Intermediate Certificate in Child Focused Systemic Practice

When: Wednesdays (twice a month)

Time: 10:00 – 16:00

Length: September-June, 18 teaching days.

The Course commences in late September and is accredited as an intermediate level course by the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (AFT).

This innovative course aims to provide participants with opportunities to extend their thinking and practice with children and young people and their families in such a way that their personal style is expanded and their knowledge of systemic, attachment and other relevant theory is broadened.

Participants must have experience of working with children, and be currently working with children in a family context to be eligible to apply. In addtion to completing a foundation course in Systemic practice, they should also have an appropriate professional training or equivalent, such as social work, nursing, psychiatry or clinical psychology.

The course on its own does not aim to train participants to become therapists, but to enable them to incorporate systemic ideas and techniques into the participants’ professional practice. It is aimed at those working with children in a wide range of contexts. After completion of the Intermediate Certificate participants are elible to register as Systemic Practitioners with AFT.

It forms the intermediate year of the Institute’s four year clinical training programme.

Course Chair and Tutor:

John Cavanagh: DipSystSup, MSc, RMN

Course Tutors:

Joanne Jackson: MSc, MSc, DipSw, PCSC
Jo Chamberlain
Shaila Sheikh


  •  extend their knowledge with children in specific contexts such as court related work and children looked after by the state.
  • Allow participants opportunities to reflect upon practice
  • Help participants increase and consolidate their theoretical and clinical skills and understanding of the use of the self in practice.
  • Encourages participants to broaden their range of interventions in family and other related contexts in which they have a professional role.
  •  Encourage a critical approach to theory and practice in the light of inequalities and differences of race, class and gender,
  •  Encourage an anti-discriminatory approach to working with clients.


Divided into two units; Theory and Skills, running concurrently,

The teaching in both will develop the participants’ foundation level understanding of:

  • Theory and methods of systemic intervention
  • Ways of observing and understanding the interaction between people in family, couple and professional relationships
  • Methods of intervention
  • Different applications of a systemic perspective
  •  Personal development of the practitioner
  •  Anti oppressive practice