Masters Level Clinical Training in Systemic Psychotherapy

About the Programme

The Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust Psychological Therapies Training Centre (PTTC) offers a two-year part time qualifying level (MSc) in Systemic Family Psychotherapy training. The first cohort of this course, commenced in April 2021 and once this completes in March 2023 it will be reviewed for AFT professional accreditation, which will enable students to qualify for registration as systemic psychotherapists. This accreditation process can only take place on completion of the first cohort of a new course. The academic aspect of this course is validated by The University of Manchester Division of Psychology and Mental Health, within the School of Health Sciences

The course will provide high quality training in the key skills required to be a systemic psychotherapist, drawing on a range of theory, models, and research, with an emphasis upon adult learning principles, evidence-based practice and creative approaches within systemic family therapy. This will include individual, couple and family systemic therapy and will feature working within a live family therapy training team, supervised by an Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (AFT) accredited systemic clinical supervisor, 5 hours a week over the two years.

The training will also incorporate learning in relation to systemic facilitation, consultation, group work and supervision theory and techniques. Trainees will be introduced to research theory and practice skills and will be supported to complete a systemic research project during the second year of the course.

Teaching will take place predominantly in person (subject to Covid guidance) with some online teaching days. The teaching venues will be The Psychological Therapies Training Centre’s (PTTC) satellite teaching bases; Fairways Lodge & Leisure Club, George Street, Manchester, M25 9WS or Whitefield Golf Club, 83 Higher Lane, Whitefield, Manchester, M45 7EZ.

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Programme Aims

This programme will deliver a professional training at postgraduate level in Family and Systemic Psychotherapy leading to UKCP registration. This professional qualification will be accredited by AFT and assure that graduates are fit for safe and effective practice as Systemic Psychotherapists in NHS, social care, voluntary or independent practice. It will equip graduates to undertake systemic psychotherapeutic work with individuals and people in family and relational groups in accordance with the AFT and UKCP Codes of Ethics and Practice.

Family therapists are employed as a core part of multi-disciplinary teams, within a range of agencies. Specialist systemic family therapy services have an established evidence base for working with a wide range of presenting issues. Trainees will be taught the necessary knowledge and skills to work effectively with evidence-based models across the age range.  They will need to evidence their knowledge, skills and attributes through the specified assessments and clinical practice requirements.

By the end of the course students should be able to demonstrate a range of skills including:

  • An understanding of some of the key developmental processes within individuals, families (in diverse forms) and social systems.
  • A commitment to anti-discriminatory and culturally sensitive practice.
  • An ability to elaborate and critically evaluate a range of theoretical frameworks in relation to family therapy and systemic practice and their relationship with other therapies and theories of change.
  • Knowledge of a range of possible problems presented by clients coming for therapy (including examples of more serious mental health issues, knowledge of relevant research findings and clinical understanding from inside and outside of the psychotherapy domain sufficient to enable therapists to identify problems that can be helped by other methods as well as those outside their own limits of expertise).
  • An ability to develop effective therapeutic relationships with a range of clients
  • An ability to use a range of techniques to help clients to make changes in their lives
  • An understanding of wider systems and their impact on individual and family life, and an ability to include this perspective in work with clients.
  • A capacity to use the supervision and consultation processes.
  • An ability to consult constructively with colleagues.
  • An ability to take an active role in the development of personal learning and be able to identify areas of personal strength as well as areas for future professional development.
  • An awareness of personal development processes and an ability to use them in therapeutic, reflexive ways.
  • An ability to critically evaluate relevant research findings.
  • Sufficient knowledge of research methods to be able to plan and carry out a piece of research relevant to the field.
  • An ability to organise work and manage organisational tasks and liaison efficiently and effectively.
  • An ability to communicate the process of therapy in both oral and written forms to psychotherapy colleagues as well as other professionals.
  • An ability to apply the AFT Code of Ethics and Practice to clinical work and an awareness and ability to consider and respond appropriately to ethical dilemmas.

Who Can Apply

Who is the training for?

AFT require any candidate for this qualifying training to have a first degree or have evidence of ability to study at a postgraduate level and to have completed an AFT accredited Intermediate Level systemic training course, (this includes SFP CYPIAPT graduates) and have a professional qualification in one of the following:

  • Psychology: clinical psychology, educational psychology or counselling psychology
  • Social Work
  • Psychiatry and other medical specialities
  • Teaching: individuals should have substantial experience of working with pupils and families in a counselling capacity.
  • Nursing: mental health nursing and other nursing specialities which require counselling skills.
  • Art Therapy: art, dance and movement and music therapists, qualified and registered through the Health Professions Council
  • Counselling: Three-year minimum training, full BACP accredited membership and experience either in the public or voluntary sector
  • Occupational Therapy: qualified and registered with the Health Professions Council
  • Speech and Language Therapy: qualified and registered with the Health Professions Council

Applicants without one of these recognised core professions will be considered for eligibility via the Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes (KSA) framework based on that developed by the BABCP.  The KSA requirements for this training programme will be sent out to applicants.  An example of KSA requirements can be found on the BABCP website Knowledge Skills and Attitudes (babcp.com)

Applicants must have a work context within which they can apply their systemic learning in working with families over the two-year training period.

