5751 Theories of Marital & Family Therapy

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1 5751 Theories of Marital & Family Therapy CATALOG DESCRIPTION: An introduction to systems and communication theory, theories of marriage and family relations, and their therapeutic implications. Provides a comprehensive survey of the major MFT models. Students will have opportunities to integrate models into a theoretical framework through application to their families of origin. Instructor: Semester: Fall 2014 Kevin Shelby, M.S. MFT Format: On-campus/Weekday 7505 Parker Circle Germantown, TN Day(s) Class Meets: Mondays Time Class Meets: 1:00-3:45pm Office Hours: Mondays (9-11 am, 4-6 pm), Tuesdays (12-6) Office Phone: STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: It is the policy of Harding University to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal and state law. Any student with a disability who needs accommodation should inform the instructor at the beginning of the course. Students with disabilities are also encouraged to contact Dr. Steve McLeod, Associate Dean, at (901) LIBRARY RESOURCES: If you have not taken 5732 Foundations in Counseling, or have taken it more than a year ago, go to the HST Web site (www.hst.edu) for information concerning library services to students. Under the library tab you will find a link to and instructions for searching the HST online catalog (called Quest). There are also instructions for using the following databases available through the library: OCLC FirstSearch, EBSCOhost, Infotrac, PsycINFO, and Religious and Theological Abstracts. Contact the library for passwords to these databases. Also available are the research guides distributed in These annotated bibliographies list basic tools you will find helpful in your research. CREDIT HOUR WORKLOAD: For every course credit hour, the typical student should expect to spend at least three clock hours per week of concentrated attention on course-related work, including but not limited to time attending class, as well as out-of-class time spent reading, reviewing, organizing notes, preparing for upcoming quizzes/exams, problem solving, developing and completing projects, and other activities that enhance learning. Thus, for a three-hour course, a typical student should expect to spend at least nine hours per week dedicated to the course. Rev Page 1 of 14 FA Theories of MFT

2 I. ACADEMIC INTEGRITY Harding University s Three Principles of Integrity: 1. Honesty: Using only authorized collaboration, information, and study aids for assignments and testing. Being completely truthful in all academic endeavors. 2. Authenticity: Presenting only ideas and creative expressions that are unique, unless properly cited according to University guidelines. Submitting the work of another constitutes plagiarism. 3. Accountability: Holding ourselves to the highest ethical standards, and not allowing academic dishonesty in others to go unchallenged. Academic dishonesty in all its forms is inconsistent with Christian faith and practice, and will result in penalties which could include a failing grade for the assignment, a failing grade for the course, dismissal from the course, and even dismissal from the school. II. COURSE DESCRIPTION This course provides a thorough overview of the history and development of the major theories of marital and family therapy. A major portion of the course involves the students personal growth and insight relating to how their family of origin, biases, spiritual formation, and theory of change affects their personal style and development as a marriage and family therapist. Students will conduct an in-depth exploration of their family s history, spiritual growth, and their perspective of the change process on several levels, while at the same time, processing their experiences through the various models of marriage and family therapy. III. COURSE OBJECTIVES Students will: 1. Develop proficiency at conducting family analyses (measured by their analysis of their family of origin through the creation of a detailed multi-level genogram and summary paper). 2. Develop skill in describing and understanding the major models of marital and family therapy (measured by class presentations). 3. Articulate the training process of a marriage and family therapist and be able to discuss the nature of the process (measured by participation in class discussion and presentations). 4. Articulate your personal theory of therapy (measured by the midterm paper). 5. Compare and contrast key approaches in family therapy to their own personal theory of therapy (measured by the final paper). 6. Begin developing a personal conceptual framework for marriage and family therapy (measured by the family analysis project and by examination). 7. Demonstrate competency in the CACREP content areas (measured by class presentations, writing assignments, and class discussion). Rev Page 2 of 14 FA Theories of MFT

