Dr Lisa Miller

Systemic Psychotherapist

I am a Systemic Family Psychotherapist, EMDR Therapist and Social Worker registered with the Scottish Social Services Council. I am also a Gym Instructor and Summer Mountain Leader.

Degrees and Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA Hons) Social Policy and Administration University of Plymouth
  • Certificate of Qualification in Social Work University of Plymouth
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Advanced Professional Studies (Outdoor Education) University of Edinburgh
  • Master of Science (MSc) Systemic and Family Psychotherapy University of Strathclyde
  • Summer Mountain Leader Award Glenmore Lodge
  • Gym Instructor Level 2 The Training Rooms

Systemic and Family Psychotherapy

Systemic Family Psychotherapy is grounded in helping families and those in close relationships to optimise their emotional and relationship resources and develop better shared understanding between one another in order to work towards change. This might be with an individual, within the immediate family, involving extended family and close relationships or with wider systems, such as friendships, spiritual sources of support or the care system. First working to enhance relationship security for children and adults within a family or system, families can then explore and experiment with change through new possibilities emerging from the therapeutic conversation. This might be in direct work with children, families and adult relationships or through consultation to teams or organisational systems.

My Clinical Experience

From a social work background in Children and Families, then Hospital social work, then Community Group Work with young people, I moved to NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health in East Ayrshire, where my training in Systemic Family Psychotherapy began. Working within a multidisciplinary team for nine years, I worked with many children and families from aged 2 years to 19 years. As my practice developed, I became more involved in working with foster care and residential care systems. I then moved from NHS to a Local Authority Family Placement Team, where I developed a specialism in working with trauma and how this impacts on family and care relationships. This included systemic application of play and sand tray interventions as well as using EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) and Body and Movement-Focused Trauma work. I continued working with North Ayrshire’s Family Placement Team, first on a full-time basis and later sessionally for eight years. Latterly I extended my self-employed role in the private sector to further develop working with children, young people and adults using EMDR and Body and Movement approaches in a systemic way.

I have also approximately eleven years’ experience working as a systemic supervisor and have been a trainer in Systemic and Family Psychotherapy during this period of time, which I continue to enjoy.

Publications

  • Counselling Skills for Social Work, 1st and 2nd Editions, Sage Publications (2006 and 2012)
  • Integrated Family Therapy, co-authored with Dr Rob Wrate, available on Amazon UK (2015)

My Therapeutic Approach

I like to meet individuals, families and teams from a ‘not-knowing position’ in that, despite over twenty years of training and clinical expertise, I will not know at first the unique way in which an individual is struggling, or how each family’s relationships work. I aim to get to know individuals and families during the first session or two and through therapeutic conversation, work towards shared understanding and exploring emotional and relationship resources. Within this, unhelpful relationship patterns often emerge, which can then be thought about, explored and change then considered.

If within the therapeutic conversation it seems that one or more individuals within a family might be struggling with specific traumatic experience, I firstly invite exploration of relationship patterns around the difficult experience, which often promotes change and healing. If required, I might suggest EMDR as a possible way forward if trauma-responses continue.

I am currently working through Zoom online platform.