Wednesday, June 14, 2017
9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.


University Center Ballroom
1 South Avenue
Garden City, NY 11530

Supervising Individual, Couple and Family Therapy within a Systemic/Relational Context

Thirteenth International Interdisciplinary Conference on Clinical Supervision Pre-Conference Workshop

With Thorana S. Nelson, Ph.D.

6 CEs

Work with couples and families can present complications for even the most experienced relational therapists and their supervisors. Couples and families commonly presenting with issues such as domestic violence, infidelities, secrets, traumas, and boundaries struggle within the human condition that elicits strong emotional responses rooted in our own personal value systems of beliefs. These issues arise within a context of political, cultural, social, religious, and gender-based roles that impact upon the couple and family systems and may not necessarily reflect the broader societal norms.

As therapists, helping couples and families navigate the complexity of clinical and ethical dilemmas that arise in this work can present personal and professional challenges. Couple and family counseling can be made even more challenging in the moments when, as a supervisor, you find yourself equally stymied as to how to help your supervisee proceed.

The field of couple and family therapy views therapy and supervision within a context of multiple systems that sometimes collide or collude in their interactions with each other. Supervision that adopts a relational, systemic view of therapy and itself can be helpful in negotiating the multiple layers of people and their interactions with each other, including the supervisor and supervisee. Systemic/relational supervision can therefore offer a broad contextual picture of the multiple systems of interactions, beliefs, and cultural institutions that impact upon the client, therapy, and supervision systems from which supervisors and trainees develop interventions.

Simultaneously, it is also the role of the supervisor to foster the professional growth of the supervisee. Interventions with the supervisee therefore occur within the framework of decision-making as to where to focus energy and interventions to help therapists evolve in their work with couples and families. It can be an opportunity for personal and professional growth of the supervisor as well.

In this workshop, you will be presented with and develop your own ideas about how relational practice and the supervisory context can help therapists with challenges of conflict, infidelity, secrets, and trauma, including managing one’s own triggers in supervision. We will investigate and use ideas related to systemic and interpersonal relationships and their effects in therapy and supervision for individuals, couples, families, and broader systems.

This workshop includes demonstration and experiential activities.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain essential elements of relational supervision
  • Discuss situations that are common triggers for therapists and supervisors
  • Enhance their supervisory skills for supervising therapists with challenging couple and family situations
  • Analyze successful interventions and practices for supervision with therapists who work with couples and families
  • Describe cultural and sociodemographic variables that impact upon therapists and supervisors.
  • Deconstruct gender roles in couple and family counseling.

Participants are invited to bring de-identified case material for consultation with the presenter and the group.

 This workshop is part of the 13th International Interdisciplinary Conference on Clinical Supervision.

About the Speaker

Thorana S. Nelson, Ph.D.

Thorana S. Nelson, Ph.D.

Thorana S. Nelson, Ph.D., emerita professor of family therapy at Utah State University, graduated with a B.S. in psychology from the University of Houston and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Counselor Education with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from the University of Iowa. She moved to Utah to help develop the reactivated master’s program in marriage and family therapy at Utah State University in the department of Family, Consumer, and Human Development. She was director of that program from 1992 until 2005. Dr. Nelson is the author of articles on training marriage and family therapy and is the co-editor and author of several books, including 101 Interventions in Family Therapy and 101 More Interventions in Family Therapy with Terry S. Trepper, Ph.D., and more recently, Education and Training in Solution-focused Brief Therapy, Handbook of Solution Focused Brief Therapy: Clinical Applications (with Frank Thomas), and Solution-Focused Brief Practice with Long-Term Clients in Mental Health Services : “I Am More Than My Label” (with Joel Simon). She and her husband live in Mendon, Utah and have two children, two grandchildren, and two cats.

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This program has been approved for the following continuing education credits:

  • Social Workers
  • LMHC
  • LMFT
  • CASAC Renewal
  • Psychology
  • LCAT

Successful completion for the award of approved continuing education credits requires attendance at entire training/workshop and submission of a completed evaluation form.

» See full credentialing information and CEUs

New York State Office of the Professions (NYSED) regulations require that participants must be present for the entire approved educational activity in order to receive a certificate for continuing education hours. There is no accommodation in the State regulations for late arrival, late return from lunch or breaks, or early departure. According to NYSED, in order to award social work CEs; “When you offer a multi-day or multi-part course/educational activity, the learner must complete all parts in order to earn the certificate for contact hours, in the same way that a student must complete a semester-long course to receive college credit. You may not award partial credit for a program, even a one-day program, if the learner does not complete all requirements at that time.”

Cancellation Policy

Unfortunately, we cannot provide refunds for cancellations made seven working days or fewer before the event for any reason—or for no-shows.  We can provide credit towards a future workshop up to 24 hours before the event. After that, no credit will be issued.

Accessibility Statement

The Student Access Office ensures equal access to all of Adelphi University’s programs, services and facilities for students with documented needs. Through assistance, advocacy and reasonable accommodations, the office provides an accessible and supportive campus environment.

The Student Access Office provides cost-free assistance and services that are tailored to meet the needs of individuals based on their specific, appropriately documented needs, while preserving Adelphi’s academic integrity and high standards of academic expectations and performance

If you are a student with a documented disability and wish to request accommodation services, please submit a Petition for Reasonable Accommodations form along with the required information as detailed in the Guidelines for Documentation.

Please be aware that all decisions regarding accommodations and equal access are made in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and prevailing University Policy. 

For further information, please contact the Student Access Office at 516.877.3806 or

For further information, please contact:

Renee Rawcliffe, LMSW
Director, Continuing Education and Professional Development
Social Work Building, Room 235
p – 516-877-4339
e –

Joanna Suppa, LCSW-R
Coordinator of Continuing Education and Professional Development
p – 516.877.3216
e –