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Systemic Clinical Practice: Part 1

Module titleSystemic Clinical Practice: Part 1
Module codePYCM054
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Mr Mark Rivett (Convenor)

Mrs Hannah Sherbersky (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module constitutes the first year of supervised practice. This will meet half of the requirements of AFT for you to register as a psychotherapist with UKCP. This is for 150 hours in clinical work and at least 20 in face to face therapy and some clinical hours can be gained through online practice. You must pass this module in order to proceed to year two. In addition to the practice hours, you are required to attend three consultation sessions in your own right in order to work on self-reflexivity. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to enable you to:

  • Develop clinical skills with families with a range of family forms, age presentations and difficulties.
  • Explore your own self as a relational being and as a therapeutic agent of change.
  • Apply various theories and skills to therapeutic practice.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Work competently in a systemic way with families, using a range of systemic techniques
  • 2. Achieve change within a systemic approach
  • 3. Assess for, initiate, maintain and develop a systemic approach with families
  • 4. Identify cultural competency skills and apply them when working with diverse families
  • 5. Explore yourself as a therapist in a systemic way and practice in a reflexive manner

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Apply systemic/family therapy theory to therapeutic practice
  • 7. Evaluate systemic ideas against other theoretical approaches

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Demonstrate competency on all Expert Reference Group and AFT competencies
  • 9. Carry out the professional role of a family therapist in multi-disciplinary contexts

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

You are assigned to a range of clinical settings depending on availability and need. These will often be within CAMHS settings but not exclusively. Over the first year you will work for four hours per week completing 150 hours in a supervised placement. Of these hours 20 must be as primary therapists and most have to be live supervised. You should be working with at least two generations and more than one person for the majority of these hours. You are referred to AFT Blue Book guidelines (currently being revised). Learning will be via direct supervision, reviewing video tapes/DVDs of their work, case discussions (at placement and in University) and via the group supervision within the curriculum.

You will also be required to attend three consultations with a systemic therapist during the first year. This is a requirement but it is not marked.

The consultations are designed to further your capacity to understand the relational approach and develop your own sense of self as a therapeutic agent. The requirement is that you attend three consultations in year one and three in year two. Proof of attendance will be required from the consultant. The task of these consultations is to address a number of questions:

  • What beliefs and experiences have influenced me to train as a family therapist and to what extent has my family/network shaped my evolution towards this goal?
  • What impact has my training had upon my family/network?
  • What opportunities have my family/network provided in the course of my training and how have they impeded me?

We cannot require that you take a member of your family or network (friends/colleagues) to these consultations but we strongly recommend that you do. If you feel unable to do so, we suggest that this itself is the focus of some of the consultation.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Placement150Clinical practice


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Three independent consultations with a systemic therapist3-4 hours5Confirmation from consultant
Attend a series of systemic self-awareness groups within the university15 hours4-6Oral given during tutorials

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Placement report written by supervisor and student, including a section outlining learning on the placement (this assessment cannot be failed as we are measuring clinical competency. However attempts will be made to be fair and offer alternative placements if necessary) (this assessment must be passed; failure in this assessment will lead to failure in the module and the programme)604000 wordsAllWritten
DVD and critical analysis of the work presented on the DVD (this assessment must be passed; failure in this assessment will lead to failure in the module and the programme)403000 wordsAllWritten


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Placement reportPlacement reportAllDetermined in an individual case depending on the competencies failed
DVDRe-presentation of new piece of work is required in this caseAllFour weeks from the date that feedback was provided

Re-assessment notes

Two assessments are required for this module. In all cases re-assessment will be the same as the original assessment. Where you have been referred/deferred for any form of assessment detailed above you will have the opportunity to retake within four weeks from the date that feedback was provided. If you fail the placement report, attempts will be made to help you demonstrate evidence of competencies by possibly providing alternative placements. Unfortunately no time scales for the completion of these can be guaranteed. Portfolio evidence of a reflexive understanding about the personal context of failing will be expected in this situation.

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of deferral, your re-assessment will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment and the overall module mark will not be capped.

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of referral (i.e. following initial failure in the assessment), the overall module mark will be capped at 50%.

If you fail re-assessments taken as a result of referral (i.e. following initial failure in the assessment), you will be failed in the module and as a consequence you will be failed in the programme and your registration as a student of the University will be terminated.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Gehart, D. (2010) Mastering competencies in family therapy. Belmont CA; Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.
  • Patterson, J.; Williams, L.; Edwards, T.; Chamow, L and Grauf-Grounds, C. (2009) Essential skills in family therapy. New York: Guilford.
  • Pilling, S.; Roth, A. and Stratton, P. (2010) The competencies required to deliver effective systemic therapies.
  • Rivett, M. and Street, E. (2009) Family Therapy: 100 Points and Techniques. London: Routledge.
  • Stanton, M. and Welsh, R. (2011) Speciality competencies in couple and family psychology. New York: Oxford University Press
  • Williams, L.; Edwards, T.; Patterson, J. and Chamow, L. (2011) Essential assessment skills for couple and family therapy. New York; Guilford

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE – (all resources will be made available on ELE, including additional material covered in the tutorials, the required readings, information about assessment and additional material (e.g., videos))

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Family therapy, clinical practice

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

PYCM052 Evidenced-Based Practice and Practice-Based Evidence in Family Therapy

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date