Organised by

(Re) Visioning the landscape of practice

19 - 20 September 2019

Hilton Newcastle Gateshead Hotel

Together with AFT North East

Workshops

Draft workshop programme below.

 

Please note that the workshop programme is still being finalised and is subject to change, so they are not yet available for booking but we will contact all registered delegates as soon as the workshops are finalised and ready for online booking.

Click the workshop or        to see presenter details and a full abstract.

Thursday 19 September - Workshop Session 1 (after lunch)

Start

Finish

Details

14:15

15:30

  • Finding one’s place: micro-processes in systemic dialogues

     

    Presenter:  Paolo Bertrando, Scuola Sistemico-Dialogica, Bergamo, Italy

                          Claudia Lini, Scuola Sistemico-Dialogica, Bergamo, Italy

     

    Abstract:  Systemic therapy has always been interested in the position of people in systems: by examining our own position, we may find some understanding about several aspects of our life; for the process to be successful, tough, we should get a sense to how we feel in our present position. This entails a twofold activity, consisting both in evaluating one’s position, and becoming aware of one’s emotions. We define such process as “finding one’s place”. Finding one’s place is the equivalent of a snapshot, an emotional position caught on the map (one of the possible maps) of an existential situation. As therapists, we may use our ability to find our place in order to help clients in turn, to find their places within the significant systems of their lives.

     

    Finding one’s place requires developing some skills, partly unspecific, partly specific. The present workshop will deal mostly with the latter. Participants will learn about positioning (analysis of the referring process, larger system perspective, therapist’s positioning within the therapeutic system—including their political and ideological positioning); emotions in the session (identifying dominant and tacit emotions in the client system and within the session, the therapist’s emotions, finding one’s place within and outside the session); systemic-dialogical practices (emotional micro-hypothesising, dialogue with the context, relational responsibility). The workshop will also del with the application of the idea of finding one’s place in different contexts (private practice, National Health psychiatric services, consultation, etc.) and settings (family, couple, individual).

    Clinical cases will be discussed in order to illustrate the model, describe intervention methods, and discuss possible difficulties of the treatment format. Participants are encouraged to bring their own cases for discussion or supervision.

14:15

15:30

  • Our Gender/s, Their Gender/s, The Gender/s : Self Reflexive Dialogues in a changing landscape of gender

     

    Presenter:  Amanda Middleton, Systemic Psychotherapist - The Pink Practice

                          Jenny Wood, Family and Systemic Psychotherapist  Parents Group Facilitator at Gendered Intelligence

     

    Abstract:  Languages, identities and landscapes of gender are shifting and so systemic practice must to. Grasping feminist and post-modern practices in this workshop we will deconstruct our own experiences of gender to understand the areas of privilege and marginalisation they inhabit. From this we will explore how to hold and occupy our genders well when engaging in use of self-practices, especially when working alongside gender diverse, trans and non-binary clients. A discussion of what’s created when cis-gendered and trans-gendered people occupy therapeutic space together will ensue.   A 101 on the current landscape of gender and trans affirmative practice with young people and parents will be offered, drawn from the facilitators current work delivering training, and offering supervision to therapists, as well as,  therapy and support groups for trans people and their parents.  Information on how the latest MOU on conversion therapy endorsed by UKCP (here) and possible reforms of the Gender Recognition Act might affect trans people and might show up in our therapeutic work will be provided. Ultimately, we will explore how systemic practice can transform conversations to move beyond the damaging effects of historical and cultural stigma and the pathologizing of trans, gender diverse and non-binary peoples experiences, especially in the mental health system.

14:15

15:30

  • Systemic Research Tapestry

     

    Abstract:  The Systemic Research Tapestry workshop and poster presentations will be an occasion for presenters and delegates to discuss their research, practice work and initiatives.  It will offer a space to ask questions, get feedback and share ideas for enhancing practice.  The workshop with be facilitated by a panel of AFT representatives including Reenee Singh, Peter Stratton and Lisa Fellin.  They will be joined by Sarah Niblock (Chief Executive of UKCP) on Thursday afternoon.

     

    The workshop and poster presentations on display, hope to create a tapestry of different ways and levels of thinking about relationships between research and practice.  The aim is to scaffold people coming together to provide a platform for discussion and encouraging collaborative thinking.

14:15

15:30

  • Paper Presentations (please click for details)

     

    Presenter:  See Below

     

    Papers:

     

    Joining systemic landscapes - systemic team formulation and a whole systems relational model of intervention

     

    Claudia Kustner, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Inpatient Adult Mental Health, Berkshire

    Marc van Roosmalen, Consultant Clinical Psychologist CAMHS, Luton

     

    This presentation will explore current research and clinical practice of systemic and relational approaches to team formulation and intervention, in both adult and child mental health systems, where both presenters currently work.   It proposes a co-constructional process that encourages teams and agencies to widen their perspective on a client and their system, and to reflect on their own interactions and resilience within a system. Research reiterates that in the United Kingdom there is a strong need for psychological interventions that improve inter- and intra-professional team working as weak processes appear to have potentially detrimental effects on organisational productivity, as well as the well-being of staff and service users.   Today’s dynamic NHS environment is characterised by high levels of work demands and rapidly changing structures and culture. In a time when time and resources are limited, we argue that it is integral to create systemically informed spaces and processes for teams and to reflect upon their joint functioning, their wider work systems, and the service users that they care for.

