Family systems theory suggests that each individual member is interconnected and cannot act without impacting the unit as a whole. Having a solid understanding of the theories and approaches to family and couples counseling is invaluable for all clinicians, even when they primarily work with individual clients. This knowledge serves as a powerful tool for gaining insight into how the family unit influences and shapes the well-being of their clients. By familiarizing themselves with these theories, clinicians can enhance their comprehension of the intricate ways in which family dynamics impact the individuals they serve. 

This skill-based certificate will provide you with a broad overview of the various counselling approaches to working with families and couples, including emotion focused therapy (EFT), cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), ecosystemic structural family therapy (ESFT), attachment and internal family systems (IFS). The certificate will also provide insight into some of the most common issues experienced by families and couples, such as addictions, separation and divorce, domestic violence, intimacy, infertility and grief.

Completion Requirements

To complete the Family and Couples Counselling certificate, you must select a minimum of seven workshops from the list on the right. You can complete this certificate in as little as one year or take up to seven years. You do not have to be working toward the Family and Couples Counselling certificate to take any of these workshops. These workshops can be taken in any order.

Participation and Attendance

Full attendance and participation are required to complete these workshops. Participants are requested, as much as possible, to have their cameras on. We know there are situations where this is not possible, so please send a message to your instructor or the Professional Development host to let them know that you are unable to turn on your camera. Our workshops are interactive and include breakout rooms, role play, group discussions and other activities. Participation is required.

Delivery Options

The Family and Couples Counselling certificate workshops are available remotely through Zoom.

Becoming a Therapist

Completing the Family and Couples Counselling certificate will not qualify you to practice therapy or register with any college or association, including the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers or the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. Please visit those websites for information on becoming a therapist in Ontario.


No application required. Select a workshop then a section to view dates and cost, or to add the workshop to your cart. Complete your registration with payment. 

Contact Information

For more information about this certificate contact the Faculty of Social Work Professional Development office:

Phone: 548-889-4967

See our website and Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Additional Details

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