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Welcome to AFT’s student page, which we hope will provide you with useful information and supportive resources, whether you’re considering or currently training in family and systemic psychotherapy.

Can I become a student member of AFT?

Student membership is open to anyone on foundation, intermediate and MSc courses leading to qualification as a Family and Systemic Psychotherapist.

Student members who have comepleted an accredited intermediate level training and have progressed to qualifying level with a prior professional registration can apply to be a systemic practitioner member of AFT. Download the information here.  

What are the benefits?

Membership of AFT is a great way to keep up to date with current developments in family and systemic psychotherapy in the UK and to access high-quality resources to support your studies and practice. Membership also means you agree to abide by AFT’s Code of Ethics.

Student membership includes subscriptions to Context and the Journal of Family Therapy, reduced admission fees to AFT conferences and other events, AFT’s UK wide network of local branches and workshops and full member benefits.

"Joining AFT was a great move. Context magazine and the Journal of Family Therapy are full of stimulating ideas and AFT workshops have been inspiring. I wasn’t part of a systemic team when I started training, so it made a real difference feeling I could connect with others who shared my practice interests and values. I know AFT does all sorts, but for me the greatest benefit has been feeling part of a supportive community."

– 'Nearly qualified' AFT member

How much does it cost?

AFT values its student members highly. In these difficult times, AFT’s Board has agreed to not increase membership fees and to continue to offer big reductions for student members to give you maximum benefits for the lowest costs.

Student membership remains ONLY £51 (full membership would be £75). The membership year runs from January 1st to December 31st.

How do I join?

Simple. You just need to go to the Join AFT page of our website and select Student member: print + online.

How do I find information on training?

Begin by looking at the rest of the Training section of this website. This includes information on training to become a family therapist and details and contact information for all AFT accredited courses and other training. Further details are available from the relevant training institutions.

Is my course AFT accredited and does it matter?

You can check the list of Training Courses to see if your course is accredited by AFT.

Accredited courses have been assessed by AFT as offering quality training to a high standard, which is recognised by employers and colleagues. An accredited course allows you to continue training at another institution if necessary.

If your course is not accredited by AFT it does not mean it is not a valid course. However, AFT would be unable to comment on the quality of the course as we will not have assessed its content or processes.

What are the training entry requirements?

A prior relevant professional training or equivalent is necessary at all three levels of training: foundation, intermediate and qualifying. Training courses assume that candidates already have a good ability to work effectively within a mental health or associated field, and will be able to build on this prior knowledge and skills. Occasionally, a course may wish to admit an outstanding applicant who does not have a traditional background. These candidates may need to undertake further trainings to proceed from intermediate level trainings.

For further details see AFT’s statement on Dual Qualification and Equivalence Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning - APEL(PDF).

How can I find a clinical placement?

The requirements for student placements and practice hours vary between training institutions and your level of training. But here is a starter list of places where some people have found placements and practice opportunities:

• Hospices
• Schools
• Children’s centres
• Family centres
• Local charities that support families through all kinds of challenges, such as families where one or more members have special needs, families where one member is in prison, homelessness, women’s refuges, refugee support, etc.
• Looking through the list of job vacancies in organisations that work with families, and contacting them to offer your services
• General counselling agencies
• Faith based organisations that run counselling services, such as mosques, churches and their related services and charities
• GP surgeries
• Organisations that work with young people
• Organisations that work with elderly people
• Hospital chaplaincy services
• Think about your core profession and how you can use your professional skills and networks to help you find a placement

We hope this list may give you a few ideas if you are looking for a placement. If you have found a placement in an organisation not listed here, please let us know so that we can broaden the list and help other students.

Where can I find a practice supervisor?

Please see the AFT Directory of Approved Supervisors. Also see the AFT Continuing Professional Development Policy (PDF), which lays down requirements for supervision and keeping up-to-date with current developments in the field.

Applying for UKCP Registration

AFT as a member organisation of UKCP can review applications from those AFT members who can provide evidence that they have completed the qualifying level training successfully and I attach a copy of the application form. This must be submitted in triplicate by post, with the supporting documentation, to the Registration Committee. There is an initial application fee for this to be reviewed of £100. 

All new applicants need to provide:

• The Qualifying Route application form (to be found on
member area of the website)
• Photocopy of degree or diploma certification from Course, or a letter from the Course Director confirming that the course was completed successfully.
• A signed statement from the Course Director specifying that the applicant has fully met the AFT requirements on clinical practice hours, 300 course based hours and 200 hours in their organization.
• Statement from current clinical supervisor. Clinical supervision should be provided by an approved supervisor or a systemic psychotherapist registered via the College for Family Couple and Systemic Therapy (CFCST) within UKCP. 18 hours supervision is required per year for the first three years post-qualifying. Newly qualified therapists seeking UKCP registration as Systemic Psychotherapists should have individual retrospective and/or live individual clinical supervision, for at least part of their clinical supervision. For the first three years following registration live team supervision or retrospective group peer supervision alone cannot fulfil all clinical supervision requirements.
• Photocopy of up-to-date professional indemnity insurance (this must be submitted before applicants can be added to the Register). Personal professional indemnity cover is strongly recommended and a requirement for those in private practice.

Though the Registration committee meet four times a year, panellists can review applications via the Qualifying route outside the meetings. Once recommended registrants then need to complete the UKCP new member form and submit this to UKCP, with our endorsement, and the UKCP annual subscription. Thereafter AFT are responsible for ensuring that registrants keep up to date with their CPD and a CPD review is conducted 3 years after first registration, or sooner, if required by the Registration Committee.

For further information and resources, please see

General discussion group for students

The Student Lounge

Hopefully these pages will cover what you are looking for, but if you have any further queries please contact us.

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