My Journey to Systemic Practitioner
I am a qualified mental health professional and have completed systemic constellations training at Advanced level. I regularly attend a range of systemic constellations workshops and training as part of my continuing professional development learning from many of the senior practitioners in the field, including Judith Hemmings, Albrecht Marr, Stephan Hausner, Daan van Kampenhout and Vivian Broughton.
I describe my role as one of Visual Communications Facilitator and Coach using the systemic constellations method to ‘dance’ with individuals, groups and in community. For the past eight years I have situated my work in family and community well-being. A period of training in mental health and public nursing between 2011-15 reinforced my interest in transgenerational work as a way to begin healing family, community and historical legacies.
My Ancestral Constellations Approach
I run family relationship workshops, social justice systemic forums, ancestral coaching and community well-being groups. I specialise in working across differences and integrating diverse ways of thinking about multiple identities in society. Workshops are based on the constellations method and I draw on both Western systemic theory and African indigenous ‘ways of knowing’ to create an independent practice that attracts people from the helping professions, therapists, artists, holistic health practitioners and other creatives.
In 2018 I will continue a Professional Doctorate in Systemic Practice. Continue because I first applied in 2015 and although I did not start on a professional academic route then, I have been on a personal ancestral journey since. My research will draw on this experience. I am interested in the transgenerational family, community trauma and ancestral memory. Reconnecting the past to the present and ‘Remembering’ that which is in danger of being lost or forgotten in future generations.
Prior Learning and Why it Matters
It matters to recognise the past because everything that I take on my personal and professional journey incorporates a bit of what went before. It is easy in todays modern work-place to lose sight of what has been accomplished when you are working solo, as many of us currently are. To create something new, that is harvested from a thriving crop, we have to remember the ‘roots’, where we were at the start to appreciate how far we have come and what has been achieved.
Prior to my systemic practice I spent twenty years working as a Learning Development Consultant, group facilitator and professional coach working primarily in Local Government, third sector organisations and the NHS. The range of methods incorporated into my work included experiential and creative learning methods and graphic drawing. I incorporated conflict interventions into my role as a workplace and community mediation trainer. And I developed ‘Dialogue Circles’ and ‘Learning forums’ as specific interventions to assist the management of ‘working with difference’ and understanding cultural biases.
I designed and delivered the first Career Coaching Programme for Westminster City Council between 2003 and 2009, with over 120 employees completing the six-month programme. A similar model was developed for other local authorities including Oxfordshire County Council and Barnet Council. I coaching on the NHS Breaking Through Top Talent Programme for aspiring Chief Executive Officers, and was a participating coach on the UNICEF New and Emerging Talent Initiative (NETI). I was accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF) as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) between 2008-18.
It has been a journey from an early career as a substance misuse counsellor to systemic practitioner but there have been some constants. A drive for learning, a refusal to be constrained to one belief system or way of knowing and a desire to create something of my own. What that will look like remains to be seen, but I hope it offers an opportunity to make a difference to people and communities. For more information contact me here