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South West and International Family Therapy Training Centre (SWIFT)

Systemic Therapy

Systemic Therapy

Welcome to the South West & International Family Therapy Training Centre. Innovative family therapy and systemic training has taken place in the South West for well over 30 years. Since 2011, Professor Hannah Sherbersky and Mark Rivett have worked together to develop a portfolio of programmes that support systemic training from foundation, through to qualifying level and supervision training.

This training centre has become one of the most prolific and successful systemic training providers in the UK and beyond, and now includes extensive research and evaluation activity.

We collaborate closely with national and international colleagues in the field, including a fully-funded research pilot and training programme with the Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT) team at Drexel University, USA, and Asster Hospital, Belgium. We also have a collaboration with the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) around eating disorder training.

Our training courses have always been integrative and this is built into the core of many of our programmes. We also wish to privilege two other aspects of family therapy and systemic practice. One is the requirement that family therapy and systemic practice is evidenced-based and evidence-informed. This is a crucial aspect in the contemporary world of NICE guidelines and recommended psychological treatments. Secondly, we wish to privilege the self of the therapist and reflective practice in all our training programmes.

It is our intention that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well served by our training courses, that students’ learning needs be addressed both in and out of teaching sessions, and that the diversity that students bring to this cohort be viewed as a resource, strength and benefit.

We intend to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity: gender and gender identity, sexuality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, and culture. Your suggestions are invited, encouraged, and appreciated.

As a systemic learning community, we aim to create a safe environment that fosters open and honest dialogue for all. We are all expected to contribute to creating a respectful, welcoming, and inclusive environment. To this end, teaching discussions are always conducted in a way that shows respect and dignity to all members of the group. This allows for rigorous intellectual engagement and a deeper learning experience for all.

Our team

Co-Director: Professor Hannah Sherbersky

View Hannah's profile

Mark Rivett

View Mark's profile

Teaching staff

General enquiries:
Kate Bird
Julie Brough
Jo Bullen
Marta Costa Cabellero
Jenny Cove
Emma Sales
Jennifer Wallis
Bob Williams

We also have a large number of colleagues and staff from across the region who contribute to our courses as supervisors and markers.

Systemic and Family Therapy resources

In this documentary, Professor Hannah Sherbersky works with 23-year-old Dammy and her mum, using family therapy to discuss their relationship and Dammy's anxiety issues.

In this podcast Professor Hannah Sherbersky takes us through a piece of her work in the style of a VIVA. This episode gives the listener an insight into Hannah's practice and helpful ideas about answering questions and talking about one's work in general.

Home is more than just a place where we lay our heads. Our perception of what a home is moulded by our identity, culture and upbringing. In this episode, UKCP’s CEO Sarah Niblock talks to UKCP psychotherapist Dr Hannah Sherbersky to understand how we develop our notions of home and how they can change over our lifetime.

This is a short interview with Hannah Sherbersky, Shan Tate, and Sarah Helps at the 2023 IFTA conference in Málaga, Spain.

Hannah Sherbersky, Deputy Director of Cedar and CEO of the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice, joined Annalise Barbieri on her podcast series ‘Conversations with Annalisa Barbieri’.

This episode talks about managing the inlaws:

The in-laws, long the butt of jokes but in reality rich fodder for my Guardian mail bag. Of course, none of us think of ourselves as troublesome in-laws, but maybe we are? In this episode I talk to psychotherapist and CEO of the association for family therapy and systemic practise. Hannah has been a family and couples psychotherapist who has worked in the mental health service for thirty years. She’s also an associate professor at the University of Exeter and deputy director of a clinical training department called CEDAR – clinical education development and research – that sits within the university’s psychology department.

You can listen to the podcast here.