3 IV. CONTENT AREAS & CRITICAL COMPETENCIES (CACREP 2009 Standards can be found at: Standards with cover.pdf.) As a result of taking this course, students will have: 1. Discussed counseling theories that provide the student with a consistent model(s) to conceptualize client presentation and select appropriate counseling interventions. Student experiences will have included an examination of the historical development of counseling theories, an exploration of affective, behavioral, and cognitive theories, and an opportunity to apply the theoretical material to case studies. Students will have also been exposed to models of counseling that are consistent with current professional research and practice in the field, and they will have started to develop a personal model of counseling; (Section II G.5.d) 2. Practiced using a systems perspective that provides an understanding of family and other systems theories and major models of family and related interventions. Students will have been exposed to a rationale for selecting family and other systems theories as appropriate modalities for family assessment and counseling; (Section II G.5.e) 3. Explored the use of research to inform evidence-based practice (Section II G.8.e) 4. Demonstrated knowledge and skill requirements for marital, couple, and family counseling/therapy by: (Fulfills CACREP 2009 Standards for Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling/Therapy Programs) a. Knows the history, philosophy, and trends in marriage, couple, and family counseling. (A.1) b. Knows the roles and functions of marriage, couple, and family counselors in a variety of practice settings and in relation to other helping professionals. (A.3) c. Understands a variety of models and theories of marriage, couple, and family counseling. (A.5) d. Demonstrates the ability to select models or techniques appropriate to couples or families presenting problems. (B.2) e. Understands issues of marriage, couple, and family life-cycle dynamics; healthy family functioning; family structures; and family of origin and intergenerational influences in a multicultural society. (C.1) f. Uses systems theory to conceptualize issues in marriage, couple, and family counseling. (D.2) g. Uses systems theories to implement treatment, planning, and intervention strategies. (D.3) h. Demonstrates the ability to recognize his or her own limitations as a marriage, couple, and family counselor and to seek supervision or refer clients when appropriate. (D.6) i. Understands current literature that outlines theories, approaches, strategies, and techniques shown to be effective in working with diverse family systems. (E.3) j. Demonstrates the ability to modify counseling systems, theories, techniques, and interventions to make them culturally appropriate for diverse couples and families. (F.4) k. Applies skills in interviewing, assessment, and case management for working with individuals, couples, and families from a system s perspective. (H.1) l. Determines which members of a family system should be involved in treatment. (H.3) Rev Page 3 of 14 FA Theories of MFT

4 V. USE OF TECHNOLOGY Please read the Technology Use Policy for this class found on page 12 of this syllabus. Once you have reviewed it, sign it, and turn it in during our first class meeting. Harding University gives each student an address that also utilizes your user name. For example, Many students use other addresses as their preferred address. You can set your Harding G-mail account to forward messages to an alternative address if you want; however, it is your responsibility to check your Harding account regularly because this is the official Harding address to which all Harding-related will be sent. VI. METHOD OF EVALUATING STUDENT PERFORMANCE A. Course Requirements 1. Attendance, preparation, and participation IMPORTANT: Students are to have read the assigned readings prior to the beginning of class per the course schedule. Class participation is worth 10% of final grade Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes for which they are enrolled. You are expected to notify your professor in advance of any late submission of assignments and before being late or missing any part of a class session due to an emergency. In your professional practice as a counselor, you will need to notify your clients and employer should you need to reschedule appointments or meetings. The expectation is that you will regularly meet the deadlines listed in the syllabus as adult learners and responsible counseling professionals. A reduction in points per assignment will be made even with permission for late submission; however, a lack of prior notification for missed classes or assignments will increase the point reduction significantly from the assignment and/or final grade. Evaluation of your level of participation this semester will be based on the rubric below. Level of Participation Rubric Level Demonstrates good preparation: knows readings well, has thought through implications of readings. Offers interpretations and analysis of materials (not just recalling of facts) in group presentations and class discussions. A-level Interacts with other students; able to hear other views, and respond professionally. Demonstrates adequate participation: knows basic reading facts, but does not show evidence of higher order skills or growth throughout the course as a B-level professional in the field. Present, but not involved in discussions. C-level Rev Page 4 of 14 FA Theories of MFT

5 2. Weekly Reading In order for each student to have the opportunity to maximize their learning opportunity, it is imperative that the reading assignments are completed prior to each class. I trust that each student will be well prepared for class and ready to participate in class discussion with an informed perspective of the reading material. In order to provide further accountability, a weekly quiz will be given over the reading assignment to assess the degree of preparedness for each student. The quizzes will be in T/F, multiple choice, short answer, or essay format and will be worth 10 points each. The cumulative total of all quizzes will be worth 10% of your final grade. 3. Presentation of Therapy Model One of the primary purposes of this course is to help you understand the foundational models of family therapy. This assignment is a group project in which the instructor will assign partners to work together to prepare a presentation for the class on a therapy model they have selected from the course material. The presentation should be a creative, interactive learning experience in which members of the class are incorporated throughout the presentation. The presentation should be limited to 45 minutes. The presenters should focus on not only highlighting the important components of the therapy model, but exemplifying them as well. This can be done through experiential activities, role playing, the use of video tape, and/or a power point presentation. The presentations will be given during the first half of class which will be assigned at the first class meeting. This assignment is worth 20% of final grade. The groups will choose their model from the list below: Milton Erickson s Utilization of Hypnosis MRI Communication Theory Bowen s Theory Ackerman s Theory Strategic Family Therapy Milan Systemic Family Therapy 3. Genogram Assignment Part of becoming a systemic therapist involves obtaining an understanding of one s own family of origin from a systemic perspective. In order to help with this process, students will complete a genogram assessment based on their own family. Using yourself as the identified person, the assessment should include a map of the previous two generations of your family, plus the following generation if you have children. This assignment will consist of three components: A graphic representation of one s family (including a key for interpreting the map) A narrative explaining the family map and the influence your family of origin has on your current perspective of the therapeutic process. (5 pages) Rev Page 5 of 14 FA Theories of MFT