     

    Culture in construction: How is culture talked into being in intercultural couple therapy?

     

    Raphael Cadenhead, Functional Family Therapy (FFT) Supervisor

     

    Despite the recent proliferation of process research on therapy dialogues, the construction of "culture" in intercultural couple therapy has received relatively little attention.  To address this lacuna, I seek to answer the following question: "How is culture talked into being in intercultural couple therapy?"    Using Discourse Analysis, I analyzed transcripts from three initial sessions of DVD-recorded conjoint couple therapy.   The participants of the study consist of Nestor (a Norwegian man in his early 30s), Layla (an Egyptian woman in her late 20s) and a female systemic psychotherapist.  To ensure participant anonymity, all personally identifiable information has been replaced.  The data for the case study comes from DVD recordings of clinical conjoint couple sessions from an existing research project called "Semantic Cohesion and Couple Satisfaction in Monocultural and Intercultural Couples", which is headed by Valeria Ugazio, Reenee Singh and Lisa Fellin in Italy and the UK.     My intention in using this data is to explore how a therapist and couple negotiate subject positions within the interpretive matrix of culture.  Through Discourse Analysis, I identified four main discourses at play: cultural misunderstanding; cultural continuity and discontinuity; cultural difference and similarity; toleration/compromise.  The findings of my analysis highlight the repeat positioning of Layla as an object of the discourse of psychopathology (a predominantly Western discourse), which in turn enthrones Nestor’s constructions of responsibility as normative.  The paper renews calls for cultural reflexivity among systemic therapists by highlighting the seen but unnoticed reproduction of normative cultural values in therapy and introducing the concept of ‘discursive vigilance’ – a posture of attentiveness and self-scrutiny that recognizes both the oppressive and the creative potentialities of language.

     

    How relationship overviews, peoplescapes, can contribute to systemic practice

     

    Steven Balmbra, Family Therapist (familieterapeut)

     

    Using figures to create relationship overviews is an effective way of facilitating clear and constructive dialogue leading to fresh insights and understandings. When working with couples and families, relationship overviews provide visual information about each other’s ways of seeing their situation that can both surprise and enrich understanding. Comparing and contrasting points of view helps to improve the way they mentalise each other and themselves.  Relationship overviews invite questions of who I am for other people, who they are for me, how we belong together and interact.  Overview of relationships and interplay can help people to review their understanding of alliances, values and resources and consider whether they will make changes to things that frustrate and harm them and those they care for. Overview can help lift them from feeling victimised by their circumstances and make them more aware of the power and influence that they have together with the people around them.  Too little has been written about using figures in systemic work, and theoretical reflection and description of method is lacking.  To address this, I have developed a simple visual model to illustrate various ways that relationship overviews contribute to conversations about relationships, and some of the different landscapes of dialogue they are particularly well suited to. The model is based on an unpublished qualitative study that I carried out in Norway in 2004. I will present some of sets of figures; Kvebaek's family sculpture technique, Ramirez's Play of Life and Balmbra's Family Dialogue Set and People in my Life.

14:15

15:30

  • 'Find your village' - a systemic response to supporting migrant families with young children

     

    Presenter:  Tom Allport, Consultant Paediatrician and Systemic Psychotherapist

     

    Abstract:  The experiences babies, toddlers and young children have affect how their brains grow and how they learn.  Children who live in difficult situations are more likely to be slow to speak or learn, especially if the family is poor.  Refugee families may experience specific challenges which affect wellbeing and limit children’s opportunities.  The community people live in affects how happy and safe children and families feel, and how connected or isolated they become.  Somali mothers in Bristol have told us about limited resources, multiple competing demands, social isolation, negative features of housing and local built environment, and perceptions of risk that may limit children’s opportunities for early play and social experiences.  We have developed an Ecocultural model showing the context of challenges for young migrant children’s development.  For families coming from societies where child-rearing is communal or collective, it may be especially important to consider what helps build a sense of community where they now live.   We have designed a peer-support volunteer intervention ‘Find your village’, combining (we hope) the best of Somali/African and European/Western ways of bringing up children, providing group activities each week; engaging, enabling and advocating for families’ strengths and needs, and supporting activities to improve the neighbourhood environment, working with local organisations.   This aims to improve parents’ confidence and children’s experience, and improve access to local agencies.   We are also using innovative ‘Walkabouts’ to explore ways disadvantaged migrant communities can influence statutory decision-making; and using filmmaking to illustrate refugees’ experiences of journeys from adversity to resilience, from isolation to connectedness, and from constraining to facilitating environments.  This workshop will offer opportunities to reflect on: -systemic responses to the needs of migrant families -ways systemic practitioners can support social and environmental change -how video/film narratives might contribute to understanding and action in contexts of social disadvantage.

