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Course content

Join us on this course and you will develop your systemic knowledge and skills, and increase the effectiveness of your direct work with children and families with children.

Designed as an intermediate year of training for systemic psychotherapy and end-stage training as a systemic practitioner, it is built on the theoretical and practice frameworks established in the foundation year.

It aims to deepen your confidence in employing different approaches encompassed by systems theory, and will encourage you to incorporate reflexive thinking in your work.

This course is delivered in partnership with the Institute of Family Therapy in London.

Choose Intermediate Child Focused Systemic Practice PgCert and:

• Study the application of systemic ideas and learn how they can help you understand the developmental stages of children
• Explore the five major models of systemic practice, including the philosophical underpinnings, main theorists, main theoretical principles, model of change and role of the practitioner with particular reference to work with families with minor aged children and their networks
• Develop your ability to apply systemic practice skills to a number of different client groups and across a range of practice contexts
• Gain the ability to work within the ethical and legal frameworks that are relevant to multiple practice contexts and the particular requirements of organisations
• Benefit from an enhanced ability to use relevant evidence-based research to make assessments, formulate interventions and review the effectiveness of your direct work.

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Course detail

The course is designed to help professionals to develop and deepen systemic knowledge and skills in order to increase the effectiveness of direct work with individual children and families with minor children across a broad range of contexts. The course is both an intermediate year of training for systemic psychotherapy and end stage training as a systemic practitioner. It is built on the theoretical and practice frameworks established in the foundation year of training. It seeks to deepen students familiarity with and confidence in employing a number of approaches encompassed by systems theory.

The course is suitable for professionals who wish to increase their capacity to work directly with families with young children. This includes nurses, social workers, teachers, counsellors, other health professionals and those in front line services who wish to utilise a systemic approach with clients.

The course stresses the importance of understanding professional contexts and the way in which they relate to work with families with children. Particular emphasis is placed on thinking about ways of working which meet the needs of the most disadvantaged client groups and which take account of the legislative frameworks within which most practitioners will have to work. Attention to issues of difference and the promotion and development of anti-oppressive practice are central to the course philosophy and permeate all aspects of the teaching.

In addition the course focuses on the development of the therapeutic relationship and the use of self in direct work with individuals and families.


• Intermediate Systemic Child Focused Practice (ASS047-6) Compulsory


The course is composed of graded and pass/fail elements of assessment. The pass/fail assessments do not contribute towards your overall mark, but must be completed to a pass standard. There are two pass/fail elements: your log of 60 hours of systemic practice, and your reflective journal which charts your journey through the course.


On completing the course students are likely to have access to posts that require therapeutic skills in working with families with minor children. One example is in the Health and Social Care fields following the Munro Report on Child Protection which promotes systemic ideas as essential skills for front line workers. This course provides Intermediate training in systemic ideas that are applicable to social care, health, education and other contexts. On successful completion of this course students may describe themselves as systemic practitioners, an end target in itself, and also an intermediate stage in the full systemic psychotherapist training.

Some students enter the course to enhance their current practice with families with minor children or their carers without changing their work context. One example are counsellors who have originally trained to work with individuals and who use this foundation training to move towards working with families in the voluntary sector or as a stepping stone to further training.

For those in the statutory sector, many use the course to expand their practice and to develop routes to promotion into social care, management or supervision.

Students are encouraged to apply all of the learning to their work context which will enhance their career management skills. The course develops a range of practice skills which the student transfers directly into the work place; these include direct work and consultation skills.

On successful completion of the course you can use the title `Systemic Practitioner. This is a title recognised by the Association of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice and is highly regarded by employers in social care, education and the voluntary sector.


For information on available funding, please follow the link:

How to apply

For information on how to apply, please follow the link:

Visit the PgCert Intermediate Child Focused Systemic Practice page on the University of Bedfordshire website for more details!




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Recipient: University of Bedfordshire

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