6 Presentations of each genogram will be done during the final weeks of the semester and are to be no longer than 30 minutes. (Presentation dates will be assigned during the first week of class) Paper will be due on the day of your presentation. Evaluation will be based on clarity of the genogram map, narrative, and class presentation as well as writing in the narrative. This assignment is worth 15% of final grade. 4. Midterm Paper As they are in practice, therapists often develop a niche where they specialize in working in a specific area of therapy. In order to understand specialty areas where you will be most effective, it is important for you to understand your personal theory of therapy. For this paper I would like for you to evaluate your own philosophy of therapy and intervention techniques. Attention should be given to your experiences, spiritual beliefs and practices, biases, and your personal belief about how an individual can change through the therapeutic process. Feel free to use scriptural references, material from class, and outside readings/ experiences that have influenced your theory of therapy. The paper should be typed, double spaced, and limited to eight pages, exclusive of title page and reference list. Use APA format as a style guide. This paper will be due on October 6 th by 8:00 am (Papers submitted any later than 9 am will not be accepted). This assignment is worth 20% of final grade. 5. Final Paper After evaluating the various historical models of family therapy, you should have a comprehensive perspective of how the field began. For this paper I would like for you to select one of the models covered in class (it can be the same as the model you selected for your class presentation) and compare your theory to that model. Provide a comprehensive overview of the model you ve selected and describe the similarities and differences between the selected model and your own theory of therapy. Your paper should reflect the areas of intervention that you agree and disagree with including informed critiques about the model (What have other scholars had to say about the model?). Also, include comments about how the model has challenged your own personal philosophy. The paper should be typed, double spaced, and no less than twelve pages, exclusive of title page and reference list. Use APA format as a style guide. This paper will be due on December 8 th by 8:00 am (Papers submitted any later than 9 am will not be accepted). The final paper is worth 25% of final grade. B. Grading 1. Scale Grade Percentage Needed A at least B at least C at least D at least F less than 60 Rev Page 6 of 14 FA Theories of MFT

7 2. Overview Criteria for Grading 1. Attendance and Participation 10% 2. Weekly zes 10% 3. Class Presentation 20% 4. Genogram assignment 15% 5. Midterm Paper 20% 6. Final exam 25% Total for course 100% VII. NATURE OF COUNSELOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING Becoming a professional counselor and/or marriage and family therapist requires a lot of hard work and self-examination. Although you will enjoy personal and professional growth opportunities through readings, assignments, projects, experiential activities, and practicum/internship experiences, you may also expect that some of your training may possible invoke strong negative emotional reactions. You may experience a heightened awareness of past and/or present emotionally-charged issues. You are encouraged to make faculty and staff members aware of strong personal reactions related to course materials, assignments, and experiences. Also, as part of your ongoing development in the counseling profession, you may be asked to seek professional counseling for any issues affecting your personal and/or professional development. Should you experience extreme reactions to your training experiences, you should consult with your departmental advisor to discuss appropriate courses of action. These may include entering personal therapy, deferring taking the course, or withdrawal from the program. VIII. CONFIDENTIALITY Counselors recognize that trust is a cornerstone of the counseling relationship. The ACA Code of Ethics (section B) and the AAMFT Code of Ethics (Principle 2) specify that counselors must respect their client s right to privacy and avoid illegal or unwarranted disclosures of confidential information. This includes anything that might readily identify a client to others who are not authorized to have this information. Counselors must make every effort to ensure that a client s privacy and confidentiality are maintained by supervisees, students, clerical assistants, and volunteers. Therefore, privacy and confidentiality are requirements regarding the sharing of either a student s or a client s personal information and the sharing of any identifying information should be avoided during class discussions, presentations, and in journals or other course assignments. Any breach of confidentiality will result in disciplinary action. Rev Page 7 of 14 FA Theories of MFT

