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The University of Southampton

PSYC8036 Systemic Theory and Practice 2

Module Overview

Systemic therapies approach people and their problems, not as isolated individual units, but as people in relationships who are influenced by the interactions and dynamics within the group be it a family or a larger organisation such as an employer. This module has been designed to offer teaching that is equivalent to the first year of the Systemic Psychotherapy Foundation training.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This module provides an introduction to systemic therapy. You will be introduced to different systemic models and to the basic tenets of systemic practice. A key aim of this module is to provide structured opportunities to apply systemic theories to clinical practice.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • be able to describe and critically evaluate different systemic models and approaches
  • demonstrate how to apply systemic theories to psychological problems, resilience and change
  • be able to demonstrate an ability to initiate, maintain and develop a systemic approach
  • critically reflect on your knowledge, experience and clinical application of systemic models
  • demonstrate an awareness of the impact of the wider social context (i.e. social GRRAACCES) within systemic therapy


This module run over the second year of your training. Year two 1. Re-connecting with systemic ideas 2. Power and ethics 3. Supervision within a systemic model 4. Consultations within a systemic model 5. Working with child and families experiencing domestic violence and systemic therapy 6. Attachment Narrative Therapy

Special Features

Within this module it is a requirement that you attend the additional Clinical Round Table Discussions which will be scheduled to run in parallel with placements 2, 3 and 4 across the two years. These will be for 1.5hrs monthly for the duration of each placement (i.e., Year 1: June, July, and September and Year 2: October, January, February, March, June, July and September). You will be required to attend a minimum of 8 out of the 10 sessions and will only be able to miss one session per year.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will include lectures, experiential exercises delivered in a workshop format. You will keep a systemic training log of patients with whom you have worked in order to put the teaching into practice. There will also be some Clinical Round Table discussions with experts/supervisors/clinicians which will enable you to think and reflect on your application of systemic theory/approaches.

Independent Study70
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Carr, A. (2006). Family Therapy 2nd Edition: Concepts, Process and Practice. 

Burr, V. (2003). Social Constructionism. 

Stratton, P (2005). Report On The Evidence Base Of Systemic Family Therapy. 

An Introduction to Family Therapy: Systemic Theory and Practice..

The Cultural Meaning of Triangles. In M. McGoldrick (Ed), Re-visioning family therapy: Race,culture, and gender in clinical practice (pp. 37-49)..

Association for Family Therapy (2009). Summary of Family Interventions recommended and reviewed in NICE guidelines. 

Burnham, J. B., (Author).. Family Therapy: First Steps Towards a Systemic Approach. 

Stratton, P (2011). The Evidence Base of Systemic Family and Couples Therapies. 

Learning Resources. A resource folder will be available for you to access independently, either from the module coordinator or electronically via Blackboard, containing excerpts from the key texts and a variety of the specific materials relevant for each teaching session. This reading will include a basic introduction to systemic theory and specific models/approaches as well as illustrating stylistic issues and specific therapeutic techniques. Some of this reading will be preparatory reading for the module overall and/or each individual teaching session and the rest of it will be reading that you will be expected to complete to meet the requirements of the module. Completion of this reading will be monitoring through the reflective log as well as by individual lecturers via teaching sessions. The University Library also holds copies of the key introductory texts (as detailed below) and will enable access to a range of online journals and books relevant to the module which can be downloaded electronically from a University computer or VPN. Please note that below are the key introductory texts for this module and you will be given an individual reading list for each teaching session which you will also be required to familiarise yourself with and will also provide another platform for the development of your knowledge and skills.



MethodPercentage contribution
Report  (3500 words) 90%
Systemic Reflective Log 10%


MethodPercentage contribution
Resubmit assessments 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

There will be no specific cost implications beyond the normal costs of your own stationary/resources. The key texts should be available from the University library and we also have electronic copies of the majority of the reading material for teaching session.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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