All that jazz

Last week those of us who attended the IFT AGM were treated to a sneak preview of a chapter of the book currently being written  by  Richard McKenny who delivered the Annual Robin Skynner memorial lecture on Reason, Metaphor and Theory in Systemic Thinking: The Case of the Jazz Metaphor.  Richard’s philosophical know-how and expertise places him at the forefront of the next wave of developments in systemic practice.  All present came away with plenty of insights to be digested over the wine and nibbles which followed.

This annual event is a must for our members!  See  you next year.

Research advertisement: Couple therapy for Intercultural Couples

Are you experiencing a difficult time or conflict in your couple relationship? Are you thinking about seeking couple therapy to address these issues?

We are looking for intercultural couples, who are willing to attend couple therapy as part of a research study. Our research broadly focuses on couple cohesion and satisfaction amongst intercultural couples in the U.K. Follow this link for further details.

Welcome to Hendrix Hammond

New Appointment at IFT

The Institute is delighted to announce the appointment of Hendrix Hammond to our in-house training team.

Hendrix joined us in September and is taking over the reigns of our Families and Couples and Child Focused introductory and intermediate courses.  Hendrix has a wide and varied background, having started in a YOT service with ‘hard to engage’ young people with an offending history. He then worked in primary schools with families where a child had been identified with an emotional/behavioural difficulty.  Hendrix  moved to the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships where he worked as a group facilitator and supervisor running parenting groups for high conflictual parental couples. Most recently he has worked in CAMHS undertaking short term mental health assessments and short-term interventions with a variety of clients. Hendrix also has a wide variety of training expertise and experience, and is already making a significant contribution to our courses.

We have great pleasure in welcoming Hendrix to our team!


Welcome to Iris Corrales, Assistant Director, IFT

I am delighted to welcome Iris Corrales to the Institute of Family Therapy as Assistant Director. Iris comes with extensive experience of working within other contexts, such as CAMHS services in East London where she was instrumental in building bridges between CAMHS and social care. She is well known to IFT through her work over many years as a supervisor in the MSc Systemic and Family Therapy course where she has contributed to the development of excellent services to both supervisees and families. Iris has accepted responsibility for driving forward several initiatives between IFT and social care environments and will explore other avenues of income generation into the future.

We are thrilled that Iris has decided to join us and we hope to make the best use of her extensive talents in practice, supervision and consultation to further expand our reach into new contexts of practice.

Dr Barbara McKay

Graduation Ceremony in the Tri-Borough

The Institute of Family Therapy has completed the first wave of training in the Tri-Borough area of Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham and The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The Focus on Practice team arranged a graduation ceremony on the 9th of June for all of those who have completed their courses, both practice and supervision courses. The ceremony was held in Kensington Town Hall with opening speeches by Clare Chamberlain, Director of Family Services, RBKC for the Tri-Borough and Barbara McKay for the Institute of Family Therapy. Clare was a leading voice in creating opportunities for training and maintained her enthusiasm throughout. She also attended systemic training in her own right with the rest of the Leadership team.

IMG_4641 The whole event was uplifting with lots of enthusiasm for the achievements at all levels of the agencies.  These first graduates from the courses are now a fantastic resource for others to follow and will provide the impetus for sustainability which is the next phase of the development. Many of the graduates wish to apply for the Intermediate course which is part of the training initiative and it seems that places will be in great demand.

The afternoon was completed with tea and cakes in an informal setting to encourage networking between staff in the three boroughs and to make links for future practice. The whole event was very well received and a good opportunity to mark the success of large numbers of staff who found time and commitment to complete demanding training courses.

Congratulations to all for the resounding success.

Barbara McKay

The Institute of Family Therapy and Frontline

Over the past three years the Institute of Family Therapy has constructed and delivered systemic courses embedded in the Frontline Masters in Social Work. This has been an interesting period in IFT’s development and consolidated the status of our institute as a leading systemic training partner in social care contexts.

IFT has been associated with Cohorts 1 and 2 in the Frontline programme which has included Foundation and Intermediate level systemic training. This contract reaches its completion in summer 2017 with Cohort 2 students completing their Intermediate level course which forms the masters’ year in social work.

Students who have studied the systemic option for the Intermediate year have given excellent feedback and several students from Cohort 1 have chosen to continue their systemic journey through the MSc in Family and Systemic Psychotherapy. This is a welcome development as those students will contribute to a growing body of systemic practitioners and therapists in social care environments. We anticipate that there will be a similar level of interest from Cohort 2 students for further training.

Frontline has now taken all courses in house from Cohort 3 onwards and IFT will no longer participate in construction or delivery.

This has been an exciting time for all of us involved in the course and we will continue to enjoy our time with the students as they work towards course completion.

Dr Barbara McKay, Director

January 2017

Agency Based Training at IFT

Agency based training has become a significant pathway for the Institute to share systemic ideas and practices with Social Care and Health professionals.

Since the publication of the Munro review in 2011 many local authority Social Service Departments have embraced the reports recommendations, introducing a more systemic model of Social Work practice.

The Institute has been invited to deliver Foundation, Intermediate and Supervision systemic trainings with a number of local authorities, including Essex, the Isle of Wight and Stoke-on-Trent, where we have now agreed to deliver our eighth Foundation course, totaling 200 participants.

The Institute has also been invited to offer a number of shorter trainings for Health Trusts.

We are hopeful that new opportunities to influence practice with families in health organisations will emerge over the coming year.

Richard Mc Kenny
Director of Agency Based Training

IFT connections ‘down under’

We are pleased to announce that IFT has formed a ‘twinning’ relationship with The Bouverie Centre, Melbourne. The Bouverie Centre is the leading family therapy training centre in Australia and, like IFT, has courses from introductory to MSc to Doctorate levels.

The Centre also has a number of very well established, high calibre clinical services in family therapy, particularly sexual abuse, acquired brain injury and single session therapy. The Centre was established in 1956 as the Bouverie Clinic. During the next 24 years there was a transformation from traditional child guidance clinic to a creative and innovative specialist family therapy centre. In the late 1980s the Centre formed an academic relationship with Latrobe University (interestingly at the same time that IFT established its relationship with Birkbeck) and in 1996 the Centre formally became part of Latrobe University in the faculty of Health Sciences.

The Director of the Centre is Dr Colin Reiss and one of the senior therapists is Amaryl Perlesz, who co-edited the Therapeutic Relationship with Carmel Flaskas.

We have put a link to The Bouverie Centre on our website or you can Click here to register your interest.

Academic Partner

The Institute’s four year training (Year 1, 2 and the MSc) are validated with the University of Bedfordshire and sees IFT’s courses located within the Department of Applied Social Studies which also houses social work and nursing training.  The University has a good reputation for practice training amongst the professions and also has an excellent record in research in these areas. It is also familiar with systemic courses, having been the validating partner for other systemic courses in the past.

We are delighted with this relationship and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial arrangement to take us into the future.

For those who are interested you can access the University of Bedfordshire website to learn more on where you will find information about the University as well as details of research activity in Applied Social Sciences.

Barbara McKay Director