2023-2024 / PSYC5924-1

Methods of systemic action, Part 1 [D]


20h Th, 10h Pr

Number of credits

 Master in psychology (120 ECTS)4 crédits 


Maria Elena Brianda, Thérèse Scali


Maria Elena Brianda

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents


The course "PSYC0054 - Méthodes d'action systémique" aims to teach concepts, models and intervention tools from a systemic approach in order to train students for the professional practice of clinical psychology. To this end, the course program includes a combination of theoretical lectures and practical activities that focus on the application of the concepts being taught.


The course will cover the core concepts of systemic consultation, diagnosis, and intervention techniques. The following aspects will be addressed:

- building up systemic hypotheses in the clinical practice with families, couples, and groups;

- the establishment of treatment goals with couples and families;

- the components of the therapeutic process according to different approaches of systemic therapy (therapeutic setting, frequency, duration, ...) ;

- the main settings of systemic therapy (individual, marital, family, group,...);

- the progression of the therapeutic process;

- systemic tools used in the clinical practice with families, couples, and groups (metaphors, sculptures, "objets flottants", ...).

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

This course aims to guide students to discover the different possibilities of psychological intervention for couples and families following a systemic approach, paying attention to formulating systemic hypotheses about psychological suffering, defining therapeutic goals, structuring the therapeutic process, and considering the role of the therapist. We will discuss the techniques used by different schools of family psychotherapy, their goals, and the evaluation of their effectiveness.

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

- apply the concepts, models, and tools taught in the courses in the analysis of clinical cases;

- analyze patient demand, and synthesize clinical data for therapeutic decision making;

- reflect on the establishment of the therapeutic setting and the implementation of therapeutic tools supervised by an expert;

- formulate hypotheses about the origin and function of symptoms supervised by an expert;

- better understand the specificity of the systemic approach and aspects of complementarity and/or divergence from other approaches of clinical psychology;

- begin to build a "systemic toolbox" that can be used in both therapy and supervision settings.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

An understanding of the theoretical foundations of systemic psychology is essential to be able to follow and fully profit from the course.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

- Lectures;

- invited lectures;

- practical activities.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Recommended or required readings

Required readings (necessary to succeed in the exam) :

  • Slides (posted weekly on myULiège)
  • Personal notes taken by the student during the classes
  • Selected chapters and papers that expand on the topics covered in class (posted on myULiège)

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The course will be held in the Q2 on Friday mornings. More details about timetables and locations will be posted on Celcat (take care to consult Celcat regularly so as not to miss any changes).


Maria Elena Brianda: mariaelena.brianda@uliege.be

Thérèse Scali : Therese.Scali@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs