OpenEd Job Posting 064

Teaching Opportunity: Instructor(s) - Advanced Certificate in Couple and Family Therapy Studies

Open Learning and Educational Support (OpenEd), University of Guelph is recruiting for instructor(s) with a passion for teaching, and the academic knowledge and experience to develop and facilitate online synchronous continuing education courses for the Advanced Certificate in Couple and Family Therapy Studies. The selected candidate(s) will join our existing team of contracted instructors to facilitate one or more of the courses of the Certificate over 2022-2023 (with the possibility of future appointments).

Certificate Description

Explore the major theories, central concepts and foundational approaches of couple and family therapy practice. Through interactive teaching and learning processes—including whole class and small group discussions, role-playing, research, assignments, and reflection from your own personal experience—you are better equipped to translate theory into practical methods for your practice.
While a strong focus is placed on the historical development of systemic therapy, you have many opportunities to study and compare a wide variety of therapy models, such as Cognitive-Behavioural, Experiential, Bowenian, Contextual, Structural, and Strategic.

Position Description

We are looking for instructor(s) to develop and facilitate one or more courses in the Advanced Certificate in Couple and Family Therapy Studies Program. Instructors are contracted to instruct per course based on expertise, experience and availability. As an OpenEd instructor, you support student learning, develop course content (content, activities and assessments) in alignment with provided learning outcomes.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Developing course content, materials list, and assessments in alignment with Course Learning Outcomes
  • Facilitating the course online based on a set schedule
  • Creating a supportive and engaging online community that fosters student learning
  • Sharing real-world experiences and providing examples that demonstrate your expertise in the topic area and meet the needs of the learners
  • Grading all assessments following the rubric/grading criteria and providing appropriate feedback on submitted work

The content of the course will remain the instructor’s intellectual property, and thus may be used for other purposes at the sole discretion of the instructor.
Instructor training is provided for synchronous (Zoom) and asynchronous (D2L/Brightspace – University of Guelph’s ‘CourseLink’) methods of course delivery.
The selected applicant(s) will join a team of instructors collaboratively facilitating the Advanced Certificate in Couple and Family Therapy Studies Program. The schedule of courses for 2022-2023 will be made based on the instructor’s expertise. Compensation is set at $5500 per course. Courses are five to six days in length and are facilitated every other year in either the Fall or Winter Semester. Courses are as follows:

Family Therapy and Mental Health: The purpose of this course is to familiarize you with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and its language for the major disorders of thinking (schizophrenia), feeling (anxiety, depression, bipolar) and behaving (personality). The impact of mental illness on family functioning and the current literature regarding effective couple and family approaches to treating these mental health problems will be explored. Here you will see integration of couple and family therapy approaches with individual psychodynamic, psychiatric and biomedical approaches. Psychotropic medications, often an adjunct treatment to these particular problems, will be examined. The instructor will facilitate the course with slides, didactic presentations, video, and experiential exercises. You will actively engage in the material with your own didactic presentations, small group work, self-directed study and written assignments.

Grief Therapy for Couples and Families: Examine key theories and approaches for assessing and addressing grief for couples and families. Apply a systems approach to grief therapy and consider factors impacting the griever and grief counselling. Explore the types of grief, symptoms, issues, and phases of grief. Enhance your capacity and confidence through in-class practice that utilizes assessment and therapeutic approaches to support and assist clients. You will be encouraged to explore your own grieving experience, in order to minimize the effect of unresolved grief when working with a grieving client.

Therapy Interventions for Trauma, Abuse and Violence: In addition to individual interventions, this course intentionally examines therapeutic interventions from systemic perspectives. It integrates interpersonal and intrapersonal approaches that are useful in helping clients heal from the impacts of trauma. The course will encompass a broad range of trauma experiences (e.g., intimate violence, sexual abuse, natural disasters, witness to violence, war, political terror, vicarious trauma) and its impact on the therapist. The course is conducted through presentations, interactive discussion, readings, experiential exercises, case vignettes and/or video tapes. You are expected to actively participate throughout the course. There will be less emphasis on didactic lecturing from the instructors; thus, you are required to take significant responsibility for your learning.


  • A graduate university degree from an accredited institution with expertise in the subject area
  • At least three years of work experience in family and couple therapy with experience in grief therapy, trauma, abuse and violence therapy and/or mental health disorders
  • Curriculum development and training/facilitation experience
  • Teaching experience, ideally in an online environment, and an interest in adult learning and development
  • Excellent written communication skills, including the ability to effectively communicate with students using tools such as email and web-conferencing (Zoom)
  • A strong curiosity and a desire to learn
  • A commitment to meeting timelines and the ability to balance competing priorities to ensure they do not interfere with developing and delivering the course
  • A level of confidence with computer technology and the ability to master a learning management system (D2L Brightspace)
  • Demonstrated subject-matter expertise related to equity, diversity, and anti-oppression, including the ability to speak from personal experience and engage students in the central concepts and learning to promote social justice and empower positive change

How to Apply

If you are interested in this position, please send a resume with a cover letter that outlines your education and experience, how you meet the stated qualifications, and why you want to teach in the Advanced Certificate in Couple and Family Therapy Studies Program.

Applications must be submitted by June 24, 2022 via email to Mariel Mading, Manager, Program Development.

Continuing Education at OpenEd

Continuing Education at OpenEd provides innovative, high-quality professional development programs that reflect the unique teaching expertise and research strengths of the University of Guelph. We offer over 100 courses delivered to students in 26 countries, creating a network of learners who bring a rich, diverse cultural experience to our courses and programs. 

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