Gregory Bateson offered “a difference that makes a difference” as a definition of information, asserting an epistemology that is still greatly under-appreciated by many in the behavioral sciences, and especially by psychology. This definition carries with it implications for relationships and systems as the most appropriate context for studying people, if not all living things. 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. In this course, constructs maintained by general systems theory, cybernetics, information and communication theory, complexity theory, and chaos theory are applied to an understanding of our patients. This course consists of a PowerPoint video presentation with an audio narrative by Dr. Gerson. An online multiple choice test and Certificate of Completion follow completion of the course for 2 CE credits. Intermediate level. $29.
As a result of this learning activity, the participant will be able to:
Modern systems thinking 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 and certainly by psychology.
Modern 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 thinking for psychotherapy, constructs maintained by general systems theory, cybernetics, information and communication theory, complexity theory, and chaos theory are discussed, as they may be applied to an understanding of clinical work and our patients.
Source for ambiguous image: By Brocken Inaglory (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons.
The 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 a core faculty member of the Graduate School of Psychology at California Lutheran University, and 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.
The Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
There is no commercial support or other potential conflicts of interest for this program, presentation, or instructor.
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Our programs and teaching methods are supported by current, empirically-based scientific literature, and are designed to provide continuing education that is relevant to psychological practice, education, and/or research, so that psychologists may maintain and expand their ability to serve the public and contribute to the profession.
Our courses are designed for postdoctoral-level psychologists; this course is an intermediate-level course. All mental health professionals, educators, and researchers have a variety of educational backgrounds and needs—if you have any questions about whether this course could benefit you and/or would be appropriate for your level of training, please do not hesitate to contact us. You may contact the Director directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
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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 level. $29.