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College of Health & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Creative Systemic Studies

Course Descriptions


I. Creative Transformation


The Art of Creative Transformation

The art of bringing forth change through utilization, improvisation, resourcefulness, creativity, rhapsodic expression, and embodied interactional circularity. (MAFT 7013, 3 credits)


Improvisation in Creative Systemic Studies

Advanced practice of the improvised performance of change (MAFT 7009, 3 credits)


Absurdity, Nonsense, and Play in Creative Systemic Studies

Theory and practice of absurd means of creative transformation, including the production of nonsensical texts and performed enactments of the absurd. (MAFT 7015, 3 credits)


After Therapy: Developing Alternative Professions

Development of new forms of creative transformation inspired by diverse global healing traditions and the performing arts. (MAFT 7011, 3 credits)


II. Scholarly Methods


Issues and Problems in Systemic and MFT Research

Introduction to scholarship in creative systemic studies and basics of the doctoral dissertation project (MAFT 7040, 3 credits)


Qualitative and Ethnographic Research

An examination of diverse scholarly methods appropriate for creative systemic studies. (MAFT 7042, 3 credits)


Creative Systemic Scholarship: Cybernetic and Communication Research Strategies

Cybernetic and communication research strategies including recursive frame analysis, cybernetic hermeneutics, and embodied interactivity. (MAFT 7008, 3 credits)


Dissertation Seminar I: Comprehensive Examination – Literature Review

Researching and writing a literature review for a dissertation. (MAFT 7046, 3 credits)


Dissertation Seminar II: Comprehensive Examination – Scholarly Method

Developing a formal discussion of a scholarly method and a dissertation proposal. (MAFT 7046, 3 credits)



Students must register for, and accrue, a minimum of 12 semester hours of dissertation credit. Grades of CR (Credit) or NC (No Credit) will be awarded. (MAFT 7099, 3 Credits)


III. Systemic Thinking


Family Systems I

Introduction to Gregory Bateson’s cybernetic epistemology and aesthetics of change. (MAFT 7000, 3 credits)


Family Systems II

An examination of the laws of form, radical constructivism,and the postmodern cybernetics of Heinz von Foerster, Francisco Varela, and others. (MAFT 7002, 3 credits)


Social Ecology

Special topics in systemic philosophy relevant to creative systemic studies. (MAFT 7022, 3 credits)


IV. Creative Systemic Practice


Couple & Marital Therapy

Examination of interactional and relational know-how as a paradigmatic alternative to narrative knowing (MAFT 7014, 3 credits)


Family Therapy I

Introduction to Milton H. Erickson and creative therapy. (MAFT 7010, 3 credits)


Family Therapy II

Advanced creative transformative performance (MAFT 7012, 3 credits)


Family Medicine & Marriage and Family Therapy

A survey of global healing traditions. (MAFT 7061, 3 credits)