New UniSIM master's programme specialises in child, couple and family therapy
SIM University (UniSIM) will welcome its first batch of students for its Master of Counselling (MCOU) specialising in Couple and Family Therapy (CFT) in July this year.
The programme is meant for full-time professionals in counselling or social work who are looking to advance their career, as well as specialise in clinical work with couples, children and families.
Applicants should preferably have a degree in counselling or an equivalent qualification and at least two years of relevant work experience.
If applicants do not meet the requirements, they will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Dr Charles Sim S J, head of the programme for MCOU and MCOU-CFT, said: "We often hold different views about a situation, which may give rise to misunderstandings and disagreements, especially among those in close relationships, such as couples and family members.
"So they may need a therapist that is specially trained in relational skills to help them manage those challenges and difficulties."
He added that this is especially so for family therapists, with the rise in childhood developmental issues, such as behavioural problems (like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and emotional problems (like depression).
"These (problems) have to be treated more effectively by a systemic couple and family therapist," he said.
"CFT therapists possess those relational and clinical skills to effectively engage parents to better manage their child with developmental issues."
Trainee therapists have to complete six core CFT courses, and the programme uses evidence-based practices, where research findings and practical experience are used to inform the clinical decisions that best address the needs of the couples and families in therapy.
Dr Sim said: "A couple and family therapist needs to appreciate the complexity of working with couples and families from a systemic perspective.
"They have to understand that relationship issues are often interconnected and challenging... it will take more than one or two therapy sessions to resolve them."