About this course

The course is designed to meet the Association of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (AFT) requirements for the training of family therapists and systemic practitioners, and will seek accreditation from this body at the completion of the first year. If accreditation is successful this will also retrospectively accredit students. It is a foundation level course, and will offer a pathway for progression to a 4-year qualifying course in systemic family therapy.


The social and political contexts of health, social care, education, community and youth work, the voluntary sector and charities, can be immensely challenging for practitioners and those with whom they work. Systemic thinking and practice offers tools, resources and ways of thinking about self and others to work respectfully and ethically within these complex contexts.

How to apply

Please fill the application form and return to marta@annafreud.org by 28th August 2017.

Training Format

Each teaching day will offer a plenary session for the whole group, followed by an application group ( 5-8 students).

These are small learning groups for the application of teaching and reading to practice. Groups are enriched by the variety of personal and professional contexts students bring to these. There will be opportunities for each student to consider who he or she is and what they do in their work context.

Additionally each student will receive three personal tutorials throughout the year from their application group tutor. An integral part of the learning will be the systemic consideration of all forms of discrimination within these various contexts.

Teaching Timetable

The course will run fortnightly, on Thursdays, for 18 days across the year (download the timetable)

  • Term 1: 28th September - 7th December 2017
  • Term 2: 11th January - 22nd March 2018
  • Term 3: 19th April - 21st June 2018

Teaching Team

The core teaching team is culturally diverse and are all Systemic Family Psychotherapists, Supervisors and Trainers. The team has extensive experience of working together and is currently engaged within a range of systemic practice contexts, including the fields of health, social care, education, voluntary organisations and charities, and private practice.

The course will also incorporate teaching sessions from visiting staff well known in their fields, to add to the richness of the teaching experience overall.


There will be three written assignments to complete within the year. On successful completion of the course, students will be eligible to receive 60 professional credits following course accreditation by AFT.

The training will cover

  • An introduction to the underlying theories and principles of systemic practice with families, couples and other systems.
  • An overview and framework of different models and methods of systemic family therapy.
  • The development of self-reflexive practice.
  • Systemic approaches to addressing the impact of oppression, and working with diversity.
  • Examining the use of mentalization inspired approaches to working with families, couples and professional networks.
  • An introduction to systemic approaches to multi-family work

 Who is this training suitable for?

Practitioners working with individuals, couples, families and communities, who are interested in enhancing their knowledge and practice in the thinking and application of systemic ideas across a range of work contexts.

Applicants should have relevant professional training in health, social care, education, youth and community work, or related disciplines. Additionally applicants may have a first degree, with experience in working in a relevant context. All applicants should have the opportunity to apply systemic ideas to practice in a current work setting.

Aims of the course

  • To provide an introduction to the underlying theories and principles of systemic practice with families, couples and other systems.
  • To develop an understanding of the effect of the diversity of personal and societal contexts on professional roles and tasks.
  • To develop skills and resources in using systemic ideas to help manage risk and complexity in the workplace.
  • To enable and promote the development of self-reflexivity and self-reflexive practice.

Training fee

If you book two or more places on the course you are eligible for a 5% discount. Please e-mail marta@annafreud.org to claim this offer.