Counselling Workshop on Systemic Practice for North Staffs Mind

Nov15 Couns Blog BM

Beverley Meakin

Belinda Priestley and Beverley Meakin, lecturers in Counselling from Staffordshire University’s Psychology Department, blog about a recent Continuing Professional Development (CPD) workshop they gave to counsellors from the North Staffordshire Mind organisation.

On Saturday 19th September we delivered a one day CPD workshop on Systemic Practice to an enthusiastic group of 24 counsellors from North Staffs Mind. Mind contacted our counselling team and requested an Introduction to Systemic Practice as their counsellors often have to see a partner or carer of adult clients, or parents of young people they work with. It can be quite a challenge to manage therapeutic conversations with more than one person in the room!

A Systemic Approach pays attention to communication patterns, the interpersonal aspects of relationships and the context of the people concerned as well as the ethical and organisational contexts. Family dynamics can be a powerful influence and a therapist can find themselves in a very different environment with family members present rather than on a one to one with the client.

The enthusiasm and openness of the group from Mind helped the day develop into a fascinating experience as participants reflected on their own contexts, family dynamics and ethical concerns. They built on knowledge and skills through engaging in a very life like role play scenario! Feedback was really helpful for us to develop the day further and very clear about what was most worthwhile and enjoyable.

Surprisingly I enjoyed the role play!’ commented one participant ‘I feel I gained from every aspect of the CPD

Others found the role play difficult and the small group exercises more useful ‘looking at systems within families, uniqueness’, ‘learning about the different interventions and family scripts’. There were requests for more… ‘Felt like we only touched the surface, perhaps 2 days training?’ ‘Will definitely be interested in more CPD from Staffs Uni’.


The School of Psychology, Sport and Exercise at Staffordshire University offers a range of qualifications in counselling and psychology. For more information about the wide range of Psychology degrees on offer please visit our website and our courses page.

Staffordshire University offers counselling courses ranging from Foundation Degrees with local partner colleges, undergraduate degrees (including a British Psychological Society accredited BSc Psychology and Counselling degree) and postgraduate counselling qualifications at our Stoke-on-Trent City Campus:

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