A Wild Impatience
Critical Systemic Practice and Research
Selected Papers



ISBN PAPER 978-0-9930723-6-9
ISBN EBOOK 978-0-9930723-7-6

This is a selection of papers focused on the politics of psychotherapy and psychological discourses. These papers and chapters use a critical systemic lens through which to interogate how discourses from other paradigms interfere with systemic social constructionist practice. These are practice based writings and explore examples of the complex poltical relationship between theory and practice in the fields of therapy, supervision, training and research.

Gail is known for her innovative contributions to the fields of systemic training and research. She leads the professional doctorate in systemic practice at the University of Bedfordshire. Her clinical home is the Pink Practice in London. She offers supervision and runs online writing workshops for systemic and relationally reflexive practitioners.

Gail Simon at the University of Bedfordshire
Gail Simon at the The Pink Practice


What others say about this book


The writings that Gail Simon selected and collected in this book are like the different faces of a prism; each of them deepens a theme, an aspect of the therapeutic practice, and all together they offer a coherent multifaced view of the systemic approach to psychotherapy. The readers will hear the echoes of words spoken by the masters of the systemic approach (relational mind, curiosity, linguistic systems, context, embodied knowing) elaborated by Gail Simon in a practice concerned with power relations in society. Both clients and therapists are considered as individuals in relation with their local system in the context of wider systems. From this position she connects to the people experiencing oppression and, moving away from theories that individualize problems, she proposes alternative ways of doing therapy which challenge dominant discourses and subvert restrictive and unjust practices. Gail Simon writes in a conversation with the readers and shares with them her inner dialogues; her reflexive, transparent and collaborative style is an invitation to join and go further.

Laura Fruggeri, Professor of Social Psychology, University of Parma and Centro Bolognese di Terapia della Famiglia, Parma and Bologna, Italy


This is a fascinating book that brings together the full range of achievements of one of the foremost contributors to the development of systemic practice in the UK. It charts a series of progressions in theory, practice and through to intersect with research, much of it presaged in the first publication to be included 'Incitement to Riot' (1998) which builds a plea for an extended post-modern approach that recognises wider systems and thereby becomes a basis for collective political action. Gail's willingness to challenge and propose constructive extensions to current thinking consolidates in her celebration of 'transgressiveness' while at the same time incorporating a very wide range of influences. Throughout, the book makes a call to recognise and implement the capacity of systemics for activism. Most recently it takes human systems beyond current limitations to address transmaterial worlding, extending the call for widening the applications of systemics to the whole of the natural world. The compilation here clearly shows that Gail is one of the foremost current theoreticians of both practice and practitioner research. It stands as a unique and original contribution with powerful implications while integrating all into a call to make a difference. This book has so much to offer it should be widely adopted for training, practice and research where it will surely have a major impact.

Professors Peter Stratton and Helga Hanks, Leeds Family Therapy Research Centre


I was lucky to have A Wild Impatience to read while the global pandemic forced me into quarantine. In this important and engaging collection of selected papers, Gail Simon invites the reader to engage with her inner dialogue, her professional evolution, and her practice as a transgressive activist. Each chapter is written with wit, intelligence, and engrossing clinical illustrations and vignettes, all superbly tailored to further articulate systemic constructionist theory and practice. Each chapter clearly illustrates the broader political/social aspects and implications of therapy and research. Each chapter also dissolves commonly held distinctions between professional practice and research, writing and speaking, talk and silence, dominant culture and marginalized communities. If one aims to work at the intersection of dominant discourses and social activism, there is no better book to use as a guide.

Sheila McNamee, PhD, Professor, University of New Hampshire, Founder and Vice President, Taos Institute


Gail Simon has always lived and practiced in the margins as it were and from here she has been fostering a different seeing and speaking, doing and being in her work as therapist, supervisor, writer, researcher and teacher. Her 'wild impatience' has been her greatest gift to us. Here is a life mapped out through systemic work of great creativity and integrity.

Imelda McCarthy PhD, Fifth Province Centre, Dublin


A life-giving book for systemic researchers and practitioners practising in complex system and uncertain world. Like her other writings, this book continues to blow me away in her ability to project systemic writing as a life-giving form that offers nurturing for anyone living or being in a complex situation, let alone not having the language to language their practice. Gail's writing is a bridge between the past and future of systemic practice and systemic thinking. This book will be a key textbook for our SYM Academy in Singapore. It's a book that can allow systemic practitioners and researchers to feel at home in helping those who are learning to situate their systemic practice and research. A key systemic purpose indeed!

Maimunah Mosli, Principal Family Therapist and Academy Director, PPIS, Singapore


Borrowing on the language of Adrienne Rich, Audrey Lorde and the solidarity of Gail's cultural ancestors, A Wild Impatience dances us into a journey of rigorous ethical investigation: a true reckoning with power. Gail's murmurations have accompanied me, worried me, unsettled me, but never abandoned me, as the writings are collectively steeped in an ethics of relational connection. With her hands in the dirt, Gail's offerings across decades of struggle, affinities, and points of connection humbly call for critique, for nurture, for resistance to oppression, and for organic systemic webs of connection and transformation.

Vikki Reynolds PhD, RCC activist/supervisor/adjunct professor. Vancouver, Canada




Bulk Orders: enquiries@eicpress.com