Director Update November 2020

Director Update November 2020

It is such a privilege to work in IFT, where we are in conversation with so many different organisations also working hard to respond to families in the current climate, and extending their practice into new areas. Our recent conversations with our charity sector friends in Family Action for example have been very rich and full of possibilities about how we might learn from each other.  There is so much enthusiasm and inventiveness in local authorities, schools, and NHS settings, and it is great to talk with colleagues about how systemic practice might be applied, and to support our learning partners in these challenging times.

Training Courses:

It was wonderful to see those new to IFT, or continuing on the next steps of training, bringing such openness to learn and real enthusiasm to the start of courses. It was a joy to be part of the inductions, and to hear people talking about their imaginative ideas about the profession going forward and how they want to use systemic ideas in their own work contexts, and professional development. Many of the last MSc cohort were involved, and are talking about ways of being involved in our work in an ongoing way. The future of the profession coming through.

While we miss the face to face connections, and being able to use the new building at present, our online working continues to be successful and fits our systemic ability to set clear contexts for our work, and this term is proving as stimulating a learning environment as ever, with new learning about useful practices in this online context too.

The Impact of Context – pausing, thinking, and reshaping:

Thanks to IFT staff, who have worked tirelessly, we have kept all our activities going strong, and it is still a challenging context at present. It is important that we remain thoughtful and attentive to the impact on all of us and the organisations we work in. I have been so appreciative of how IFT staff and the board have been working so hard, and been so responsive, which has helped us to be agile around new challenges.

Last update we welcomed Shila Rashid, and we are very appreciative and delighted to say that Shila will still be able to join our senior leadership team in December, as Clinical Training Lead co-ordinating the in-house courses, while we have put the new post of Co-Director role on hold for the current time. This is because the landscape for our actions has changed so much in such a short time, and like many organisations, we are taking stock, and doing some deliberate and purposeful work on how we want to move into the future. We are still looking forward to an increasingly shared and diverse leadership model that will enable IFT to move forward into our ever shifting landscapes, face the challenges and grasp the opportunities ahead with increased flexibility.

Creating inclusive conversations: building learning cultures and communities of practice:

We continue to be reminded of our pledge to oppose racism and hate and increase our opportunities to create inclusive conversations around aspects of difference. IFT are continuing to develop our communities of practice as part of our vision to share learning and practice and invite people to participate in groups where aspects of diversity and social difference are explored as particular areas of interest, and given opportunities to come together and linked to really ensure that joined up conversations happen. We are looking for participants that are passionate about addressing diversity in their training and clinical practice. If you are a trainee, clinician, tutor, clinical or research supervisor within the systemic field then get in touch to see how you may be involved, and watch this space.

New Book:

Founder members Gill Gorell-Barnes and Alan Cooklin have edited a new book: Building Children’s Resilience in the Face of Parental Mental Illness.

It is about hearing and responding to conversations between children, parents, and professionals and contains many moving accounts of the experience of all three groups. We will celebrate the book at a launch at IFT on the evening of Wednesday 3rd February (advert to follow soon) and there may be a training course to come…exciting!

Celebrating Barry Mason’s work:

This week we have the Festschrift for Barry Mason on the 13th.  We are so delighted that we are able to celebrate Barry’s work and his immense influence on the past, present and future of the profession and the landscape of systemic practice.

See Chip Chimera’s update of our CPD programme.

In the news:

Our own Joanne Hipplewith with be on ITV News Interview 6 p.m. tonight 11.11.2020 – talking about Zoom nannies!

Warmest wishes to you,


Other News

Welcome to Hendrix Hammond

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

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Recent publications by IFT members:

Markovic, D  (2017)  Working with Sexual Issues in Psychotherapy. A Practical Guide Using a Systemic Social Constructionist Framework.  Palgrave Higher Education. ‘This book is a timely

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AGM 2017

The AGM will be held on Thursday, 19th January 2017 at 6.15.  It will be followed by the Robin Skynner Memorial Lecture delivered by Lennox

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