14:15

15:30

  • "What do we do with James now?" A systemic consultation model for child care professional networks in crisis.

     

    Presenter:  Stephen Thomson, Family/Systemic Psychotherapist

                          Dr Tracy Gemmell, Clinical Psychologist

     

    Abstract:   We would welcome the opportunity to share and discuss a model we have developed together within our  CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service) as the initial intervention for children and young people whose care placement is in crisis and /or there is significant concern from referring agencies in relation to  mental health.   In our experience these young people often have disrupted attachments and present with a range of difficulties in keeping with developmental and complex trauma.  They often live with and are  supported by a complex system of relationships which can include family of origin, foster carers, social  work , education , private care providers and voluntary agencies.  It is also not unusual for these children/ young people to experience further rejection through placement breakdowns which can often reinforce beliefs   about individual pathology or deficit both for the young person and the professionals working with  him/her.       Our consultation model is focused on creating a collaborative and cooperative initial meeting worked jointly to  work towards a context that allows those present to share and mobilise their own knowledge and expertise.  We are influenced by the Open Dialogue Approach in seeking to create “dialogical equality”(Seikkula, Arnkil 2014) by ensuring that all voices are heard and to support reflective dialogue within what can be perceived as a hierarchy of  knowledge or expertise .  We  draw upon a range of systemic approaches and methodologies within a collaborative  context and take a  position of curiosity and appreciative enquiry .  We also  share an interest and are   Influenced by Dyadic Developmental Practice(Caswell et al, 2014 & Hughes, 2011) supporting emotional connection  with children in challenging circumstances from an attachment perspective  as part of the  reflective discussions which often lead to the generation of new thinking and ideas within these networks.

Thursday 19 September - Workshop Session 2 (late afternoon)

Start

Finish

Details

16:00

17:15

  • John Burnham - keynote speaker workshop - title to be confirmed

     

    Presenter:  John Burnham

     

    Abstract:  To be confirmed.

16:00

17:15

  • Working with couples' diversity: The Intercultural Exeter Model

     

    Presenter:  Janet Reibstein, Emeritus Professor

                          Dr Reenee Singh, AFT Chief Executive

     

    Abstract:   The Intercultural Exeter Model  (IEM) is a systemic model for working with couples from different cultures, religions and ethnicities, based on a NICE-guidelines informed method combining behavioural and systemic interventions.  It has been piloted within varied types of clinics and settings.  A book on the IEM is to be published in 2020 by J. Wiley.  The workshop will give an overview of the method, using video to show it in practice.  Participants will interrogate deeply how we think about diversity within our own families and, most pertinently, our client base. In addition they  will engage with an innovative way to merge CBT and systemic thinking and practice as they do so.

16:00

17:15

  • Systemic Research Tapestry

     

    Abstract:  The Systemic Research Tapestry workshop and poster presentations will be an occasion for presenters and delegates to discuss their research, practice work and initiatives.  It will offer a space to ask questions, get feedback and share ideas for enhancing practice.  The workshop with be facilitated by a panel of AFT representatives including Reenee Singh, Peter Stratton and Lisa Fellin.  They will be joined by Sarah Niblock (Chief Executive of UKCP) on Thursday afternoon.

     

    The workshop and poster presentations on display, hope to create a tapestry of different ways and levels of thinking about relationships between research and practice.  The aim is to scaffold people coming together to provide a platform for discussion and encouraging collaborative thinking.

16:00

17:15

  • Transgressive compassion within cruel contexts - using PPD within supervision to nurture systemic influence.

     

    Presenter:  Alison Murphy, Principal Systemic Psychotherapist

                          Nicola Boss

                          Rebecca Murkin

     

    Abstract:   This workshop explores a model of 'transgressive compassion' and how it can have an implicative influence on the contextual  oppressive political and social discourses which are dominating our current landscape of practice. It draws on the recursive levels within CMM to look at at how small acts of transgressive compassion can influence our lives, therapy, supervision and organisational contexts.  A quadrant model is proposed - compassion. cruelty and transgression/regression that will help us explore what positions we have, might and could take to develop transgressive compassion in our lives and those of others.  The idea of transgressive compassion stemmed from a conversation in LFTRC Supervision Training for which I am a PPD tutor, stimulated by Gail Simon's article (2010) re self supervision, surveillance and transgression.  The PPD group made rich connections to their roles and ability to transgress  within their own agencies. Throughout this training, we have used collaborative and creative techniques to explore personal and professional influences and connections (art work, writing, artefacts).  Some of this material will be shared as a foundation for the workshop process.  In the workshop we will draw on these creative methods to help participants explore and develop how acts of transgressive compassion might influence contexts and relationships that are shaped by regression and cruelty.  Participants will be able to work creatively with art materials in small groups and give feedback on the process - hopefully contributing to further development of the model.  Art work created can be taken away and hopefully become definitional and influential in the diverse landscapes of practice participants will be returning to after the conference.

