Apr

9

2022

Spotlight On Systemic Practice Expert Dr. Reenee Singh

Dr Reenee SinghOn Saturday 21st May Dr Reenee Singh will be leading a one-day workshop entitled: The Family Dance: An Introduction to Systemic Practice. Reenee has over 25 years’ experience as a Consultant Family and Couple Systemic psychotherapist and is currently based at The Child and Family Practice in Bloomsbury, London. She is CEO of the Association of Family Therapy, founding director of the London Intercultural Couples Centre and former editor of the Journal of Family Therapy. Reenee is an absolute expert when it comes to family therapy. We are very excited to welcome her to The Brighton Therapy Partnership.

Reenee’s workshop will introduce key systemic theoretical ideas, outline the rich and robust evidence base of family and systemic psychotherapy for a range of presenting problems, across the family life cycle. The workshop will also address some of the issues facing contemporary couples and families, within 21st century contexts.

Ahead of the workshop we thought we’d take a little dive into Reenee’s world and lift the lid on who she is as a psychotherapist, author, speaker

Where it all began…

Reenee was born in India and completed her B.A. and M.A in psychology from the University of Delhi. Her initial family therapy training was at the Counselling and Care Centre in Singapore (conducted in conjunction with the Institute of Family Therapy, London) in 1993 and 1994.

In 1999, Reenee moved to the UK to further her family therapy training and obtained a MSc. in systemic family therapy from the renowned Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in 2001.

In 2008, she obtained a doctorate in systemic psychotherapy in conjunction with the Institute of Family Therapy in London. On top of all that, she is an acclaimed author, having written and edited several books, journals and magazine articles, including The Intercultural Exeter Model which she co-authored with Janet Reibstein and The Handbook of Systemic Family Therapy, Vol. 4 which was released and published by Wiley in 2020.

What is Systemic Family Practice?

When it comes to family therapy, it is not just about the individual, we need to look at the way the whole ‘system’ works. When parents come to therapy with a concern for their children, psychotherapists who practice this way will widen the lens and look at the relationships, interactions and patterns that are impacting the whole family.

Family therapists understand that different people have different ideas about what ‘family’ means. So although the traditional word is used, in this case ‘family’ describes any group of people who care about each other and call themselves a family. As well as parents and children of all ages, they may also involve grandparents, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, cousins, friends, carers, and other professionals.

A family and systemic psychotherapist will look at how different factors affect people within the system. They will help emphasise the strengths, resilience and resources available and how everyone contributes to the functioning of the system. The aim is to help everyone understand each other, develop new ways to talk to each other.

Unlike individual talking therapy, sessions can last from 45 minutes to over an hour and often families may only attend a few times, but it can be a lengthier process when needed. Families will be seen all together and the method largely focuses on the present. It will look at the past to an extent, but only in relation to how it might affect the present.

London Intercultural Couples Centre

 

“We talk about the idea of family therapy and yet both the family and therapy mean such different things in different cultures.” Dr Reenee Singh 2020

Having had couples therapy with her husband Stephan Fitzpatrick, Reenee had what she described as an ‘epiphany’. She told The Guardian “The fact that we were an interracial couple – I am Indian, Stephen white British – wasn’t seen as particularly significant. Yet we realised in time how key cultural problems were to the breakdown in our communication,”

“I was seeing a great many intercultural couples in my practice, yet I knew most family therapy on offer does not take into account the intercultural aspect of relationships, even when people from sometimes startlingly different cultures are at loggerheads because of misunderstandings over their beliefs, rituals, expectations, parenting approaches, ways of communicating, and racism within the extended family.”

This led to her launching the Intercultural Couples Centre, based at the Child and Family Practice in London, in 2016, to offer constructive help for couples who come from different cultural backgrounds.

It was the first of its kind and, together with her co-founders, Reenee brought its range of services up to date by including Prenuptial Counselling. An offering that covers the type of ritual planned for the marriage; building bridges with extended families who are against the relationship; deciding what parenting styles they want, and whether the adopted country feels like home – so that they have started the kind of conversations they might need to have before finding themselves hitting the pressure points.

Reenee is really a leading name and voice in the area of intercultural relationships and we are very much looking forward to hearing her speak.

If you are interested in attending the one-day online Introduction to Systemic Practice workshop on Saturday 21st May with Reenee follow this link for more information and booking details.

We always welcome your feedback. Please feel free to leave a comment below or even forward this article to a friend.

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