Systemic Therapy as Transformative Practice



Systemic Therapy as Transformative Practice is a 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.

What others say about this book

"This book is a landmark in the field of systemic theory and practice. It brings together contributions from leading European and North American practitioners and academics on a wide range of topics relevant to systemic practice, couple and family therapy. The book shows how practices based on systems theory and social constructionism can transform lives in a world recovering from an economic and social crisis. Scholarly, but also immensely practical and a ‘must-read’ for all family therapists."

Alan Carr, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University College Dublin

"This timely book illuminates the crucial contribution of systemic ideas to creative therapy, organisational work, training and research and it is particularly welcome at a time when we face increasing inequalities and constraints on our freedoms. Systemic thinking has always had the capacity to be revolutionary and I am confident this book will inspire with its range of creative and emancipatory ideas and practices."

Charlotte Burck, PhD. Honorary Systemic Psychotherapist, Tavistock Clinic, London

"The transformative qualities of systemic therapy to matters of human distress are abundantly displayed in this fresh exposition systemic therapy and its refined application. The humanity of each author shines through in their ability to combine rigorous thinking with imaginative co-creative practice."

Jim Wilson, Systemic Psychotherapist & former Chair, The Family Institute, Cardiff

"In an increasing neo-liberal word where the emphasis is on individualistic models of practice and economic discourses of human support, this volume offers an impressive collection of European and North American systemic practitioners that critically, creatively and competently show how systemic ideas are transformative. An invaluable resource for students, scholars and practitioners!"

Ottar Ness, Professor Mental Health, University Southeast Norway & Taos Associate

"The ecological view, the Batesonian legacy to the field, aligned with the politics and philosophy of subjective experience is the common thread connecting the chapters. Grassroots activism as a sister movement gives energy and conviction to the practices described, where communities are honoured in their need, resilience and entitlement."

Dr Nollaig Byrne, Co-Founder of Family Therapy Training Programme, Dublin


Monica McGoldrick - Foreword


    Part I - Times of Change and Solidarity

  • Systemic Psychotherapy on the Move: Following Ariadne's thread in changing clinical contexts
    Jane Dutton

  • The Inner and the Outer Sides of the Wind: Collaborative practice in the Solidarity Social Medical Centre of Thessaloniki, Greece
    Fany (Fotini) Triantafillou, Dimitra Pouliopoulou, Elektra Bethymouti & Efrossini Moureli

  • A 'Fifth Wave' Systemic Practice Punctuating Liberation: Reflective practice and collective social action
    Taiwo Afuape

  • Fourfold Vision and Cybernetic Unity: Therapist as scientist, theorist, humanist and artist
    Hugh Palmer
  • The Event. On experimenting with complex systems
    Christopher J. Kinman

  • Looking for a Home: An exploration of Jacques Derrida’s notion of hospitality in family therapy practice with refugees
    Lucia De Haene & Peter Rober

  • A Systemic-Dialogical Perspective for Dealing with Cultural Differences in Psychotherapy
    Andrea Davolo & Laura Fruggeri

  • Living Supervision in Practice: Structuring accountability with men therapists working alongside women and gender-variant persons with precarious lives
    Vikki Reynolds & Andrew Larcombe

  • Family Therapy in an Emerging Professional Life: One story among stories
    Therese Hegarty

  • Reflexive Processes in Higher Education: Systemic dilemmas in teaching research methodology by means of 'polyphonic dialogue'
    Eleftheria Tseliou, Georgios Abakoumkin, Vicky Kokkini, Katerina Nanouri & Fani Valai

  • Systemic Practice as Systemic Inquiry as Transformative Research
    Gail Simon

  • Framing the Symmetry
    Nora Bateson

  • Part II - Transformative Conversations

  • Community Work and Psychotherapy as Two Sides of the Same Cooperative Practice
    Umberta Telfener

  • The Aesthetics of Interruption: Points of entry in systemic therapy
    Ged Smith

  • Restoring Communities for Children and Separated Parents Caught in Demonising Fights
    Justine Van Lawick

  • Creating Islands of Safety for Victims of Violence: Critical systems approach
    Catherine Richardson/Kinewesquao

  • Systemic Practice in a Complex System: Child sexual abuse and the Catholic Church
    Marie Keenan

  • Hope and Risk: Systemic practices for supervision and assessment in child protection
    Ernst Salamon & Imelda McCarthy

  • 'Double Jeopardy' and 'Professional Jeopardy': Stories of shared identity
    Gill Goodwillie

  • Paths to Transformative Conversations
    Francesca Balestra & Laura Fruggeri

  • Systemic Conversations with Military Families: Research as intervention
    Ann-Margreth E. Olsson

  • Heresies from Practice: A Case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
    Padraic Gibson & Don Boardman

  • Family Semantic Polarities as a Guide for the Therapeutic Process
    Valeria Ugazio
  • Beyond Biology and the Linguistic Turn: Event, singularity, sense and the work of imagination
    Marcelo Pakman

  • Systemic Psychosexual Therapy: A guided tour
    Desa Markovic

  • When You Say, "It's not Sickness, it's Love", there will be a Powerful Change of Context
    Mia Andersson

Notes on Contributors

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