16:00

17:15

  • Service users and families shaping the landscape of interventions for people with personality difficulties.

     

    Presenter:  Lisa  Evans, Psychological Therapist

                          Catriona Gray, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

                          Joanne Clarkin, Assistant Psychologist

                         Catherine Allen, HCPC Clinical Psychologist

     

    Abstract:

     

    ***NB ABSTRACT MAY CHANGE DUE TO SERVICE USER INVOLVEMENT ***

     

    The 2003 white paper ‘No Longer a Diagnosis of Exclusion’ (NIMH- Jan 2003) and NICE guidance (2009) created a landscape which valued the inclusion and involvement of families and carers in treatment programmes.   In the current political landscape, with an emphasis on value for money and evidence based practice, we wondered how the family voice has been heard in the shaping of services and interventions and how we can use the service user and family voice to reshape (develop?) future systemic practice for people who have attracted this diagnosis.  In this interactive workshop we would like to    • Explore the language, attitude and culture surrounding the diagnosis and labelling of personality disorder and also to reference some of the newer ways of thinking that enable people to access services.   • Share our experience of practice based research involving families in the development of a menu of easily accessed systemic interventions which have been helpful for service users who attract a personality disorder diagnosis and their families.   • Invite delegates to share their own experience and practices and explore the possibilities that might develop from including families’ voices.  • Consider how culture and context influence peoples’ expression of emotions and how this is heard and responded to.  • In the  final exercise of the workshop, introduce the practitioner’s voice to the development of the systemic practice and family sessions.

Friday 20 September - Workshop Session 1 (morning)

Start

Finish

Details

11:20

12:40

  • ABFT for adolescent depression

     

    Presenter:  Guy Diamond, Professor Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Director of the Centre for Family Intervention Science

     

    Abstract:  Too often, hostile arguments about obedience and day to day problems dominate and derail our family therapy sessions. Therapists know that relational hurt, disappointment, shame and trauma often underlie and fuel these painful conversations. Shifting these arguments to focus on these underlying attachment ruptures can be challenging. How can therapists change the conversation from behaviours to trust?  How do we shift the emotional tone from anger to longing and love?  How do we work through these relationships ruptures that so trust and love can be re-established? Without this foundation our problem solving efforts with families will likely fail. Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT; Diamond, Diamond & Levy) aims to accomplish these goals. ABFT provides a road map to help guide the family through this process-oriented, relationship enhancing therapeutic process. The model unfolds through five treatment tasks: relational reframing, alliance building with the adolescent, alliance building with the parent(s), attachment repairing, and promoting autonomy. Each task has a clinical map and goals to guide the therapist. There are clear outcome markers to help keep the conversation focused during each stage of the journey. Even though ABFT provides structure and directionality, the success of the treatment rests on the therapist’s capacity for alliance building, emotional deepening, tolerance for conflict and capacity to create enough safety so the family can fully engage. The clinical wisdom of this approach has been developed over 20 years through clinical trials, processes research studies, and hours behind the one way mirror trying to understand processes that lead to good outcomes (for a review see Diamond, Russon & Levy, 2016). This has led ABFT to be listed as an empirically-supported therapy model (NREPP, 2013) with thousands of trainees all around the world. This presentation will provide a concise review of the entire approach.

11:20

12:40

  • Embodies approaches to complex trauma with unaccompanied asylum seeking and previously looked after children

     

    Presenter:  Ana Draper, Clinical lead Coram/Kent Couty Council

                          Samantha Thomson, Family Therapist

     

    Abstract:  The contemporary landscape of practice is overwhelmed with children in the general population who are struggling to manage their emotional wellbeing. This saturation overwhelms traditional systems of support creating further marginalization for children who have experienced significant events that shape their beliefs in the present about the life they can lead. This workshop will challenge current practice using a systemic embodied methodology with children who are often marginalized and are defined as having trauma induced attachment difficulties.  Previously looked after and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are a vulnerable group that often present having experienced multiple traumatic events. In previously looked after children, this can be seen in events such as maltreatment, neglect and the perpetuation of abuse. Whereas unaccompanied children, also experience persecution, sexual maltreatment, imprisonment, torture, additional losses in their own country (Bean et al., 2007; Wiese and Burhorst, 2007). Added to this, unaccompanied and previously looked after children have also been subjected to continuous transitions throughout their migration trajectory (Bhugra, 2004) and when in care. These early traumatic experiences result in compromised resilience on psychological and biological development (Cicchetti and Banny, 2014).  This workshop uses the systemic model of approach, method and technique to gain an understanding of the complexity of presentation and formulation being made (Harris and Burnham 1985). It expands a novel EMDR sport-based approach, named Fast Feet Forward, that was first applied to unaccompanied minors with significant results. The data reported shows a replication of previous findings with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children which showed the benefits for previously looked after children of using running as a bilateral movement. In this workshop we will ask the audience to act as reflecting groups focusing on issues of social difference such as age, gender, culture, social class, religion which have informed the development of this novel way of working.

