Eds.   Imelda McCarthy &  Gail Simon                                                                                                                          ISBN 978-0-9930723-2-1
Systemic Therapy as Transformative Practice is a substantial collection of writings on innovative, contemporary practice from leading edge therapists around the world. The book showcases ground-breaking systemic practice from Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Ireland, England, Canada, Sweden and USA.  The writings address connections between change in smaller and wider systems, connecting local with global – all against a backdrop of massive economic and social instability worldwide. The writers share stories from their everyday working lives with creative reflections on the intersections of systemic, social constructionist, narrative, dialogical, appreciative, constructivist and collaborative theories.

For further details, please click on link below

Systemic Therapy as Transformative Practice flyer

Systemic Café 11th April 2016 – Drinking, Relationships & Psychotherapy

Date:              11th April 2016

Time:             7.00pm – 9.00pm

Venue:           The Schoolhouse Hotel, 2-8, Northumberland Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.


Topic:           Drinking, Relationships & Psychotherapy:

                       Who is afraid of the alcohol question in therapy?   Why?


Mary Scully:  Mary worked for many years in a frontline mental health service as a CNS family therapist. Currently working in private practice as Systemic Supervisor and Trainer on the faculty of the Mater family therapy training programme.

Monica Whyte: Monica has worked with alcohol using clients and their families in the public service for many years. A family therapist and  systemic supervisor she currently holds the chair of the NFTO chamber of EFTA.

Brian Raftery :Brian has many years experience in a frontline alcohol service. He is currently engaged in studying for BA in Psychotherapy.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) = 2 hours. CPD certificates will be issued by the Family Therapy Assoc. of Ireland (FTAI).     See you @ the Systemic Café

Systemic Cafe 11th April 2016

M.Sc/PG Dip in Systemic Psychotherapy Family Therapy -Clanwilliam Institute

M.Sc. / PG Dip in Systemic Psychotherapy
Family Therapy

Clanwilliam Institute invites applications for the MSc in Systemic Psychotherapy for the 2016/2017 academic year, a four year part-time programme which is available in Dublin and Galway (with sufficient enrolment). This student-centred teaching approach provides a comprehensive approach that draws upon three principal theoretical and philosophical influences of systems theory, social constructionism, and the perspective of ethics.

Clanwilliam Institute is a registered charity, whose mission is to provide high quality accessible services to the general public. The values of excellence, accountability, and transparency guided by ethical rigour and best practices inform all the Institute’s activities.

This programme is academically accredited by QQI and professionally accredited by FTAI and EAP. This comprehensive part-time training in Family Therapy has particular relevance for professionals in the health, social services, education, and related disciplines. Usual requirements for entrance are a primary degree in a field of study in the human sciences. Applicants who are not entitled to direct entry may be considered for entry on the basis of their prior learning.

We are currently accepting applications for this programme with application and relevant information available at and any enquiries can be addressed to the Clanwilliam Institute at 01 67613663 or to

We are holding an information evening on April 20, 2016 starting at 16:30. If you would like, you can express your interest for the evening or the programme by contacting us.

Systemic Café: Working Systemically within Hierarchies 25th January 2016


 Date:              25th January 2016

 Time:             7.00pm – 9.00pm

Venue:            The Schoolhouse Hotel, 2-8, Northumberland Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.

Topic:            Working Systemically within Hierarchies

Given the hierarchical nature of our current educational system, the Café will focus on using a Systemic approach to engage with challenging and distressed young people in schools.


David Carter:   Principal, St. Paul’s School, Finglas

Peter Caffrey: Family Therapist, St. Paul’s School, Finglas

Marian Deaton: Senior Social Worker & Family Therapist, HSE Dublin North City & County CAMHS.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) = 2 hours. CPD certificates will be issued by the Family Therapy Assoc. of Ireland (FTAI).    


Date for your Diary Systemic Cafe 25th January 2016



Working with Couples: Philosophies, Formats and Processes. Workshop with Prof. Jim Sheehan

This event is co-sponsored by the Family Therapy Association of Ireland and University College Dublin (Family Therapy Training Programme, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital)


Working with Couples:

Philosophies, Formats and Processes


One Day Workshop


Prof. Jim Sheehan

Thursday 12th November 2015

10.00a.m – 4.00.p.m

Registration: 9.30a.m


Morrison Hotel, Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1


Places limited – please book early


5 CPD points apply

 JIM SHEEHAN is a Social Worker and Family Therapist. He was Director of Family

Therapy Training with the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital for many years

and is still engaged in teaching there. His primary teaching responsibilities are now in

the Diakonhjemmet University College, Oslo, where he has been part-time

Professor of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice since 2005. Jim has an extensive

Dublin-based private practice in Couple and Family Therapy and has provided

workshops for professionals on couple-related themes in several European countries

over the last decade. He has recently completed the co-editing of a book on Personal

and Professional Development in Counselling and Psychotherapy with some other

European colleagues and this work is due to be published by Routledge in January 2016.

Click on link below for further details:

Jim Sheehan Workshop 12th November 2015


Systemic Cafe 28th September 2015 – Integrating Crossdressing: A toolkit

Date:              28th September 2015


Time:             7.00pm – 9.00pm


Venue:           The Schoolhouse Hotel,  2-8, Northumberland Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.


Topic:            Integrating Crossdressing: A toolkit



Gloria Jameson:  Happily married for 25 years, Gloria Jameson is a lifelong crossdresser and has been out in the Dublin scene for nearly two decades.  Gloria recently founded an information website about transvestism in Ireland


Dermod Moore: Psychotherapist, Trainer, and current chair of IAHIP, Dermod lectures in psychosexual psychotherapy, and is experienced in writing about, and working with, sexual and gender difference.


Continuing Professional Development (CPD) = 2 hours. CPD certificates will be issued by the Family Therapy Assoc. of Ireland (FTAI).     See you @ the Systemic Café

Systemic Cafe 28th September 2015 Integrating Crossdressing



Pathways and Outcomes: A study of 335 referrals to the Family Welfare Conference (FWC) service in Dublin

Pathways and Outcomes: A study of 335 referrals to the Family Welfare Conference (FWC) service in Dublin.

 Dr Valerie O’Brien UCD with Hannaleena Ahonen FWC Service Leader in TUSLA, Dublin, has completed a study of the Family Welfare Conference service. The purpose of the study is threefold. Firstly, it aims to provide, through a file audit, a profile of the cases referred to the to the FWC service in the years 2011- 2013 in Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow. Secondly, it aims to capture outcomes arising in cases referred to the service and thirdly, it is intended that these findings can help in planning future FWC service provision.


The work builds on the work of another FTAI member, Catrina  Scanlan who was instrumental in pointing to the need for the research now published when she managed the service ​.

Family welfare conferencing is a methodology that is based on enhancing  partnership between professionals and families. It fits with many of the values that systemic therapists holds dear and to that end,  therapists should be aware that it is a service and method that has much to offer .

To view study, please see link below.


How self-confidence can nurture your mental health


Irish Times: 1st September 2015

Anne McCormack

Young people need to be supported to learn how to validate themselves so they do not depend on feedback

The numbers of young people presenting to hospital emergency departments because they have self-harmed or are at risk of self-harming has increased again this year. This creates huge concern for parents, and it creates a need to figure out ways to better mind their children’s mental health.

Young people are spending a lot of time on social media; it is how they connect with the world and with each other. But as they begin a new school year, managing their online presence is just one more element with which young people have to deal.

As well as being fun, it can be a source of much anxiety. This is because the social media world has become one of the main mechanisms through which young people work out their identity, ie who they are and what they are worth. They depend on feedback from peers online to answer questions such as “Am I popular?”, “Am I liked?” and, therefore, “Am I of worth?”. But social media feedback is too narrow a filter for anyone to work out their worth. Even the most confident adults would feel their self-esteem falter if they were depending so much on positive feedback for validation.

Young people need to be supported to learn how to validate themselves more, so that they are not as dependent on feedback. To do this, we must focus on confidence.

Making the unconscious conscious

Young people begin to face the psychological task known as identity formation around the same time that they begin to use social media. They grapple with questions such as “What is my identity?” and “Am I a person of worth?” but the questions are in the unconscious part of their minds. How these questions are answered throughout adolescence is affected by what happens them online. It is better for young people to know about this psychological task.

Social media posts as ‘performance’ Social media sites can be used as a place to perform. People post the best of what they wish others to see, and the social media site becomes a stage. Young people can be helped by thinking of social media in this way. What others post is often performance, whether that is selfies of stars or selfies of their classmates.

On social media, people make public what they want others to see and wait for the reaction of the “audience”. If the audience reacts well, it makes the performer feel good but it does not make the person who performed any better or worse than anyone else. How an audience reacts is outside the performer’s control. But they can control how they interpret the reaction. Young people can take more ownership of how they interpret people’s reactions to them on social media. The first step in doing this is to tune into their confidence source.

