Adapting systemic work within the evolving NHS – The Exeter Model – Couple therapy for depression

Systemic practice has been challenged by changes within the NHS and the Exeter Model represents an attempt to rethink systemic work constructively in response. At the 2011 AFT conference, Hannah Sherbersky presented a short paper introducing The Exeter Model, a bi-modal framework based on couple work competencies, dividing them into systemic-behavioural and systemic-empathic techniques. The model, now manualised, was developed to accommodate NICE guideline recommendations and is currently being trialed and researched at Exeter University’s Mood Disorders Centre. It represents one response to increasing demands that systemic practitioners work from an evidence base. The workshop will provide both a project update and an overview of the five day intensive training courses run twice a year at the university, describing this programme, including its optional on-going supervision group. It has proven to be very accessible and successful across disciplines: systemic, CBT and IAPT, and couple therapists, thus according with a ‘third-wave therapy’ approach. The creators, Professor Janet Reibstein and Hannah Sherbersky, will take workshop participants through selected parts of the interventions in the manual, illustrating its use with clinical DVD excerpts. Participants will be encouraged to explore the application of the Exeter Model across different clinical settings, with different clinical populations, and, in particular, to examine in what ways it both challenges and extends systemic theory and practice for them.
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