11:20

12:40

  • Liberation Practices: A ‘radical’ form of systemic practice?

     

    Presenter:  Taiwo Afuape, Systemic Psychotherapist and Lead Clinical Psychologist for the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust

     

    Abstract:  The aims of this workshop are to explore Liberation Practices (or LP) as a ‘radical’ form of systemic practice, describe examples of group work based on these ideas and facilitate a space where participants can reflect together on their own work.

     

    The systemic field has been influenced by four ‘waves’ based on different philosophical ideas about reality, power and knowledge, moving the field from a focus on families as the target of intervention, to a focus on systems. It has developed through positivist, constructivist, social constructionist and narrative frames that have led it to reflect more explicitly on social power, as well as people’s various forms of resistance. Taiwo argues that a LP fifth wave, that starts with the assumption that directly naming, addressing and challenging oppression is the most effective way to prevent and address distress, would centralise collective social action and social justice. This is an important emphasis given the ways in which family-based interventions may not necessarily challenge the oppressive social structures and discourses present in society.

     

    The workshop will explore how systemic therapists might create opportunities to engage in interventions that go beyond the family, and where social action group work punctuates liberation rather than amelioration.

     

    In addition, it will explore how difference, power, and privilege shape group facilitators and group members, who come together in solidarity in the face of an ‘external’ oppressor. Thus group work punctuating liberation is a “two-fold unveiling” (Freire, 1998); as we explore power and difference outside the group whilst attending to them inside the group.

11:20

12:40

  • Taking Time Out to consider gender dysphoria diagnoses in young people today

     

    Presenter:  Catherine Butler, Systemic Psychotherapist / Clinical Psychologist / Senior Lecturer / Clinical Director

                          Anna Hutchinson, Clinical Psychologist

     

    Abstract:  In the UK, young people with gender dysphoria undergo as few as three hour long specialist assessment appointments before receiving a diagnosis, and in some cases a referral onwards for a medical intervention. This leads to a time-pressured assessment process, from which the assessing clinician's decisions can go on to form a uniquely crucial juncture in a young person's life and identify development. This workshop will explore the current social and political landscape within which these assessments are taking place, and to which the assessments are contributing.   Firstly, we will explore some of the narratives and specific terms and word relating to sex, gender and gender-related distress that are currently being used, written and rewritten by young people, therapists and families. This will include an exploration of the growth in young people identifying as  transgender, non-binary, gender fluid or 'other.' We will also consider changes in the young people presenting to gender services since 2010, including the sudden and significant increase in referrals and the change from a group dominantly AMB (assigned male at birth) to one AFB (assigned female at birth.) Finally we will consider research, illustrated with case studies, that indicate a specific set of complexities and co-morbidities may be present for this group of young people. This will be considered within the current political and social pressures on the NHS and the physical and mental health services available to these young people, and ways that this diagnosis might be used and/or related to as a result.

11:20

12:40

  • Words Misunderstood: Can semantics guide therapists in couples disenchantment?

     

    Presenter:  Valeria Ugazio, Systemic Psychotherapist & Full Professor at University of Bergamo

     

    Abstract:  One of the main difficulties in couple therapy is to understand the problems responsible for disenchantment. Couples often show irrelevant conflicts because each partner hesitates to explain the reasons for their discontent in order to protect a vital relationship, which is at stake in that moment. Couple therapist must therefore face a lot of "unsaid" besides possible secrets. This workshop offers participants a way to understand couples’ disenchantment, focusing their attention on the meanings exchanged by couples. According to the model of semantic polarities (Ugazio, 1998, 2013), the couple’s life together starts by the meeting of two different worlds of meanings, the result of previous co-positionings. The encounter opens up many possible misunderstandings and enigmatic episodes because each partner has her their own way of feeling intimacy and expectations in the relationship, deriving from their dominant semantics and often different from those of the partner. The semantics of freedom, power, belonging and goodness guide the choice of the partner, construct the love and couple’s bonds in different ways and generate different expectations. The meeting between partners with different semantics generates conflicts and enigmatic episodes that can, in part, be foreseen, explained and confronted, by analyzing the couple’s semantic exchange. This workshop will be interactive: the links between semantics and ways of constructing couple relationships, as well as the problems that encounters can create, will be explored working together with the participants on their own couple experiences and clinical cases.

