University of Hertfordshire

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From the same journal

By the same authors

Editorial - The Professional is Political

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


I first encountered systemic thinking when, recently qualified, I accepted a job as a clinical psychologist in a team that was strongly systemically orientated and ran a vibrant systemic journal club. This was the early 1990s in South Africa and a time of incredible political transformation, including a reckoning with the history and ongoing impact of Apartheid. I remember feeling surprised and grateful for the ways in which family and systemic thinking, with its focus on relationships and context, managed to include the political. This became a resource for me in navigating the complex political contexts of my own life and work.
Arriving in the UK in the mid-90s, many exciting new opportunities opened up for exploring systemic thinking. During this time, I was particularly ‘grabbed’ by the assertion by the Just therapy group (Waldegrave et al., 2003) that hearing stories of oppression, inequality and exclusion within the private confines of the therapy room and not publicly speaking out about these oppressions was unethical, a perspective that has stayed with me ever since.

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