8 IX. TEXTS/MATERIALS Textbooks can now be ordered through a link on the HST website. The Textbooks tab can be viewed on the navigation bar on any page of the website. Check the book list provided under the Textbooks tab (http://hst.edu/students/textbook-services/) for correct ISBN s and editions to insure correct ordering. A link provided there will take you to Amazon where you will only need to enter the ISBN to order your books. By going through our website, HST will receive some credit from the order. Thanks for your support. Required Texts/Readings: Books Ackerman, N. W. (1958). The psycho-dynamics of family life: diagnosis and treatment of family relationships. London: Jason Aronson. Bateson, G. (1972). Steps to an ecology of mind. New York: Ballantine Books. Boscolo, L., Cecchin, G., Hoffman, L., and Penn, P. (1987). Milan systemic family therapy: conversations in theory and practice. New York: Basic Books. Erickson, B. A. & Keeney, B. P. (2006). Milton H. Erickson, M. D.: An American healer. Philadelphia, PA: Ringing Rocks Press. Haley, J. (1987). Problem solving therapy. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, Inc. Keeney, B.P. (1983). Aesthetics of change. New York: The Guilford Press. Watzlawick, P., Beavin, J.H., & Jackson, D. D. (1967). Pragmatics of human communication. New York: Norton. Readings (Will be provided in handouts/electronic copies by instructor) Bowen, M. (1978) Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: Aronson. Jackson, D.D. (1965). The study of the family. Family Process, 4, Bibliography: American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6 th ed). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. ***Must use 6 th edition. Be sure to get the CORRECTED version! *Paperback ISBN: Spiral ISBN: Rev Page 8 of 14 FA Theories of MFT

9 Further information on APA format can be obtained from the following websites: Balswick, J. O., & Balswick, J. K. (1989). The family: A Christian perspective of the contemporary home. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House. Becvar, D. S., & Becvar, R. J. (2000). Family therapy: A systemic integration. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Boscolo, L., Cecchin, G., Hoffman, L., & Penn, P. (1987). The Milan approach to therapy. New York: Basic Books. Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: Jason Aronson. DeShazer, S. (1994). Words were originally magic. New York: W. W. Norton. Fishman, H. C. (1993). Intensive structural therapy: Treating families in their social conflicts. New York: Basic Books. Framo, J. L. (1992). Family of origin therapy: An intergenerational approach. New York: Brunner/Mazel. Gelcer, E., & McCabe, A., Smith-Resnick, C. (1990). Milan family therapy: Variant and invariant methods. Northvale, NJ: J. Aronson. Gelles, R. J. (1995). Contemporary families: A sociological view. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Griffin, W., & Greene, S. M. (1998). Models of family therapy: The essential guide. New York: Brunner/Mazel. Haley, J. (1989). Problem-centered therapy. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Hite, S. (1996). The Hite report on the family: Growing up under patriarchy. New York: Grove Press. Hoffman, L. (2002). Family therapy: An intimate history. New York: W. W. Norton. Jackson, D. D. (1959). Family interaction, family homeostasis and some implications for conjoint family psychotherapy. In W. A. Ray (Ed.) Don D. Jackson: Interactional Theory in the Practice of Therapy, Vol. II (pp.1-20). Phoenix: AZ: Zeig, Tucker, & Theisen, Inc. Jackson, D.D. (1965). The study of the family. Family Process, 4, Keeney, B.P. (1983). Aesthetics of change. New York: The Guilford Press. Keeney, B. P. (1990). Improvisational therapy: A practical guide for creative clinical strategies. New York: The Guilford Press. Keeney, B.P. (2009). The creative therapist: The art of awakening a session. New York: Routledge. Keeney, H., Keeney, B.P., & Chenail, R.J. (2012). Recursive frame analysis: A practitioner s tool for mapping therapeutic conversation. The Qualitative Report, 17, Rev Page 9 of 14 FA Theories of MFT

