory, and chaos theory are applied to an understanding of our patients.

Source for ambiguous image: By Brocken Inaglory (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons. 



Michael J. Gerson, PhDThe Instructor is Dr. Michael J. Gerson, an experienced Marriage and Family Therapist, Psychologist, and Psychoanalyst in California.  He has been training clinicians for over 30 years, in his private practice, in community counseling centers, as a professor of Psychology in graduate programs, and as a presenter at professional meetings for clinicians.  He is renowned for his depth of understanding of the therapeutic process and for his keen ability to translate complex concepts into terms that are clear and that can be applied to the clinician’s own work.

Dr. Gerson has served as a member of the National Advisory Panel and California Advocacy Committee and as the Chair of the Legislative Advisory Board for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT).  He has presented on modern systems theory for psychotherapists at the annual convention of the AAMFT.


Course Format

The course consists of a video presentation of PowerPoint slides accompanied by an audio narrative by Dr. Gerson.  An online multiple choice test and Certificate of Completion follow the course for 2 CE credits.  Intermediate/advanced level.  $29.

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