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Systemic approaches to working with individuals, families and organisations – intermediate (D4S, Sussex)

Systemic approaches to working with individuals, families and organisations – intermediate (D4S, Sussex)

Key information

Qualification type

Postgraduate Certificate

Subject areas

Counselling Skills (General) Family Counselling Families (Social Work)

Course type


Course Summary

Course overview

We offer this course at two levels – foundation and intermediate. Each course is one year long and students who successfully complete the intermediate course will be eligible to apply to our qualifying MA in Systemic Psychotherapy.

The intermediate course will provide you with a well-developed understanding of systemic theory and practice which will underpin your work with diverse families and organisations. It is the most advanced pre-qualifying course in systemic approaches and constitutes the best preparation for the clinical training in the UK. This course is accredited by the Association of Family Therapy.

Systemic family therapy involves working therapeutically with individuals together with their families and/or significant others, and enables the use of individuals’ relationships as a resource. It can sometimes include relational work with individuals, psychoeducational approaches and multiple family groups.

Course outline

This course provides a strong focus on you as a clinical practitioner. You will gain the capacity to recognise multiple contexts, including professional and political discourses that inform your work. In addition, you will develop your systemic practice skills.

The course consists of the following elements:

theoretical seminars
application seminars
whole-day events
peer group projects
personal tutorials
clinical work

Theoretical seminars combine theoretical and experiential learning with an emphasis on interactional learning. In smaller application groups, you will be expected to present your own experience using systemic theoretical concepts.

You will undertake presentations on personal and professional issues, illustrating an aspect of systemic theory. Preparatory work will be carried out in consulting partnerships and presentations will be made to groups.

You will attend a whole-day workshop run by a well-known systemic clinician, author or occupational therapist. You’ll also attend a day conference which includes presentations and workshops by systemic clinicians.

For successful completion of the intermediate course it is necessary to have completed the following required clinical work with families:

60 hours of face-to-face work over the year. This is approximately 2 sessions a week.

80% of this face-to-face work must be with families.
20% of face to face work may be systemic consultation, systemic work with individuals or being part of reflecting team.

It is preferable that students have a variety of work which includes families that are different to their own, and includes liaison with the external professional system. The therapeutic work needs to be ongoing and not only consist of initial assessments or appointments.

You will need to ensure that you receive monthly supervision for your clinical work. The supervisor may not hold clinical responsibility for the case; clinical responsibility rests with the senior clinician responsible for the management of the case in the workplace/placement. Your work can be supervised live or retrospectively.

Is this course for you?

The intermediate course is for you if you already hold an AFT accredited foundation certificate in systemic therapy that has been obtained at the Tavistock and Portman, or another recognised institution. You can also progress to this course if you have successfully completed our Postgraduate Certificate in Child, adolescent and family mental well-being: multidisciplinary practice (D24), undertaking the family observation. On this course, you will need to see families and couples as the key therapist.

Different course options

Study mode

Part time evening


1 year

Start date


Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

To be confirmed

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

To be confirmed

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

In order to be eligible for this course, you must have completed either: our Systemic approaches to working with individuals, families and organisations foundation course; an AFT accredited Foundation systemic training or one of either our PgCert in Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Wellbeing:Multidisciplinary Practice or Mental Health and Wellbeing: Multidisciplinary Practice with Young People and Adults, with the Family Observation seminar undertaken.