College of Family, Couple and Systemic Psychotherapy (CFCSP)

No-one lives their life in isolation. Publicly and privately, at work and at home, we all have an impact on the people around us. Each of us is one part of a wider network or ‘system’. Our interactions with other people are how the system works. 

What is family and systemic psychotherapy?

The terms ‘family therapy’ and ‘systemic psychotherapy’ are sometimes used interchangeably.

Imagine that your family at a meal time is a system. Some family members may be happily chatting to each other, others may sit in silence throughout the meal, resenting being asked anything. Others may argue leading someone else to have to calm the situation and negotiate a peace. And this repeats every meal time because you have all developed different ways of relating to each other. These are what a Family and System Psychotherapist would describe as ‘patterns’.

As time goes by, these systems grow and change as different factors come into play. Perhaps, a child has become a teenager, but the parents still treat them as they would a younger child. The patterns no longer work, and the system becomes stuck.

A family and systemic psychotherapist could help you take on a different position, either by working with individuals or the whole family. They can look at how different factors affect people within the system. They will help emphasise the strengths, resilience and resources available and how everyone helps contribute to the functioning of the system.

The aim is to help everyone understand each other, develop new ways to talk to each other. This can help create an environment in which everyone supports each other promoting health and wellbeing.


College Chair

Kate Waters


Who is family and systemic psychotherapy for?

Family and systemic psychotherapy can work with people in any form of relationship:

  • couples
  • families
  • groups
  • carers
  • professional groups
  • teams
  • businesses.

Family therapy is particularly effective for child and adult focused problems. It can deal with a range of problems in the family life cycle. A few of the common presenting concerns are:

  • sleep and feeding (for babies)
  • attachment difficulties
  • child abuse
  • eating disorders
  • school related difficulties
  • relationship distress
  • alcohol and drug misuse
  • mental illness in one or more family member
  • divorce, separation and blended families
  • bereavement and loss
  • social and digital media addictions and concerns.


Who is in the session?

Family and systemic psychotherapists can offer a mixture of individual or family or group appointments.


How long does therapy last?

It is often a brief intervention lasting six to twelve sessions over a period of three to six months. Longer interventions can also be arranged.

Training organisations in this college

Organisations that train and accredit their own graduates or whose trainings lead to UKCP accreditation.

There are no UKCP accredited training organisations in this college. However, the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice accredits non-UKCP trainings that can lead to accreditation to our national register.


Accrediting organisations in this college

Organisations that accredit trained individuals to our national register.

Find a therapist near you