How Award-Winning Family Therapy Educators Engage Their Students in Meaningful Family Therapy Education

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Virginia Tech

Family therapy educators are currently challenged to teach their students in ways that facilitate competencies, but that are also meaningful to students. In this qualitative study, which serves as the second article of this dissertation, twelve award-winning family therapy educators were interviewed about how they facilitate educational practices that family therapy students have defined as meaningful to them. A thematic analysis of the interviews revealed seven primary themes: 1) relationship building, 2) attending to student development, 3) relevance, 4) actively engaging students in the process, 5) enthusiasm and curiosity, 6) providing and receiving honest feedback, and 7) transparency. The implications of these findings are discussed to support meaningful family therapy teaching practices as well as to offer specific suggestions for how family therapy educators can more deeply engage with their students.

family therapy education, training