     

    References  Ugazio, V. (2013). Semantic polarities and psychopathologies in the family. New York, Routledge doi:10.4324/9780203552384 Ugazio, V. (2016). Family semantic polarities as a guide for the therapeutic process. In McCarthy, I. & Simon, G. (Eds.) (2016). Systemic Therapy as Transformative Practice. Farnhill: ECP, 368-391.

11:20

12:40

  • Reshaping risk: towards a systemic approach

     

    Presenter:  Philip Messent, Systemic psychotherapist in Independent practice

                          Percy Aggett, Systemic Psychotherapist

     

    Abstract:    ‘Risk’ has increasingly dominated the way in which health and social care professionals have engaged with their practice over the past 15 to 20 years, with practitioners, supervisors and managers required to ensure that they prioritise ‘assessing for risk' for every piece of work undertaken.  At times in our work in  NHS CAMH services it seemed that ‘risk’ overrode all other considerations, becoming the prime determinant of the sort of service offered.    What the concept of 'risk' involves is however rarely examined.  Clinicians are routinely required to complete risk assessment forms and place these in client files, but this is often done in a cursory way, with no discussion with clients about what is being recorded about them.  Where risk is discussed in teams, different disciplines often become polarised about how best to respond, and decisions taken can veer from seeming to ignore risks, to being extremely cautious and risk-averse.    In this workshop we will examine the meanings of and relationships to ‘risk’ in our different working contexts.  We will explore ideas about how, as clinicians, supervisors and managers, we can 'do' risk assessment and management in ways that are  relational and contextual,  open and collaborative,  appreciative of the strengths of the people we work with  and their community, and which includes and values the perspectives of all professions and agencies involved.   There will be opportunities (in small groups) for workshop participants to discuss their own quandaries working with ‘risk’, and how the new ideas that we develop between us may be useful in different working contexts.    Reference: Aggett, P. & Messent, P. (2018) Soapbox: Technical, relational and relational-collaborative approaches to risk management. Clinical Child Psychiatry and Psychology

Friday 20 September - Optional Lunchtime Workshop

Start

Finish

Details

11:20

12:40

  • NICE Guidelines Workshop

     

    Presenter:  Laura Sanger

     

    Abstract:   Optional lunchtime workshop.

Friday 20 September - Workshop Session 2 (afternoon)

Start

Finish

Details

13:45

15:00

  • Gwyn Daniels - keynote speaker workshop - title to be confirmed

     

    Presenter:  Gwyn Daniels

     

    Abstract:  To be confirmed

13:45

14:45

  • Women of Power - straddling privilege and marginalisation without othering

     

    Presenter:  Lottie Scull, Clinical CAMHS Service Manager

                         Bhawna Bharakda, Head of Clinical Practice in Family Services within the London borough of Kensington

                         and Chelsea.

     

    Abstract:  A workshop to: discuss, explore and expand upon how women from minority backgrounds can hold positions of power and influence, and how they use their power in ways to be inclusive rather than othering of those who may be viewed to have “privilege”.  A collaborative workshop in which there is interaction and discussion about the movement from oppression to inclusion of the privileged and marginalised members of society and how self-reflexivity can be used to position the self and others in order to disrupt the dominate isomorphism we see within family therapy as a community and within organisations, society and the families we may work with.   Bhawna Bharakda is Head of Clinical Practice in Family Services of the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Her journey into this position is influenced by her social GRACES, particularly Race, Education, Age and Appearance.  Lottie Scull is a Clinical Service Manager in South Camden CAMHS at the Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust, her journey into this position is influenced by her social GRACES, particularly: Age, Race, Appearance, Education and Religion.

13:45

15:00

  • An exploration of the application of systemic practices in organizational change

     

    Presenter:  Dr Barbara McKay, Director, Institute of Family Therapy

     

    Abstract:  Since 2007 I have been developing training courses to support the inclusion of systemic ideas into social work practice. I have noticed that in order to ensure transformational change is sustainable, leaders and managers (as well as the practitioners) need to embrace systemic principles and lead by showing the way. To this end I have been working with leadership teams in social care to engage them in actively applying systemic ideas in their daily tasks and relationships. This is not a new development. There are many talented systemic therapists who work with organisations to achieve the same outcome. However, what I have realised is that by making links between systemic ideas and evidence from business research, leaders find the ideas more compelling and less ‘therapeutic.’ In order to change whole systems, we have to find new entry points into conversations with leadership teams without losing our integrity as systemic therapists and without reducing ideas to sets of skills and sound bites.

     

    I will outline some of the constraints to change and consider ways that these can be addressed through a series of examples from my current practice.

     

    In offering this workshop, I want to stand up for our profession that has much to offer to new environments in both public and private sectors by promoting a relational focus.