To discuss the training please contact our course lead Karen Wright: Karen.wright@gmmh.nhs.uk 

Training Component

Students are required to attend teaching days 2 – 3 days a month during term time on a Wed or Thursday (some weeks will have two-day blocks). Students are required to complete 200 hours of systemic practice in their own agency over the course of the two years under the supervision of a qualified and registered Systemic Family Psychotherapist who ideally is also a registered Systemic Supervisor.

Teaching methods will include workshops, tutorials, large and small group experiential learning. This will include videos of lecturers and trainers engaging in therapy with children and young people and parents (with consent), lecturers modelling (role play) to demonstrate techniques/skills; student role play, self-experiential work, discussion and individual and group exercises to promote skills acquisition and reflection. Students will use private study and research for assignments.

Personal and professional learning groups will be facilitated six times a year. Trainees will also be required to undertake six sessions for themselves (and significant others) of systemic family therapy with a UKCP registered family therapist as part of the Personal and Professional development component of the training.

During term time in both year one and year two trainees will work within a weekly live family therapy team, with three other trainee colleagues and a qualified systemic therapy supervisor, who will support and assess their practice. During the first cohort these live family therapy team placements were within NHS CAMHS services (specialist and generic) across the Northwest (including Greater Manchester, Warrington and Knowsley) and we also had a satellite placement in Nottingham.

Students will undertake this 2-year programme alongside employment within an agency within which they are able to apply their learning.  They will be trained to work with a variety of presenting difficulties and a diverse range of children, young people adults and families. They will also work in collaboration with a range of different professions, organisations and networks.  The programme will develop students' decision-making abilities and enable them to use supervision and to recognise when and where it is appropriate to seek further advice, to refer to a specialist service, including working in relation to safeguarding and risk issues.

In Summary the minimum number of expected hours of teaching, clinical practice and independent study over the two years will be as follows:

  • Face-to-face clinical work with clients seen with live supervision in a supervision group: 40 hours
  • Clinical Practice within a supervision group: 300 hours (this does not include the required 200 hours of clinical practice in own organisation)
  • Clinical practice hours in own organisation/agency/workplace (health and/or social care setting): 200 hours
  • Direct teaching hours and Personal and Professional Development: 180 hours. Of this direct teaching time 25 hours will be dedicated to PPD
  • Independent study and research time: 1175 hours

Programme Fees

In terms of the costs of the course we don’t have the course fees for the next intake in September 2023 as yet. The course costs for our initial cohort of students were £5625 per academic year but it is likely the fees will increase for the next cohort.

Around three quarters of our students on this first cohort did receive full funding from the HEE for their course fees, but this was via their employers (mainly NHS Trusts). Other students were funded by their employers either full or part funding and some students are also self-funding (payments can be spread over the duration of the course).

This HEE funding available nationally was due to a national under spend and it was dependent on employers identifying gaps in provision for family therapy and employers had to guarantee that they would offer a permanent family therapy post for applicants on successful completion of the course. Neither ourselves as a course provider or our professional body AFT know whether any similar funding will be available again or whether this will be a one off. Agencies who did receive HEE funding received this via their Regional NHS Chief Psychological Professions Officer. Our understanding is that every area (may only apply to England) has one of these officers and they are the key people who apply for the HEE funding for your agency in your geographical area. Further information may be available via the HEE website: Psychological Professions | Health Education England (hee.nhs.uk)

How to Apply

We are currently unable to accept applications for this course.  We will update the website as soon as we are in a position to do this, and we are anticipating this will be in October/November 2022.

To discuss the training please contact our course lead Karen Wright: Karen.wright@gmmh.nhs.uk 

Contact Us

If you have any queries regarding this course not covered in the information detailed in any of the sections above or in the FAQ section of this website, please email: PTTCenquiries@gmmh.nhs.uk.  In the Subject Line please ensure you put the full title of the course to enable us to forward it to the appropriate programme team.  We will not be able to forward or respond to any emails received without this.

We are happy to answer questions related to the course itself, but unfortunately are unable to provide any general career advice.

 

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