Working With and Supporting Complex Family Systems
(Families struggling high levels of conflict, multi-generational trauma, substance abuse, foster and kin care issues, loss, etc.)


Presented by Kathryn Snyder, PhD, ATR-BC, LPC – 3 CEU’s

9:30 to 12:30

February 21, 2024

A live, interactive, online training using the Zoom Pro platform

Price per person $89 


Family systems are complex networks of relationships, experiences, and histories. Some family systems are more complex than most due to a wide array of circumstances including mental health conditions, divorce, remarriage, multi-generational or multi-family households, death and loss, high conflict, substance abuse, violence, children in alternative care (foster or kin care), among others.

This workshop aims to support care workers in their work with complex family systems. We will define a wide range of complex systems, link such systems to general concepts of Bowenian Family Systems Theory, identify the challenges to children and child development within such systems and outline strategies for care workers to utilize to support their work with such families. We will look at the traps that providers might get caught in when complex systems create functional challenges, how to create and maintain healthy boundaries in working with a challenging system, ethical considerations, and self-care for managing the stress of working with challenging families.


Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the types of complex family systems
  • Assess the challenges and obstacles to working with complex family systems
  • Understand and demonstrate the necessary therapeutic capacities for effectively managing the dynamics of complex family systems
  • Identify effective team and inter-modality treatment plans for maintaining connection and a working alliance with complex family systems

This program will include didactic learning, small group activities, and discussions.


Agenda: A break will be provided

9:30-9:45 Introduction and warm-up-What are family systems like?

9:45-10:15 Overview of complex family systems: types and dynamics (alcoholic family, high-conflict, multi-generational, foster and kin care, loss, etc.)

10:15 -10:45 Small group discussion

10:45-11:15 Outline of trans-generational trauma, the emotional process in conflict, projection, and transference

11:15-11:30 Visual and engaged activity for creating understanding boundaries

11:30-11:50      Common traps in complex systems 

11:50 – 12:20 Team work for effective planning and a working model

12:20 – 12:30 Discussion and questions


CEU Hours: This event is co-sponsored by Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research (GSSWSR) for a maximum of 3 credit hours. Bryn Mawr College GSSWSR, as a CSWE accredited School of Social Work, is a pre-approved provider of continuing education for Social Workers, professional counselors, and marriage and family therapists in Pennsylvania and many other states.


About the Presenter:

Kathryn Snyder, PhD, ATR-BC, LPC

Kathryn Snyder is a Philadelphia-based, board-certified art therapist and licensed professional counselor with over 25 years of clinical experience working with children, adolescents and adults. Her private practice, Parent to Child focuses on art and play therapy for youth with a contextual family and systems framework. Parent to Child has been a lauded practice in Philadelphia since 2007. Spark, the non-profit outreach arm provides valuable therapy services, using art therapy to support underserved communities within the Philadelphia Public school system. To date, Spark has reached over 400 children with a wide impact on school and family communities.

Kathryn recently completed her PhD at Drexel University with research that looked at the distinct benefits and developmental constructs of art therapy with preschool children. She has an additional research focus on Museum Studies and Art Therapy and other therapeutic practices. She was a research fellow under Dr. Girija Kaimal and has supported research on art therapy in virtual reality, art therapy for PTSD and TBIs with veterans, participatory and visual research tools in public health, and art therapy in pediatric cancer care throughout the country.
Kathryn has taught art therapy courses, behavior and development, personality theory and observing children at Drexel University, University of the Arts, Temple University and at Moore College of Art and Design.

In addition to clinical work, Kathryn is a speaker, educator, and active community member, serving on many boards.



Procedure: After registration, you will be sent a confirmation, and a receipt of payment. A few days before the training you will receive a email containing instructions for logging on to the Zoom session, handouts, and the requirements for your certificate and CEU’s (if applicable)


Cancellations and Refunds: Canceling your registration must be done by email ( prior to five business days from the training date. If you have paid the fee, you will receive a refund or credit (your choice). If you fail to cancel prior to five business days and have paid, you or your agency will forfeit the fee. If you fail to cancel prior to five business days from the training date and have not paid, you or your agency will be billed for the full fee. Thank you.

Sorry, this event is expired and no longer available.

Event Details

  • February 21, 2024 9:30 am   -   12:30 pm
Share This Event