13:45

15:00

  • Step by Step, Side by Side: Trekking the path of Systemic Practice in Social Care

     

    Presenter:  Karen Partridge, Systemic Development Lead, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust

                          James Owen, Systemic Champion Lead and IRO, Camden Social Care

                          Helen Mahaffey, Systemic Mentor, Visiting Lecturer Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust

                          Mark Chidgey, Systemic Mentor, Visiting Lecturer Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust

                          Kevin Makwikila, Parent and Systemic Thinker, Camden Social Care

                          Paul Dugmore, Portfolio Manager - Social Care & Leadership, Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust

     

    Abstract:  This workshop will describe a project commissioned by a London borough with the aim of embedding systemic ideas into social care. The framework which was initially commissioned became a springboard for a range of exciting developments which challenged our thinking and practice and which pulled the rug out from under our feet with respect to our conception of what it means to be systemic. What has been interesting and exciting in the growing sense of a community project which is iterative and co-produced. It has fostered inclusivity through enabling staff at different levels in the organisation and people using the service to have a voice in developing the future. There has been a groundswell of enthusiasm and commitment which has surprised us all, such that the project has the sense of having a life of its own.  In participating in this process, we have moved through what could be described as three messy, organic, action research cycles of development, each one building on feedback and using a reflexive process to move onto the next phase. Developments along the way have included; the putting together of a systemic rucksack of methods and techniques for senior practitioners, a unique model of live mentoring of senior practitioners’ supervision of their pods using the “bells that ring model”, the upsurge of a Systemic Champions group and a growing online resource.  During the workshop we will share some of these developments, discuss their effects on trainers, mentors, social workers and families and invite the audience to begin to develop their own “resources to take on route”. We will also raise questions and debate about what it means to be systemic in the 21st century and the pros and cons of fostering many different ways to do so.

13:45

15:00

  • Paper Presentations (please click for details)

    Systemic Theory as a coherent conceptualisation for contemporary relationship-based practice models in child and family social work.

     

    Stephen Coulter, Lecturer in Social Work

    Dr. Suzanne Mooney, Lecturer in Social Work

     

    Throughout its history social work practice has an essential but somewhat ambiguous, or even ambivalent, relationship with theory. This is currently evident in the broad range of contemporary relationship-based practice (RBP) models currently being applied within child and family social work across the UK such as Reclaiming Social Work, Signs of Safety, Family Group Conferencing etc. This presentation will argue that there is an urgent need for a theoretically coherent conceptualisation of these models to facilitate frontline social work practitioners to see the commonality among these ‘new’ models and so enable more effective implementation. Systemic theory, inherent in the development of these new practice models, provides this and offers a distinct lens to help social workers integrate their thinking and practice. This unifying approach will be described in contrast to the lack of referencing of their common systemic heritage among many of the contemporary RBP models, which emphasise their distinctiveness for reasons of fidelity, model identity and marketing. This has led some commentators to (mistakenly) frame contemporary RBP as a return to psycho-dynamically informed casework. The macro and meso socio-political conditions in which these new practices arose will be considered, and the systems theory and social constructionist epistemological underpinnings for practice articulated.

     

     

    Reintegration to secondary school after exclusion: the role of the parent-school relationship

     

    Carina Embeita, Educational Psychologist and Family Systemic Psychotherapist

     

    School exclusions are increasing at an alarming rate in the UK. Parents’ and carers’ role in the process of reintegration has often been highlighted as essential. However, it is only recently that literature and official reports show signs of awareness of the importance of genuinely involving parents and carers as partners in the collaborative process of ensuring educational opportunities for their children. This paper offers an account of the findings of a research study into the relationship between parents and schools through the process of exclusion and reintegration to secondary school, and of the implications for systemic practice in schools, from the perspective of parents and carers. The lived experiences of the parent/carer participants who underwent the process of their children’s exclusion and reintegration from mainstream school is explored systemically in relation to the main findings:  a-the ‘3 Cs’ essential in parents-school relationships to support reintegration: Collaboration, Communication and Commitment; b-the parental experience of time in the process: a circular experience that denotes a continuous link between present, past and future similar to Tomm’s (2014) and Papp’s (1985) systemic views of time c-the recursive nature of the divisive effect of exclusions on both parent- school and parent-child relationships: the more empathetic and allied to the child a parent is, the more adversarial their relationship with the school is and vice-versa. The paper delineates suggestions on how systemic theory and practice can support parents and schools navigate this process in a less antagonistic and more collaborative way using ideas from positioning theory (Harré and Van Langenhove, 1999) semantic polarities (Ugazzio, 2013) and semantic polarity conversations- a conflict resolution model based on positioning theory and developed by Campbell and Grønbǽk (Campbell and Grønbǽk, 2006; Grønbǽk, 2013).