Taking the time to tune into the source of confidence involves making space in the mind for reflection. It is hard for young people to reflect while they are on social media as so much information is coming their way. Parents can encourage this reflection by asking questions not just about how the young person’s day was, or how school went, but by including questions about social media.

Questions such as these can help: “How did you get on with your friends online?” “Did anything happen on social media today that made you feel good or bad about yourself?” “What reaction did your posts get?” “How did you feel about that?”

Everyone gets confidence in different ways, but because young people are trying to work out their identity, they are particularly tuned into feedback from others, especially peers online. This results in a lot of their confidence being sourced externally.

External versus internal confidence sources

There are two main confidence sources. One is external and involves feedback from others. To have only an external source of confidence is not good, as external sources are outside a person’s control. An internal source of confidence is something each young person can develop and nurture for themselves. They can gain control of it, using their mind to soothe, support and encourage themselves, regardless of the feedback.

How to develop an internal confidence source

Once a young person knows the difference between an internal and external confidence source, they can tune in more accurately to where they are getting confidence. They can pay attention to their internal thoughts about themselves, noticing whether these thoughts are, in the main, supportive or critical of the self. If their internal thoughts tend to be self-critical, they can choose to challenge these thoughts. The more effort they make, the easier it will get.

Sometimes young people are very self-critical without even being aware that they are. Being too focused on the number of “likes” they get or don’t get on social media can perpetuate this negativity. And as the new school year begins, young people who nurture self-confidence will nurture their mental health.

Anne McCormack is a family therapist accredited to FTAI and ICP.

How to find out what a client wants in therapy? Narrative and Collaborative practices when working with client preferences.


 A 2 day workshop with Geir Lundby and Rolf Sundet.

Date: 22rd and 23rd October 2015

Venue: Clayton Silver Springs, Cork.

Cost: €150 or €75 per day.

This workshop is aimed at experienced Psychologists, Therapists, Social workers, Family Therapists or anyone who works therapeutically with individuals or families. CPD points are available for each day.

Day 1. Geir Lundby will present on his way of working and his use of narrative practices as developed by Michael White. At set interval’s in during the day Rolf Sundet will invite Geir into discussion about his practice and facilitate an exploration of the ideas that influence his practice.

Day 2. Rolf Sundet will present on his way of applying collaborative practices and Geir will invite Rolf into discussion and exploration of the ideas that influence his practice.

Geir Lundby is a highly-regarded Norwegian social worker and family therapist who was first introduced to Michael White’s work through Karl Tomm, in 1988. In 1989 he met Michael White and since then, he has been practicing narrative therapy with children, Adolessents and their families in out patient clinics in and around Oslo. Geir teaches narrative therapy extensively in Norway and internationally. He has translated Michael White’s books into Norweigan and though he writes mainly in Norweigan he has had a number of papers published in English including a recent article in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy. This is an exciting opportunity to hear from a highly skilled practioner and trainer.

Rolf Sundet Ph.d. is a Clinical Psychologist at the Ambulant Family Section, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Hospital of Buskerud and Associate Professor at the University of Buskerud and Vestfold. He is also a freelance supervisor and consultant. As writer in English he has published articles on outcome monitoring and the use of service user feedback, and co-authored “Self in Relationship. Perspectives on family therapy from developmental psychology” (Karnac) and he contributes to “Systems and Psychoanalysis. Contemporary integrations in family therapy” (Karnac). In addition he has published in Scandinavian journals and anthologies. His Ph.d is on the use of client feedback as a monitoring and conversational tool in family therapy practice.

To book at place or for further information please contact Keith Oulton, 4 Main Street, Innishannon, County Cork. Ph.087 1213163 or e mail oulton Payment by cheque or bank draft Payable to “Narrative Training.”

Sundet, R. (2009). Therapeutic collaboration and formalized feedback: Using perspectives from Vygotsky and Bakhtin to shed light on practices in a family therapy unit. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry 15(1), 81-95

Sundet, R. (2011). Collaboration: Family and therapists’ perspectives of helpful therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 37(2), 236-249.

Sundet, R. (2012). Therapist perspectives on the use of feedback on process and outcome: Patient-focused research in practice. Canadian Psychology, 53(2), 122-130

Sundet, R. (2012). Postmodern-oriented practices and patient-focused research: possibilities and hazards. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy. 33, (4), pp 299 – 308

Sundet, R. (2014). Patient-focused research supported practices in an intensive family therapy unit. Journal of Family Therapy, 36(2), 195-216


5 3/4 CPD points awarded by the FTAI for each day