Course Type

General Functional Formulation Seminar

Duration: 12 days


This 12-meeting advanced seminar focuses on the family and interpersonal contributors to maladaptation (psychological distress, psychiatric disorder, child abuse and neglect, and criminality). The goal is to understand maladaptive conditions in ways that lead to more effective intervention or treatment.

Each course participant will select one condition to consider in detail and will develop a short paper on that condition.

The course begins with five meetings devoted to published readings on general and family functional formulations (GFF & FFF), then covers five clinical topics for which there are existing published General Functional Formulations. These will both offer a new perspective on these 5 conditions and also provide examples of how to construct a GFF. The culminating course assignment is for each student to produce a GFF that summarizes some of the existing literature on their selected condition, develops a DMM hypothesis regarding family input to the condition, and offers some personally observed clinical information relevant to the hypothesis. The participants’ GFFs will be shared within the group.

Clinical conditions covered: behavior problems in early childhood, autism, mild family distress in adolescence, adoption, divorce, child abuse and neglect, foster care, sexual offending, psychosis, plus the participants’ chosen conditions.

Distal e-learning: the course will be offered distally using the internet.

Requirement: Several short summaries of the readings and production of one General Functional Formulation of a disorder or problem of the participants’ choosing. The GFF should be prepared as if for publication. If possible, the GFFs will be submitted for publication.

Duration: 12 two-hour meetings.

Assignments: for each session, the course participants will be asked to summarize the assigned research in a paragraph and to summarize one article on their selected condition in a paragraph. The summative assignment will be a GFF that the participant produces on their chosen condition.

Certificates: participants who complete the work will receive a certificate. (Certificates of attendance will not be offered; for this the participant can use their payment receipt).

Prerequisites: This course is open only to participants with a master’s or doctoral degree (in psychology, psychiatry, nursing, social work, occupational therapy, or similar clinical professions). In addition, the following DMM courses are prerequisite:

a. Attachment, Neurodevelopment, & Psychopathology

b. One (1) child assessment (SSP, TCI, PAA, SAA)

c. the Adult Attachment Interview.

Recommended: Advanced Clinical Seminars, ICI, TAAI, and ANP Clinical Applications.

This course is prerequisite to the Family Functional Formulation Seminar.