     

     

    Making sense of  young people’s distress.  A plea for sociological imagination

     

    Chris Ward, Systemic Family Therapist

     

    School exclusions are increasing at an alarming rate in the UK. Parents’ and carers’ role in the process of reintegration has often been highlighted as essential. However, it is only recently that literature and official reports show signs of awareness of the importance of genuinely involving parents and carers as partners in the collaborative process of ensuring educational opportunities for their children. This paper offers an account of the findings of a research study into the relationship between parents and schools through the process of exclusion and reintegration to secondary school, and of the implications for systemic practice in schools, from the perspective of parents and carers. The lived experiences of the parent/carer participants who underwent the process of their children’s exclusion and reintegration from mainstream school is explored systemically in relation to the main findings:  a-the ‘3 Cs’ essential in parents-school relationships to support reintegration: Collaboration, Communication and Commitment; b-the parental experience of time in the process: a circular experience that denotes a continuous link between present, past and future similar to Tomm’s (2014) and Papp’s (1985) systemic views of time c-the recursive nature of the divisive effect of exclusions on both parent- school and parent-child relationships: the more empathetic and allied to the child a parent is, the more adversarial their relationship with the school is and vice-versa. The paper delineates suggestions on how systemic theory and practice can support parents and schools navigate this process in a less antagonistic and more collaborative way using ideas from positioning theory (Harré and Van Langenhove, 1999) semantic polarities (Ugazzio, 2013) and semantic polarity conversations- a conflict resolution model based on positioning theory and developed by Campbell and Grønbǽk (Campbell and Grønbǽk, 2006; Grønbǽk, 2013).

     

    References:

    Campbell, D. and Grønbǽk, M. (2006). Taking positions in the organization. London: Routledge.

    Grønbǽk, M. (2013) ‘Dialogue: Keeping in Touch’. In: Burck, C., Barratt, S. and Kavner, E. (Eds.) Positions and Polarities in Contemporary Systemic Practice: The Legacy of David Campbell. London: Karnac.

    Papp, P. (1985) ‘Fast Forward: Future questions, Future Maps.’ Family Process, 24 (3) pp. 299-310.

    Tomm, K. (2014) Karl Tomm og de 4 spørgsmålstyper [Karl Tomm and the 4 Questions]. [Online Video] Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGiTJ-Z_y6Q (Accessed 24th August 2018)

    Ugazzio, V. (2013) ‘Semantic Polarities: Two Interpretations for One Concept’. In: Burck, C., Barratt, S. and Kavner, E. (Eds.) Positions and Polarities in Contemporary Systemic Practice: The Legacy of David Campbell. London: Karnac.

13:45

15:00

  • Connecting with families in the digital landscape

     

    Full Title - Connecting with families in the digital landscape: Healios Family Intervention programme addresses distance and time constraints for families and practitioners

     

    Presenter:  Alison Joyce, Family Intervention Lead, Healios

                          Frank Burbach, Head of Clinical Services, Healios

     

    Abstract:  It is often a challenge to convene family members who are living with the impact of mental health difficulties, juggling multiple responsibilities and may be dispersed. We have developed an internet-based approach that provides a solution to this. The Healios family intervention consists of clinician-led sessions delivered via a secure online interactive platform. The programme is an integrated approach, grounded in BFT, CBT and Systemic practice, which includes psycho-education, exploration of interactional cycles and skills training. The content can be tailored to meet families’ specific needs and includes discussion of symptoms, engaging the treatment team, developing coping strategies and relapse-prevention. The approach includes skills and techniques in collaborative goal setting, problem solving, communication and completing a Cognitive Systemic Formulation. This approach enables families to reduce their stress levels and find solutions to difficult situations they are facing, and supports the Triangle of Care between professionals, carers and patients.   Intervention Key characteristics: NICE endorsed semi-structured family intervention • Interactive therapeutic materials • Sessions can be provided at convenient time between 8am and 9pm  • Families seen in the comfort and privacy of their home • Family members can attend appointments from different locations • Qualified clinicians are able to see clients in diverse locations without having to waste time on travel • Referring practitioners have secure access to intervention data for their clients – aiding collaborative treatment planning  The programme was developed in 2013 and has been provided to a range of service users and their families, including carers of adults with long-term psychosis, armed forces families coping with PTSD, and carers for people with dementia.   The workshop will present the clinical approach and its ongoing development, including demonstration of the online platform.  We will also present case studies and clinical outcomes for the various projects.  Wider implications for systemic practice will be considered and debated.

Any Questions?

 

 

Website and online booking provided by Mint Events.  If you have any questions regarding your registration or the conference, please contact:

 

John Bastock

Mint Events Ltd

T:  +44 (0)1270 750070

E:  aftconference@mintevents.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

This conference is organised by the Association for Family Therapy & Systemic Practice.

 

The Association for Family Therapy

7 Executive Suite, St James Court, Wilderspool Causeway, Warrington, Cheshire, United Kingdom, WA4 6PS.

Company No. 03018026.  Registered Charity No. 1063639