University College London Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (AFT)
All trainees on the UCL programme receive training in Systemic Theory and Practice. The Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (AFT) has formally accredited our 'Foundation Course in Systemic Thinking and Practice', embedded within the DClinPsy. Accordingly, all trainees who successfully complete the DClinPsy from 2018 onwards will also be deemed to have completed an accredited foundation level training, which would enable them to apply for year 2, intermediate level of the four year Masters level training in Family and Systemic Psychotherapy.
The aim of this page is to bring together all the information needed by trainees, supervisors and course staff in relation to the Systemic pathway.
- General Information about the Systemic Pathway
All trainees on the UCL programme receive training in Systemic Theory and Practice. The Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (AFT) has formally accredited our 'Foundation Course in Systemic Thinking and Practice', embedded within the DClinPsy. There is no requirement at Foundation Level to demonstrate systemic practice and supervision on placement, although many trainees will have experience of both by the end of training. Accordingly, all trainees who successfully complete the DClinPsy upon qualifying will be deemed to have completed an accredited foundation level training, which would enable them to apply for year 2, intermediate level of the four year Masters level training in Family and Systemic Psychotherapy. The Systemic Foundation Level pathway provides a basis from which trainees can progress towards intermediate level systemic training. Qualification as a Systemic Psychotherapist eligible for UKCP registration requires completion of an accredited training course that is usually four years in length. Completion of the Foundation Level pathway equates to completion of the Foundation year (year 1) of this 4-year training.
The Systemic Foundation Level pathway aims to provide students with an understanding of the main concepts and practices in systems theory and therapy, as well as systemic research. Theoretical developments and clinical applications of systems theory over the past 30 years are tracked. Systemic approaches, methods and techniques pertaining to several 'schools' of systemic therapy are covered. We use a systemic approach to the teaching so the teaching methods used are coherent with systemic practice, with the intention of weaving theory and practice throughout. Trainees learn basic systemic practice skills and techniques via video material, role plays, group exercises, group discussions and reading. The focus is on a variety of contexts for individual work, family work and systemic consultation. Trainees are invited to make connections between the teaching and the varying clinical settings in which they complete their placements.
- Systemic Foundation Level Teaching
Foundation Level teaching is embedded within the DClinPsy. All trainees on the Doctorate receive at least 60 hours of teaching directly relevant to AFT Foundation Level learning outcomes. The majority of this teaching takes place within the DClinPsy's Systemic Unit. Additionally, systemic teaching is integrated within the DClinPsy's Cultural Competence Unit, which is underpinned by the Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) framework and pays attention to the Social GRRAACCES, the Lifespan Unit (which looks at the family life cycle with the focus on transitions to parenthood and on working with adolescents), the Disability and Health unit, and Social Graces Seminars.
Trainees are introduced to the following topics: Systems theory; systemic genograms and mapping; family life cycle; systemic evidence base and research; structural, strategic, Milan and post-Milan approaches; narrative, social constructionist and solution focused approaches; systemic hypothesising, assessment and formulation; adapting systemic interventions to working with children and people with learning disabilities.
Burnham, J. (1992). Approach - Method - Technique: Making distinctions and creating connections. Human Systems: The Journal of Systemic Consultation and Management, 3, 3-26.
Burnham, J. (2013). Developments in social GGRRAAACCEEESSS: Visible-invisible, voiced-unvoiced. In I. Krause (ed.), Culture and reflexivity in systemic psychotherapy: Mutual perspectives. London: Karnac.
Dallos, R. & Draper, R. (2005). An introduction to family therapy: Systemic theory and practice (2nd ed.). London: Open University Press.
Hedges, F (2005). An introduction to systemic therapy with individuals: A social constructionist approach. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Recommended reading relating to individual topics is listed on Moodle under individual lectures.
- Recording Learning that Contributes to the Pathway
Trainees are expected over the course of the DClinPsy to build up a learning portfolio which documents their developing systemic knowledge, skills (and where relevant practice), and which they can present if requested by the course. This will consist of the following documents:
· A compilation of all Reflective Practice Log entries made over years 1 and 2 of the DClinPsy in preparation for the course's Social Graces Seminars.
· The Cumulative Training Record for the DClinPsy (Section D of The Portfolio of Clinical Experience), in which trainees appraise their own progress in terms of their developing skills, experience and confidence in applying the respective skill across a range of contexts.
Trainees prepare their own cultural genogram as part of the Cultural Competence Unit in Year 1, completion of which is monitored as part of the teaching. Understanding of systemic theory and practice is assessed as part of the DClinPsy year 2 exam (paper 3). Any trainee who fails to graduate from the DClinPsy and thus fails to qualify for HCPC registration as a Practitioner Psychologist will also not be deemed to have successfully completed the Foundation Course in Systemic Thinking and Practice.
- Additional Resources
All trainees on the DClinPsy are expected to follow the British Psychological Society's Code of Ethics and Conduct. In addition, trainees are also expected to adhere to the AFT Code of Ethics and Practice.
- Frequently Asked Questions
Can I apply for admission to the Foundation Level course?
The 'Foundation Course in Systemic Thinking and Practice' is embedded within the DClinPsy. As such, there is no process for being admitted to the course separate from admissions to the DClinPsy. Applications from external applicants for the Foundation Level Systemic Pathway will not be considered.
Responses to other FAQs will be posted as they arise.