April 2024

March 2024

WEBINAR: Neuroscience of Relationships

Neuroscience of Relationships

Dr. Elisa Agostinelli is a family therapist and a lecturer at the University of Southern Queensland. She is also the Program Director of Postgraduate Counselling Programs. Elisa has worked in the area of trauma, grief and loss with children and families for the past 15 years.

Title: Neuroscience of relationships: finally, science is catching up with family therapists!

Abstract: Over the last 25 years, there has been significant advancement in neuroscience, particularly in understanding the connections between neuroscience and relationships. This progress underscores the importance of embracing a comprehensive perspective on human experiences. In this workshop, we will explore key principles aimed at bridging neuroscience with family therapy, including the integration of the entire body, understanding trauma and survival mechanisms, exploring attachment dynamics, examining neural circuits, and appreciating the concept of neuroplasticity.

Friday 12 April 2024 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM (UTC+11)


Online event access details will be provided by the event organiser


Please be advised that entries are now open for the 2024 Family Therapist’s Award for Children’s Literature.


Awards Categories

  • Children’s/youth novel
  • Younger readers’/picture book

A $1,500 Award for each category will be presented to the winning authors and illustrators.

Closing Date: 1 May 2024

To enter a book, you will need to send a copy to each of the four members of the Family Therapist’s Award Committee. The criteria for entry is below. Details for where to send the books can be obtained by the contact form below and will be sent in reply email.


  • The book should be in English and first published in 2023, either in Australia or if published overseas then the author and illustrator must a) be Australian citizens or b) have lived in Australia for the two years immediately preceding the year of publication.

  • The book should be appealing to children.

  • The book should contain a realistic and balanced depiction of family life according to what are known to be the characteristics of a family developing and evolving in a healthy manner. Such a family may evidence some or all of the following:

    • it progresses through some credible obstacle to the full development of one or more of its members
    • it copes with a crisis in ways which do not restrict the present or future options of family members
    • it contains at least one family member who works for a solution that has potential for positive impact on other family members
    • it treats all of its members with respect
    • it displays a full emotional range

    It is expected that these characteristics will be displayed by a range of family configurations, e.g. couple family, re-partnered parents and step-children, parents with or without grandparents or other relatives living in the home, single parent.

  • If contemporary, the book should embody the more enlightened values of the present. It should not invite its readers to accept racist or sexist attitudes or unthinkingly condemn unfamiliar customs and values, although some characters, like people, may display such racist, sexist, or prejudiced behaviour.

  • The author should portray people credibly and sympathetically, demonstrating respect for each member of the family and showing understanding of the constraints under which these individuals live and act.

  • If a book claims to be historical then it should be, as far as possible, historically correct, without rewriting history in the image of today.
  • If minorities are portrayed, they should be with understanding and accuracy.

It is hoped that awards will be made for both a Children’s novel and a younger readers’ or Picture Book published in 2023. In the case of an illustrated book the prize will be equally divided between the author and the illustrator.

Contact us

For information on how to enter, please submit form below with subject ‘Book Award’

    February 2024

    Blaxland Health Psychotherapy Workshops with Cathy O’Brien

    Presenting: ‘A Handful of Things that are necessary for healthy family relationships’

    This presentation will explore The Hand model developed by Cathy to help families (parents and adolescents) when they are trying to establish some basic foundations in their relationships.

    Whilst so many models in health and well-being are tailored to the individual, there is often a need for families to have a guideline on what makes for good health and healthy relationships. Cathy will publicly share what she has privately explored with families for over three decades!

    Participants will have the opportunity to discus the concepts, see them applied to cases, and explore how these ideas may be helpful in their own work contexts.


    When: Friday, 23rd February 2024, 9:30-1:30pm

    Where: Blaxland Health, 8 Layton Ave Blaxland

    Cost: $250, including GST, $198 online, organisational discounts

    CPD: 3.5 hours

    Catering: Morning Tea Provided

    Contact: Jane or Cathy

    p: 4739 6464


    View Website <>

    January 2024

    December 2023

    WEBINAR: Systemic AI Conversations: The Human lens in a changing world

    Systemic AI Conversations: The Human lens in a changing world

    Chair & Panelist: Deisy Amorin-Woods

    Date and Time: Monday 18 December 2022, (AWST)

    Duration 1.5 hours

    Venue: Online via Zoom

    Cost: AAFT Members FREE/Non-AAFT Members $25

    In this webinar, Deisy Amorin-Woods (W.A AAFT State Branch Rep) will be leading a conversation with a panel of national and international speakers comprised of systemic therapists and health and human services providers who will be discussing the impact of artificial intelligence on human systems.

    The webinar will include discussion on some of the points below:

    · What is AI: Difference between AGI, AI and ML, and LLM?

    · Moral and ethical implications

    · Respect, privacy and consent considerations

    · Will AI lead to further discrimination within health care?

    · Implications on human- to- human interactions

    · Taking out the human element of health care

    · Relationships in an AI led paradigm

    · Considerations for therapists

    · Considerations for human service providers and health practitioners

    · How to preserve the ‘humanity’ and the ‘human-interface’ in a machine- based world

    About Deisy Amorin-Woods:

    Deisy is a psychotherapist and family therapist, with over 20 years-experience, (working within government, non-gov and private sectors), and in diverse fields including mental health, justice, drug and alcohol, grief and bereavement, women’s issues, sexual and reproductive health and with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, as a clinician and manager of allied health teams and as a senior clinical supervisor.

