When is Systemic Therapy and Family Therapy helpful?

Systemic therapists work with families, couples and individual adults, young people and children  – anyone in relationships with others. 

Therapy can be with any group of people and can be with different members of a family or group.   We work with family members who want to support others.  There are also many individuals who have found systemic therapy helpful when they want to understand or improve their relationships with other family members or when there have been experiences they would like to explore and understand.

Research shows that Family Therapy can be helpful in a wide range of situations and life challenges.  These include challenges from mental and physical health diagnoses; separation, loss and bereavement; trauma; substance abuse; eating disorder; adjustment to major life events; ASD and ADHD diagnosis; communication difficulties; parenting; step-parenting; and estrangement from family.  Many families value support with improving communication with loved ones or with building closer relationships.  Family therapy helps family members to work together when something is hurting, difficult or feels overwhelming or when it is difficult to change harmful behavior.

What do we do?

Family Therapists focus on exploring your and others’ thoughts, beliefs and views so that we all develop a shared understanding of the situation.  We then work with you to identify the changes you hope for and an agreed plan for sessions.   It is important for us to build on strengths and to provide a safe and contained space for everyone, which is respectful and focused on you and your needs.  We use talking and other creative ways of communicating depending on what is most helpful. 

How do we work with you and your family?

The Edinburgh Practice offers therapy from two qualified Family and Systemic Therapists, Magi Mitchell and Lynne Spiteri.  One therapist will meet with you initially to explore the issue and together we will agree a plan for our work.

There are times when it is valuable for you to have two therapists jointly working with you, particularly when a number of people are coming for therapy or when two clinicians would be helpful for you.  This is an option that can be considered when we meet to discuss the issues you are seeking help with.

Meet Lynne & Magi

Lynne Spiteri

Lynne Spiteri

Systemic Psychotherapist and Family Therapist
Systemic Supervisor

I am a Systemic and Family Psychotherapist, and Systemic Supervisor, registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy and the Association for Family Therapy.

My Clinical Experience
I have worked for the past 30 years with children, young people and families, in a variety of NHS, Education and Local Authority settings. My most recent role was as a Clinical Lead and Family Therapist in an in-patient unit for young people who were facing mental health challenges and diagnoses. I worked individually with patients and also with their families to understand and to address complex difficulties and to help them support each other. Young people presented with a range of issues including eating disorders, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, personality aspects, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit disorders, self-harm and self-esteem challenges as well as relationship and social difficulties.
In other settings I have worked with families experiencing stress and challenge as a result of a range of life events including, for example, communication difficulties, separation, divorce, loss, trauma, mental and physical illness and changes in family circumstances.
I have also worked in schools, supporting young people, families and staff.
It is really important for me to provide a safe and contained therapy space for anyone to explore and address any issues that are affecting them or people in their lives.
In addition to working directly with individuals or families, I provide Supervision to staff in different contexts who are working with individuals or families.

“One of the best things about seeing the Family Therapist was that she helped our family understand each other and we now talk more about things.” Anna, aged 15

Degrees and Qualifications
BA (Hons): Applied Social Science
Certificate of Qualification in Social Work
Diploma in Management Studies
Diploma in Family and Systemic Therapy
Advanced Diploma in Systemic Supervision
Currently undertaking the Diploma in Systemic Leadership and Consultation Practice

Magi Mitchell

Magi Mitchell

Systemic Psychotherapist and Family Therapist
Systemic Supervisor

I am a Systemic and Family Psychotherapist, and Systemic Supervisor, registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy and the Association for Family Therapy.

My Clinical experience
I began my career as an NHS Physiotherapist. An increasing awareness of the links between mental and physical health and an interest in early intervention led me to undertake further training, first in integrative counselling before going on to complete my training in Systemic Family Psychotherapy.

I have worked mainly in third sector organisations and in educational settings; both primary and secondary schools, with individual adults, children and young people, couples, families and school staff facing a range of issues and challenges.
I also spent some time working with young people and their families in an in-patient unit, where young people were living with more complex and enduring mental health difficulties including eating disorders, anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, difficulties with emotion regulation , autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit disorders, self-harm and self-esteem challenges .
Alongside my work at the Edinburgh Practice I currently work for The University of Edinburgh Student Counselling Service, supporting students as they move out of their families and adjust to University life. In addition to direct clinical work, I also provide training in Systemic Psychotherapy and clinical supervision to other staff working with individuals and families in different contexts.

My Therapeutic Approach
I work with my clients , using a systemic approach to develop a shared understanding of current difficulties. These might be the impact of an individual family member’s mental, developmental or physical health difficulty, problems with communication, difficulties in relationships or difficulty negotiating life events and transitions such as loss, divorce, separation, re-marriage or young people entering adolescence or leaving home. I work with clients to identify unhelpful relationship patterns, which can make them feel stuck and use a strengths based approach to work together to make changes both within individuals and in their network of close relationships. When working with young children I use play and creative techniques to involve them in sessions.

Degrees and Qualifications

Graduate Diploma in Physiotherapy: Glasgow Caledonian University
Certificate in Counselling Skills: University of Glasgow
Post Graduate Diploma in Integrative Counselling: Counselling Europe, Netherlands
Master of Science (MSc) Systemic & Family Psychotherapy: University of Strathclyde
Advanced Diploma in Systemic Supervision

We look forward to meeting you.

Magi Mitchell and Lynne Spiteri 

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