This summer, students in the Master of Arts in Relationship & Pastoral Therapy program will engage one of the foundational courses for their preparation as couples and family therapists. The field of Relationship and Pastoral Therapy is a unique one--integrating systems thinking, individual and relationship diagnosis, best clinical practice, healing, and spirituality. We sat down with Dr. Christie Eppler this month to speak about what it looks like inside the classroom for students in STMC 5520's "Relationship & Pastoral Therapy: Identity & Ethics" class.
Dr. Eppler shared:
The course explores key questions such as: what is a relationship and pastoral therapist?; and how do couples and family therapists competently and ethically integrate spirituality into practice? We place a heavy emphasis on the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy's (AAMFT) ethical codes as students learn about confidentiality, scope of practice, and the professional roles of being therapist for families, individuals, and groups within various milieus.
As this foundational STMC 5520 course unpacks terms such as spiritually, faith, religion, and couples and family therapy for students, they are then able to examine ethical dilemmas and better understand the role of consultation, supervision, and collaborating with social services agencies (e.g., reporting a client?s imminent harm). In this highly interactive, dynamic, and creative class, students leave invigorated to continue to pursue advanced knowledge of ethics and the role of being a relationship and pastoral therapist, a couples and family therapist that infuses spirituality into practice at the clients? request.