10 Keeney, H., Keeney, B.P., & Chenail, R.J. (in press). Recursive frame analysis: A qualitative research method for mapping change-oriented discourse. Keeney, H., & Keeney, B. P. (2012). What is Systemic about Systemic Therapy? Therapy Models Muddle Embodied Systemic Practice. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 31(1), doi: /jsyt Keeney, H. & Keeney, B. P. (2013). Circular therapeutics: Skills for the art of bringing forth change. Phoenix, AZ: Zeig, Tucker, & Theisen, Inc. Keeney, H. & Keeney, B. P. (2012). Creative therapeutic techniques: Giving therapy a healing heart. Phoenix, AZ: Zeig, Tucker, & Theisen, Inc. Keeney, B.P. & Ross, J.M. (1985). Mind in therapy: Constructing systemic therapies. New York: Basic Books Kerr, M., & Bowen, M. (1988). Family evaluation. New York: W. W. Norton. Madaness, C. (1981). Strategic family therapy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. McGoldrick, M., Pearce, J. K., & Giordano, J. (Eds.). (1982). Ethnicity and family therapy. New York: Guilford Press. Miermont, J. (1995). A dictionary of family therapy. Oxford: Blackwell Reference. Minuchin, S. (1974). Families and family therapy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Minuchin, S., & Fishman, H. C. (1981). Family therapy techniques. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Napier, A., & Whitaker, C. (1960). The family crucible. New York: Harper & Row. Roberto, L. G. (1992). Transgenerational family therapies. New York: Guilford Press. Satir, V. (1983). Conjoint family therapy. Palo Alto, CA: Science & Behavior Books. Scharff, D., & Scharff, J. (1987). Object relations family therapy. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson. Rev Page 10 of 14 FA Theories of MFT

11 X. COURSE SCHEDULE (subject to modification) Date/ Time Topics Reading Assignments Chapters/Pages Aug 18 Aug 25 Sep 1 Sep 8 Sep 15 Sep 22 Sep 29 Introduction to the course Second-Order Cybernetics/Systems Theory Second-Order Cybernetics/Systems Theory (continued) Milton Erickson Milton Erickson (continued) Class Presentation I Trance Induction Article (MHE, JH, & JW), Video Bowen Genogram Presentations Bowen (continued) Class Presentation II MRI Genogram Presentations Steps to an Ecology of Mind; Aesthetics of Change MHE: American Healer; MHE Article MHE: American Healer MHE Article Family Therapy in Clinical Practice Family Therapy in Clinical Practice Pragmatics of Human Communication; Jackson Articles Steps: , , Aesthetics: Intro, Ch.3, & Ch. 4 Chapters: Introduction & Ch.1 Milton Erickson Further Techniques Chapters: 6 & 7 MH Deep Hypnosis Chapters: 9 & 21 Chapters: 12 & 15 Chapters: 1 & 2 Quid Pro Quo Study of the Family Oct 6 Oct 13 1:00-3:45 Oct 20 Oct 27 Nov 3 MRI (continued) Class Presentation III Midterm Paper Due No Class Nathan Ackerman Genogram Presentations Nathan Ackerman (continued) Class Presentation IV Strategic Family Therapy Genogram Presentations Pragmatics of Human Communication Psycho- Dynamics of Family Life Psycho- Dynamics of Family Life Problem Solving Therapy Chapters: 3,4, & 6 Part 1 Part 2: Ch. 7, Ch. 8, & Ch. 9 Part 3 Chapters: 1, 2, & 3 Rev Page 11 of 14 FA Theories of MFT

12 Nov 10 Nov 17 Strategic Family Therapy (continued) Class Presentation V Milan Systemic Family Therapy Problem Solving Therapy Chapters: 4, 5, & 6 Milan Systemic Chapters: Intro, 1, & 2 Nov 24 1:00-3:45 No Class- Happy Thanksgiving Dec 1 Milan Systemic Family Therapy (continued) Class Presentation VI Milan Systemic Article Chapters: 3 & 4 Hypothesizing, Circularity, & Neutrality Dec 8 Final Paper Due Other Considerations The course requirements and schedule may be subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances. Please be on time to class. I will make every effort to begin and end class on time. Please turn off or mute cell phones during class. If you anticipate receiving a necessary call during class, please let me know. Please refrain from using laptops or other internet-connected devices to access non-class related sites during class (e.g., , Facebook, etc.). Rev Page 12 of 14 FA Theories of MFT

