Critical and reflective examination of systemic theory is at the heart of this course, and you will also focus on the application of a systemic framework to practice and research.
You study different approaches to therapeutic work across a range of subjects and client groups, including adult mental health, individuals, couples, children and families.
You will also sharpen your own critical responses to discourses relating to power, difference and diversity, and develop the skills needed to address issues of discrimination.
This course is delivered in partnership with the Institute of Family Therapy in London.
Intermediate qualifications available:
• Postgraduate diploma – 120 credits at Masters level
Choose Family and Systemic Psychotherapy MSc and:
• Study through a combination of lectures, group exercises and activities, and in addition to focusing on research and theory, benefit from the programme’s clinical practice component • Explore a range of qualitative methods for conducting research, before designing and conducting a piece of work in an area of your own interest and practice that you will write up for your final dissertation • Develop systemic practice skills through weekly attendance of a supervision group where you will work directly with clients assessing risk, safety and vulnerability, the therapeutic relationship, interventions, and theories of change • Gain an opportunity to develop your professional interests and contribute to the development of knowledge within the systemic field • Benefit from power and diversity group plenaries which will support you in the development of a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding power and discrimination.
The Research component of the course encourages independent learning, providing you with an opportunity to develop your own professional practice interests in initiating and taking responsibility for a research project and dissertation, contributing to the development of knowledge within the systemic field. The course aims to help you develop your work with families and couples, to increase and consolidate your theoretical and clinical skills and your understanding of the use of the self in practice. The inclusion of a wide range of approaches is an important characteristic. It is part of the course philosophy to encourage you in the development of a critical approach to theory and practice examining the inequalities and differences for example of race, class, gender, and to encourage an ethical and anti-discriminatory approach to clients. Use of self and self-reflexive practice is a core aspect of training,
A particular feature of the course are the Power and Diversity group plenaries, which support you in developing your understanding of issues of power and discrimination. These plenaries supplement and support the acquisition of these skills in your supervision group to apply this understanding in your therapeutic practice.
Subject to the agreement of your agency, you will be expected to bring your own case material for discussion and video or audio recordings of your work. Where appropriate signed, informed consent will be obtained from families for this purpose. For review of work during the course through DVD consultation, the consent forms for therapy include consent to record and review for the purposes of training. The academic and experiential learning provided encourages you to develop a broad critique and to apply a range of interventions in family and other related contexts in which you have a professional role. .
The course is the final stage of training leading to qualification as a family / systemic psychotherapist and eligibility to register with the UKCP.
The part time structure of the course enables you to continue in your employment while you study. The combination of evening and day time study and its central location make it accessible geographically to students from different parts of the UK. Tutors and supervisors are all registered systemic psychotherapists and systemic supervisors, many of whom have a PhD, combining academic rigour which is also grounded in clinical practice, contributing to a rich learning experience.
• Advanced Theory In Context (ASS044-6) Compulsory • Clinical Practice: The Developing Therapist (ASS042-6) Compulsory • Clinical Practice: The Maturing Therapist (ASS045-6) Compulsory • Research Dissertation (ASS043-6) Compulsory • Research Methods (ASS040-6) Compulsory • Theory In Context (ASS041-6) Compulsory
The spirit of the course is developmental learning and the promotion of connections between different aspects of the course and modes of learning. You will build on the skills and learning achieved in your Foundation and Intermediate level courses, taking them to a greater level of complexity.
The course employs a range of assessment strategies which respond to the learning outcomes of the course. The strategies include written assignments that give you the opportunity to show your systemic writing skills and critical use of the literature, particularly in the Research and Theory Units. In extending this assessment strategy, in different units on the course you will produce written analyses of your systemic work with clients showing the development of your application of theory to practice in both your course and agency-based places of work, as well as in vivo presentations. The strength of this strategy is that it draws on a range of strengths, and applies equally well to organisational dilemmas as well as case consultations and gives you the chance to extend your systemic thinking beyond the frame of direct work.
Career/Further study opportunities
This course qualifies you to practice as a family and systemic psychotherapist, and to apply for registration with the UKCP. Depending on your background and first professional qualification you may also have the possibility to apply for designated family therapist posts within the NHS. Following the Munro Report published in 2011 opportunities are beginning to open up for family therapy posts within the Social Care context, and a growing number of independent and third sector agencies are interested in having a qualified family / systemic psychotherapist on their staff, or providing consultation to their work. Other students go on to develop independent practice, often alongside posts within the statutory sector
Qualified practitioners with post-qualifying experience are eligible to apply for further study to become qualified systemic supervisors.
They may also apply for further study at Doctorate level, contributing to the development of knowledge within the field.
Students also use the increased confidence in their written and academic abilities to contribute written articles to journals within the field, for example the Journal of Family Therapy and to further develop their research interests.