Title

Couple and Family Therapy Within the Current Pan-Canadian Context

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Abstract

Canadians take numerous approaches to couple and family therapy due in part to Canada’s diversity of people and geography, as well as the influence of the health care context, a central facet of our national identity. Tracing back to Nathan Epstein, the founder of family therapy in Canada, there continues to be a strong tradition of couple and family therapy within Canada which has international reach. Formal training in family therapy, as well as couple/marital therapy occurs largely outside of the scope of degree granting programs and university settings. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy has a strong presence in Canada, with six divisions across the country. Popular models of practice for Canada’s couple and family therapists include cognitive-behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, narrative therapy, emotionally-focused therapy, and Bowenian/intergenerational therapy. A growing number of training opportunities are becoming available across Canada, and the practice of couple and family therapy is becoming institutionalized as one of the core competencies for professions such as psychiatry. In this article, we examine the context of family therapy in Canada by examining its history, the unique accreditation standards, qualifications and organizations associated with family therapy, the relationship between couple and family therapy, and future directions for this field of practice.