13 XI. TECHNOLOGY USE IN THE CLASSROOM TECHNOLOGY POLICY: Read and sign. Turn this in at the first class meeting. In our society, multitasking is the norm. Checking , surfing the Internet, social networking, texting, instant messaging, and other technology tasks are done at the same time we interact with others; however, these tasks are totally inappropriate as you counsel people. These activities are also distractions to you, your classmates, and your professor; therefore, my classroom policy will not allow for any of these activities (surfing the Internet, Facebook, , texting, instant messaging, etc ) during our class time. Listening to lectures, classmates, and video vignettes will provide you with practice opportunities to be fully present and hone your observation skills as you seek to learn counseling skills. By signing my name below, I am demonstrating my commitment to personal integrity in the use of technology in the classroom and will abide by the policy above. I will also address a fellow student who is not following this policy and encourage him or her to further develop their attentiveness and observation skills. Signature Date Printed Name Rev Page 13 of 14 FA Theories of MFT

14 Grading Rubric The A paper The B paper The C paper The D Paper The F paper Ideas Excels in responding to assignment. Interesting, demonstrates sophistication of thought. Central idea/thesis clearly communicated, worth developing; limited enough to be manageable. Paper recognizes some complexity of its thesis: may acknowledge its contradictions, qualifications, or limits and follow out their logical implications. Understands and critically evaluates its sources, appropriately limits and defines terms. A solid paper, responding appropriately to assignment. Clearly states a thesis/central idea, but may have minor lapses in development. Begins to acknowledge the complexity of the central idea and the possibility of other points of view. Shows careful reading if sources, but may not evaluate them critically. Attempts to define terms, not always successful. Adequate but weaker and less effective, possible responding less well to assignment. Presents central idea in general terms, often depending on platitudes or clichés. Usually does not acknowledge other views. Shows basic comprehension of sources, perhaps with lapses in understanding. If it defines terms, often depends on dictionary definitions. Does not have a clear central idea or does not respond appropriately to the assignment. Thesis may be too vague or obvious to be developed effectively. Paper may misunderstand sources. Does not respond to the assignment, lacks a thesis or central idea, and may neglect to use sources where necessary. Organization/Coherence Uses a logical structure appropriate to the paper s subject, purpose, audience, thesis, and disciplinary field. Sophisticated transitional sentences often develop one idea from the previous one or identify their logical relations. It guides the reader through the chain of reasoning or progression of ideas. Shows a logical progression of ideas and uses fairly sophisticated transitional devices; e.g., may move from least to more important idea. Some logical links may be faulty, but each paragraph clearly relates to the paper s central idea. May list ideas or arrange them randomly rather than using any evident logical structure. May use transitions, but they are likely to be sequential (first, second, third) rather than logic based. While each paragraph may relate to central idea, logic is not always clear. Paragraphs have topic sentences but may be overly general, and arrangement of sentences within paragraphs may lack coherence. May have random organization, lacking internal paragraph coherence and using few or inappropriate transitions. Paragraphs may lack topic sentences or main ideas, or may be too general or too specific to be effective. Paragraphs may not all relate to paper s thesis. No appreciable organization; lacks transitions and coherence. Support Uses evidence appropriately and effectively, providing sufficient evidence and explanation to convince. Begins to offer reasons to support its points, perhaps using varied kinds of evidence. Begins to interpret the evidence and explain connections between evidence and main ideas. Its examples bear some relevance. Often uses generalizations to support points. May use examples, but they may be obvious or not relevant. Often depends on unsupported opinion or personal experience, or assumes that evidence speaks for itself and needs no application to the point being discussed. Often has lapses in logic. Depends on clichés or overgeneralizations for support, or offers little evidence of any kind. May be personal narrative rather than essay, or summary rather than analysis. Uses irrelevant details or lacks supporting evidence entirely. May be unduly brief. Style Chooses words for their precise meaning and uses an appropriate level of specificity. Sentence style fits paper s audience and purpose. Sentences are varied, yet clearly structured and carefully focused, not long and rambling. Generally uses words accurately and effectively, but may sometimes be too general. Sentences generally clear, wellstructured, and focused, though some may be awkward or ineffective. Uses relatively vague and general words, may use some inappropriate language. Sentence structure generally correct, but sentences may be wordy, unfocused, repetitive, or confusing. May be too vague and abstract, or very personal and specific. Usually contains several awkward or ungrammatical sentences; sentence structure is simple or monotonous. Usually contains many awkward sentences, misuses words, employs inappropriate language. Mechanics Almost entirely free of spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors. May contain a few errors, which may annoy the reader but not impede understanding. Usually contains several mechanical errors, which may temporarily confuse the reader but not impede the overall understanding. Usually contains either many mechanical errors or a few important errors that block the reader s understanding and ability to see connections between thoughts. Usually contains so many mechanical errors that it is impossible for the reader to follow the thinking from sentence to sentence. Rev Page 14 of 14 FA Theories of MFT

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