2017 AFT Conferences

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2017 Annual Conference:  14 - 16th September in Dunblane, Scotland

Bookings now open.  Visit the conference website here.

If you would like to take part in the research symposium at the conference on Thursday 14th September from 2.15pm to 4.30pm and present your research from a professional doctorate in family and systemic psychotherapy, please submit your details and abstract here.  Presentations will be for 20 minutes allowing time for questions.  

"Wide Open Spaces: working creatively and staying connected"

We have chosen this title in part to reflect both the geography of Scotland and the variety of contexts in which Family Therapists can be found. Highlighting the opportunities and challenges that this presents.

From working systemically on the Island of Orkney to working systemically in the East end of Glasgow there will be many similarities but also differences that are important to consider.

Our aim is to create a conference that allows systemic practice across diverse contexts throughout the UK and further afield to come together.

Working creatively As many family therapist do,
• within the therapy room,
• across service contexts ( specialist services sharing ideas across the globe),
• across geographical boundaries,
• into particular communities, refugees, prisons, women's aid services,
• Making connections with clients considered “hard to reach”,
• Making connectIons with colleagues and other disciplines.
• Making connections with managers and stakeholders in current financial climate to build and promote Family & Systemic Psychotherapy.
• To create connections across the time frame of family therapy that highlights the connections between older and newer developments.

From the experience of this conference I guess another level of context for connecting is about colleagues and old friends connecting. And as Brighton has achieved getting the ambience around that right.

But also enabling new connections to be made and helping folk who may not have so many connections at conference to connect with each other and other groups.

A particular focus is on creating a context that allows systemic practitioners from all stages of training to feel welcome and to celebrate the important contributions that all levels of systemic practice can have.

This title can appear on the surface as perhaps vague and open ended! This is deliberate to make it possible that speakers and workshop facilitators can interpret themselves what they take from the title.

The venue:

Dunblane 2017 will be hosted at the Dunblane Hydro, A Doubletree by Hilton hotel set in the ideal location of Dunblane. Dunblane is a beautiful town located at the entrance to the Scottish Highlands and has easy access by rail and road to Glasgow and Edinburgh.

For many the Town of Dunblane will be infamous because of the tragic school shooting which resulted in the death of 16 children and a teacher in March 1996. Whilst we will of course be cognisant of this, we do not wish to visit upon the town a macabre reminder of this tragic event, by focusing on tragedy, death or even resilience.

We want to celebrate the the towns location as a connection between urban and rural, as a community that has connected with the world through tragedy and reconnected with the world through tennis!

The Hydro was opened in 1878 and was originally a Victorian health spa. Previously guests would come to drink the local spring water and take part in a range of hydropathic treatments. ‘Taking the waters’ became a fashionable trend which was believed to cure a range of ailments including rheumatism, alcoholism and depression.

Perhaps the story of the waters powers to treat ailments has reduced over time but we remain confident that the presentations, workshops and general ambience at this conference will have a positive impact on your well being resulting in an improvement in mood and an overall re-energising of mind body and spirit!

Speakers so far!

We can confirm that Peter Rober (Belgium), Alan Carr (Ireland), Ben Furman (Finland), Reene Singh (UK) and Arlene Vetere (UK) have been confirmed as keynote speakers.

Dr Ben Furman is a Finnish psychiatrist, psychotherapist and an internationally renowned teacher of solution-focused therapy, coaching and organisational development. He is an author and In Finland he is a national celebrity having hosted his own TV and Radio programmes.

He developed the renowned resource Kids Skills which is now available in book and online format. This solution focused approach helps kids, parents to overcome everyday difficulties, and provides resources for those of us who work with children and families.

In 1984 he went to study systemic family therapy in Italy with Luigi Boscolo and Gianfranco Ceccin. He started to apply family therapy ideas in his work, attended congresses and workshops, participated in a family therapy training course in Finland (1984-1986) and became the founding editor of the Finnish journal of Family Therapy (1984-1988) which is published by the NGO, Finnish Association of Mental Health.

Ben has worked across Finland from Lapland to Helsinki giving him a unique insight into contexts that we share in Scotland. Working across great distances, remote communities, where previously family therapy was unknown and unfamiliar.

Professor Alan Carr is a clinical psychologist and family & systemic psychotherapist. He has worked in Ireland, the UK and Canada.

Professor Carr has produced over 20 volumes and 200 papers and presentations in the areas of clinical psychology, family therapy and positive psychology.

He has held research grants from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, and the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse. In addition he has co-ordinated a sponsorship programme involving the Irish Health Service and agencies which since 1997 has supported the training of over 100 doctoral students in clinical psychology. He received the Award of Special Merit from the Psychological Society of Ireland. He is a Fellow of the Psychological Society of Ireland and the British Psychological Society and received the International Research Promotion Council, Eminent Scientist of the Year, Europe, award in Clinical Psychology and Mental Health. In 2011 he received an award from the European Family Therapy Association for his contribution to family therapy research.

Alan specialises in a wide range of psychological problems that affect adjustment of individuals, couples and families across the lifespan.

Professor Peter Rober, PhD is clinical psychologist, family therapist and family therapy trainer at Context -Centre for marital and family therapy (UPC KU Leuven, Belgium). He is a Senior Faculty member at the Institute for Dialogic Practice.

He teaches family therapy at the Institute for Family and Sexuality Studies (medical school of K.U. Leuven, Belgium). His research interest areas focus on the practice of family therapy and on the therapy process, including especially the use of self of the therapist and the therapist’s inner conversation.

Peter Rober published several articles in international family therapy journals. Since 1992, he has presented international workshops on family therapy with children and adolescents. Every year in August he organises the European Summer School in Family Therapy in Leuven (Belgium), together with Jaakko Seikkula, John Shotter, Justine van Lawick and Jim Wilson.

Travel Information
Dunblane is within easy commuting distance from both Glasgow and Edinburgh
By Car
32 miles from Glasgow
42 miles from Edinburgh
By Train
If you book early there are some great prices by rail and you can come into Glasgow or Edinburgh
Manchester to Glasgow RTN from as low as £33
Birmingham to Glasgow RTN from as low as £100
London to Glasgow RTN from as low as £102
London to Edinburgh RTN from as low as £72
Glasgow or Edinburgh to Dunblane by train is around 1 hour and under £20 for a return journey
By Air

London to Glasgow RTN from £50
London to Edinburgh RTN from £50
Birmingham to Glasgow RTN from £80
Birmingham to Edinburgh RTN from £80
Manchester to Glasgow RTN from £115
Manchester to Edinburgh RTN from £80

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