Module code: NUR3319

Module Overview

The is the second of two modules which form a Foundation Course in Family Interventions for Adults. Successful completion of both modules as specified for that course (Introduction to Family Interventions & Applying Family Interventions to Practice for Psychosis and Bipolar Disorder) achieves accreditation for the student by the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice at Foundation Level). It is jointly owned and delivered by the university and Sussex Partnership Foundation NHS Trust.


The module will build on the Introduction to family interventions module to develop knowledge, critical understanding and practice skill in systemic family therapy and family work/management interventions as they apply to the work with families where one or more members experience psychosis.

Module provider

School of Health Sciences

Module Leader

SMART T Ms (Health Sci.)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 79

Lecture Hours: 36

Guided Learning: 30

Captured Content: 5

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Applicants will need to be employed in a NHS secondary care setting to work with people who experience psychosis or bipolar disorder and have at least two years’ experience in such work. They must have the support have the support of their employer and professional lead to complete the module. The module will only be open to those who have completed attendance of the Introduction to Family Interventions module.

Module content

Indicative content includes:


Systemic and Family Intervention skills

Keeping family sessions safe

Working with couples; Talking about sexuality

Attachment and loss as framework for understanding family distress, and relationship between family and teams.

Talking with families about symptoms and attributions to illness; problem-solving. Symptoms in the session.


Exploring collaborative and dialogical practices with multi-stressed families; co-morbidity; solution-informed ideas

Understanding children’s needs and therapeutic engagement

Working with siblings

Working with children of parents with mental health difficulties and their parents

Ethics of practice;

Safeguarding children and adults

Thinking with families about the future, recovery and mapping new narratives; early warning signs; trauma of illness; crisis planning

Therapeutic endings, evaluating the work with families

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 3,000 word analysis of learning and family intervention skills accompanied by an audio recording of a FI session 100
Practical based assessment Log of Practice Work and Supervision Pass/Fail

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate sufficient knowledge, understanding and practice skills to work therapeutically with a family where a member experiences psychosis or bipolar disorder.



Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of two parts:

  1. A 3,000 word analysis of learning and family intervention skills, accompanied by an audio recording of a FI session. The written work will have two, linked, sections: 

a 1,000 word critical analysis of the recorded session analysing the interventions used and understanding gained during the session.

b A 2,000 word discussion and analysis of learning in FIs gained during the course.


  1. A log of practice work and supervision, in which the student demonstrates the competent use of family intervention skills with two families. This will record supervision attendance, and include two case reports of 1,000 words each showing the application of FI skills. One of these will be of work with a family where one member experiences psychosis, the other bipolar disorder.

This element is: Pass/Fail.


Formative assessment

a partial draft of one of the written pieces, submitted two weeks prior to an arranged tutorial and discussed at that tutorial.



At least one tutorial, during which the summative reflection on learning may be discussed.

During supervision sessions (including a formative assessment roughly way through the supervision process)

During class discussion

Module aims

  • This module aims to support the acquisition, consolidation and application in practice of family intervention skills and understanding, as applied to families where one or more members experience psychosis, or other health challenges.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Apply in practice and critically discuss with reference to key research findings the use of a range of approaches derived from systemic and behavioural or cognitive-behavioural family work theory to form a collaborative exploration and shared understanding with families of their situation, and interventions to enable them in addressing their goals. KCPT
002 Demonstrate an ability to use ethical decision making, especially in relation to safeguarding, confidentiality and consent, including a knowledge of the AFT code of ethics. KCPT
003 Use an awareness of own family, cultural and professional experience and the similar experiences of clients, families and teams to develop a reflective understanding of their personal and professional growth, their own position, and the relationships that are formed with clients, families and within teams CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


Enable students to acquire and apply skills in family interventions.


The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Specific reading for each teaching day and whole class discussion of that reading

  • Lectures to introduce models, skills, and evidence

  • Class discussion

  • Role play of practice situations to develop skills

  • Experiential group work to enable self reflection and development of understanding.

  • Personal reflective log

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: NUR3319

Other information

The school of Health Sciences is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:

Employability: Accredited by the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice, this module significantly boosts the employability of students in the field of family therapy. The practical application of family interventions, ethical decision-making, and reflective understanding prepares students for real-world scenarios, making them valuable assets in healthcare settings. The emphasis on applicable skills ensures that students are well-prepared for the demands of their future professions.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: The curriculum encourages an awareness of cultural diversity in families, emphasising the impact of cultural backgrounds on family dynamics and mental health. This prepares students to be culturally competent practitioners, capable of adapting their skills to diverse global contexts.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: Focusing on collaborative exploration, ethical decision-making, and reflective understanding, this module supports resourcefulness and resilience. By teaching a range of approaches and interventions, it fosters resourcefulness, challenging students to think creatively and adapt interventions to the unique needs of families. Emphasising ethical decision-making and reflective practices prepares students to navigate challenges with resilience, contributing to their ability to thrive in demanding therapeutic settings.

Sustainability: The module contributes to the sustainability of mental health services by equipping professionals with skills in family interventions enhancing the sustainability of mental health support systems by addressing family needs and promoting long-term well-being. Discussions on the long-term impact of family interventions and their role in preventing relapse contribute to the broader goal of sustaining mental health within individuals and communities.

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.