Training & Education in Family Therapy
I'm available to groups, organisations and agencies who wish to develop practical skills in systemic family therapies. I've taught family therapy for many years and in many settings, from delivering trainings to small community-based agencies, through to post-graduate papers in tertiary education settings.
Training can occur over 1-2 days, or be extended over a period of weeks, with participants focusing on skill-development between meetings. Such trainings usually include a mix of didactic and experiential work, and can bring participants to a point of being able to undertake their clinical work with an increased systemic focus, plus a wider repertoire of practical tools for intervention.
I also belong to a small group of professionals who are involved in the delivery of family therapy training in the Canterbury region. You can check out the website for Canterbury Family Therapy Associates here. Our three day introductory family therapy courses have become increasingly popular over the last three years and have been attended by a broad range of professionals from a variety of backgrounds.
Clinical supervision is now largely established as an essential tool or resource for clinicians in work settings such as health, education or social services. Whilst traditional supervision has largely focused on the relationship between the worker/clinician and their client, the more recent development of systemic supervision brings an additional degree of depth to supervision.
Systemic supervision is based on ideas from systemic family therapy. It is mindful of the following important factors:
- It focuses on the supervisee's clients within the context of their systems - what are the reciprocal influences (ie., how does the system influence the client, how does the client influence the system)?
- It seeks to identify which wider systemic and family of origin influences are disrupting the supervisee's client in their current quest for positive change and addresses how the supervisee can collaborate with the client to best address these.
- It is strengths-based: what are the client's strengths and how can these be further harnessed and of course, what are the strengths of the systems of both the supervisee and the client?
- Is mindful of those contexts and systems which shape and influence the clinician in their work with the client.
- Is practical and collaborative rather than interpretive.
- Supports the worker/clinician to grasp useful understandings from systemic family therapy which in turn can bring new perspectives to many aspects of their day to day clinical/client/teaching/management/leadership work.
-Supports the supervisee to ensure that the real work of supervision occurs between sessions, rather than in the supervision room.
Who is Systemic Supervision For?
It has proven useful to workers, clinicians and therapists from a broad range of work settings. It is especially useful for the professional when they have a sense that there are bigger or more significant forces at play, other than the client who is front of them may be able to identify. For example staff from mental health services and community-based agencies have seen the benefits for their clients, once there has been a shift towards focusing on the broader systemic context.
In addition to the benefits for clinical work, staff who are employed in positions of seniority and who themselves have responsibilities for the leadership or management of teams or groups have also found value in attending their own systemic supervision sessions. Systemic dynamics are invariably present in a variety of settings - not just families.
Systemic supervision occurs either 1:1 at my office or in small work-based groups at the agency or setting where a group of colleagues is employed. For it to be really effective, systemic supervision needs to occur every 2-3 weeks, with supervisees attending to systemic tasks between sessions.
Current supervisees include several complete teams, in addition to social workers, counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists, as well as trainees, students, team-leaders and managers.
I am also available for the provision of Skype supervision. This can be especially useful within the New Zealand context where people with substantial supervision experience in systemic therapies can be few and far between.
My contact details can be found here if you have queries about systemic supervision or training.