Dr Jaime Horn, from Gwynedd in North Wales, is studying the Postgraduate Diploma in Systemic Practice in Psychotherapy. She works part time as a clinical psychologist for Powys Teaching Health Board and as a private practitioner.
In my job working with people with learning difficulties, I often find myself working not just with the individual but often their wider network of family and support. I am asked to meet with the people who support my client and help them develop new ways of thinking and understanding the person.
When working individually with clients in a therapeutic way, I think it's important to be aware of their wider system of support and also social and cultural influences. I am hoping this course will improve my knowledge and skills in this area and enhance my practice.
My eventual aim is to set up a family therapy service for adults with learning disabilities and their families in my local area, so this psychotherapy qualification will expand the range of skills and expertise I can offer. What’s more, it will open up other types of jobs to me in the future.
I am enjoying reading about the history of systemic practice. It helps me to understand where we are today and why current practice looks like it does.
So far, the most valuable aspect has been challenging the way I think. It can be pretty scary at this stage to be asked to work differently, but this is what I am here for. And I am already thinking twice about everything I do!
Questioning why my team and I are doing things in a certain way, asking if there is another way to think about this, and trying to step back and think about the process, rather than the content of what is going on.
I've had to be very practical and not take on too much in other areas of my life while I’m doing this course. It was important for me to have the full support of my manager in the NHS, but they could immediately see how valuable it would be to the service and this made it easier to ask for some financial assistance and support with time for study.
I would definitely recommend the diploma course in Systemic Practice in Psychotherapy. It would be of value to anyone in the therapeutic professions - psychologists, therapists, counsellors, medical professionals for example - but also to those who work with more than the individual, such as social workers.