Family therapy training is provided under the direction of Dr. Anne Fishel at MGH. In Year 1, residents participate in a 10-month Beginning Family Therapy Seminar that meets weekly for an hour. A wide range of topics is covered to provide the resident with a thorough grounding in systemic theory and normal family development. In addition, residents learn how to conduct a family evaluation, offer feedback, manage conflict in an interview, assess violence, secrets, and abuse, and design systemic interventions.
Also during Year 1, groups of two or three trainees meet weekly for one- and one-half-hour supervision with Drs. Fishel, Pressman or Reifsnyder. Residents are expected to see one couple and/or one family throughout the year. Many of the initial evaluations will be conducted by the supervisor with the trainees observing. As the year progresses, trainees may bring a family case in for a consultation by their supervisor and fellow trainees. Families are referred from the inpatient medical, pediatric and psychiatric units as well as from outpatient departments. There are a broad spectrum of referrals that include families and couples with eating disorders, medical and psychosomatic illness, behavior problems, divorce and sexual dysfunction.
During Year 2, residents meet weekly in groups of two or three during a four-month rotation for consultation on ongoing family therapy cases and have an opportunity to choose a few areas of directed study with Dr. Fishel. In addition, family therapy teaching is coordinated with residents’ placements at the McLean and the Franciscan Children’s Hospitals. Residents are also offered ongoing weekly supervision for their family and couple’s cases with Drs. Tobin, Fishel and Reifsnyder. During the second year, there are two electives available: (1) Residents may join an interdisciplinary couples team that conducts evaluations and consultations using a reflecting team format in the adult outpatient clinic at MGH; (2) Residents may participate in a clinical research project that intervenes with couples making the transition to parenthood.