6 days (2 + 1 + 2 + 1)

About this course

Multi-Family Therapy is an increasingly popular evidence based approach that involves the bringing together of different families in a therapeutic context in order to work jointly to overcome each of their specific and very individual problems. It is rarely a ‘stand-alone’ approach but is often used in combination with other interventions.  The model combines systemic principles with techniques that foster mentalisation. The approach has been applied nationally and internationally across a range of settings with a variety of clients, including:

  • Children and teenagers who are struggling to manage in school and/or have been excluded from school
  • Multi-problem families with abuse and violence who challenge social workers and the legal system
  • Children, teenagers and adults who present with mental health issues

Carers with post-natal mental health problems Eating disorders This 6 day course is run over a seven month period in order to support practitioners in setting up and successfully running multi-family work in health, social care and educational settings. The facilitators were all involved with developing the approach at the Marlborough Family Service, London, and between them have experience of running groups across all the above client groups. Participants will be shown examples of best practice and will be given a full explanation of the theoretical principles that underpin the approach. They will also receive tailored support and guidance on how to implement the model in their own work setting over the seven month period.

The course places a strong emphasis on experiential learning alongside more traditional teaching methods, illustrative clinical examples and video material. Participants will be supported to apply the principles taught through participating in, and later co-ordinating MFT activities within the group and reflecting on process.


The course will cover

  • Key family systemic theoretical perspectives
  • Multi-family group theory and practice
  • Application of multi-family group approaches in schools, Social Services, CAMHS and other health care settings, including the use of outcome measures
  • Mentalization-focused theory and practice as applied to multi -family group work
  • Resilience and social competence building
  • Partnership working with colleagues
  • Practical guidance for setting up and running multi-family groups in diverse settings
  • Evidence base for MFT

Who is this course suitable for?

All professionals with an interest in helping children who are presenting with emotional behavioural and mental health difficulties in schools, Social Care and Health settings. Particularly suitable for those who are keen to develop a practical, evidence-based, multi-family group approach, in parallel with other interventions.

Aims of the course?

Participants will:

  • Gain a good theoretical understanding of the multi-family group approach in health, social care and school settings
  • Be taught how to set up and run multi-family groups
  • Learn how to integrate multi-family work with other interventions
  • Understand how to use measures in a way that supports clinical work with families as well as examining therapeutic outcomes for multi-family groups
  • Gain an understanding of how to incorporate mentalization-focused and resilience-building activities into multi family group working.