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Study Family and Systems Therapies at Otago

The Family and Systems Therapies endorsement for the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences is a unique programme in New Zealand. This postgraduate level training will increase the therapeutic ability of social service and health professionals in making a difference to the well-being of families in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The evidence base for family and systemic therapies is now large and covers most of the main diagnostic categories found in the area of child and adolescent mental health. It addresses problems from a whanau perspective, rather than siting problems within an individual. A family-centred approach has been found to be more effective than an individually-based approach for the needs of children and adolescents in many situations.

Completion of the program will also go towards meeting goals set out in the Werry Centre competency framework for the Child and Youth Mental Health workforce, Real Skills Plus, 2009. The ability to work systemically with families is one of the competencies expected of this workforce.

What is on offer?

Family and Systems Therapies is available as an endorsement for the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences (PGCertHealSc). There are two papers available, which together make up the Postgraduate Certificate or they may be taken as stand alone papers.

  • PSME 436 Principles of Family and Systems Theory
  • PSME 437 Applied Systems Theory

Entry requirements

Applicants need to have an appropriate health, counselling or education qualification (extensive experience will be considered) and need to be working in (or have access to) a context within which the fieldwork component of the course can be completed.

How to apply

To apply for the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences (PGCertHealSc), please note the following steps:

  1. On the righthand side of this page, click Apply Now
  2. On the application page, under Programmes available, click Health Sciences
  3. Select Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences
  4. On the righthand side of this page, click on the Apply Now button and choose the Wellington campus option (although taught in Christchurch this is a Wellington registered course)
  5. If a returning student use the Log in option
  6. If a new student select Create New Account option
  7. Please note: as there is an interview process you can by pass the essay section if you wish.

Contact details

Maria Fitzmaurice
Postgraduate Programme Administrator
Department of Psychological Medicine
University of Otago, Wellington
PO Box 7343
Wellington 6242
Tel +64 4 385 5541 ext 6511
Email maria.fitzmaurice@otago.ac.nz