    Deisy has worked as an academic across 4 universities in the Masters of Counselling at Murdoch University and Social Work programs at UWA, Curtin and Edith Cowan University.

    Deisy has presented at national and international Conferences and is a published author, with single authored-papers and collaborated works across disciplines and contexts. Her latest research contributions include working with cultural diversity in academia and clinical practice, exploring knowledge base of clinicians about IPV and FDV. Recently she was also invited as a member of an (inter-disciplinary, inter-institutional) steering committee leading a Clinical Practice Guideline for Best Practice Management of Paediatric Patients, the final paper which was published in October this year. She was an invited Guest Editor for the Covid-19 ANZJFT Special Issue & she is Associate Editor of the Australian & New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, Dialogues and interviews section.

    November 2023



    The 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Australian Association of Family Therapy was held online on Thursday 29th of February 2024 at 7.30pm EST.

    In accordance with the rules, the business of the meeting confirmed the minutes of the AGM held on Wednesday 17th May 2023, received reports, elected AAFT Committee of Management office bearers and members, received and considered the financial statements for 2022/2023 and voted on any motions being put forward.

    Cancelled: AAFT QLD Branch Clinical Meeting with Dr Elisa Agostinelli

    Please note that the AAFT QLD Branch Clinical Meeting with Dr Elisa Agostinelli this Friday 8 December 2023 has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

    We apologise for any inconvenience. Any non-members who have paid for a ticket will be fully refunded.

    Please contact us if you have any questions.

    Professional Development: Externship in Emotionally Focused Therapy

    Join Dr Clare Rosoman and Linda Murrow for this four day in-person Emotionally Focused Therapy Externship. Offered for the first time in Melbourne in this format.

    More info:

    October 2023

    NSW Members End of Year Celebration

    NSW AAFT Committee would like to invite members to join them in a social networking event to spend some time getting to know other clinicians and celebrate the year that’s been. Partners/family welcome.

    When: 12.00 Saturday 18 November 2023

    Where: Cronulla / Port Hacking River (RSVP for address)

    What: BYO food/drinks to share and swimming gear

    RSVP: 4 November 2023

    Margy Green – or 0439 421 104.

    September 2023

    Professional Training: Parent Hope Project


    Conference: Free Online Mini Conference by The Bouverie Centre

    August 2023

    Job Opportunity: The Bouverie Centre – Family Therapist Clinical Family Therapy Program


    Family Therapist – Clinical Family Therapy Program

    Summary:  Promote recovery and effective treatment for families (children, youth and adults) where family members have experienced serious mental illness and/or difficulties related to AOD misuse, and/or complex relational trauma.

    • Part time (0.6 FTE preferred but flexible)
    • Fixed Term 1 year contract with a view to extend
    • Located at the Bouverie Centre (Brunswick) with free parking
    • HEO7 $90,259 to $99,291 plus  17% superannuation
    • Plus Salary Market Loading of up to 8% based on experience and qualifications

    The Bouverie Centre (Bouverie) is a values-based Practice-Research Centre of La Trobe University, within the School of Psychology and Public Health. Bouverie is also funded by the Department of Health (DH) as a clinical demonstration centre, providing family therapy services to families where a member suffers a mental illness and/or the effects of alcohol and drug use and/or complex relational trauma, and statewide training to the mental health workforce.  As an integrated Practice-Research Centre, our research aims to understand how relationships and circumstances affect abilities to develop healthy relationships , to care for ourselves and others, and to manage challenging times, at all stages in life, in all cultures, for all people. We work closely together with stakeholders to create meaningful research findings that support the well-being of individuals and families, and serve multiple practices, policy, public health, and research purposes.

    About the position

    The Bouverie Centre has a Family Therapist position currently available for 12 months (with a view to extend) for an experienced, innovative and motivated family therapist to join our Clinical Family Therapy team.

    The position is designed to promote recovery and effective treatment for families (adults and children) where family members have experienced serious mental illness and/or difficulties related to AOD misuse, and/or relational trauma. Direct clinical work with clients, participation in clinical research projects and the development models of practice and clinical skills to build capacity within the mental health and allied health workforce will be included in this role. This role is primarily designed to see families to cover LSL positions and to work as a member of the Clinical Team (e.g. co-therapy as required, participate in Walk In Together team roster, attend Clinical Team meetings) and to engage as a member of Bouverie’s staff group (e.g. attend staff meetings and other ‘all organisation’ activities including Clinical Colloquia and planning meetings)

    Enquiries: Martin Pradel 03 8481 4800

    To apply:

    Job Opportunity: Family Therapist – Headspace Early Psychosis





    About the role

    Family Therapist is an ongoing role, working 2 days / week across both Penrith and Mount Druitt headspace teams (flexibility on working days)

    The Family Therapist is a senior clinician role. This position is responsible for additional support to clinicians for families with high or more complex needs. The family therapist is embedded with the Early Psychosis clinical team and can be involved in secondary consultation at any time. If there is a need for direct involvement, either in the form of brief interventions, structured skills-based work or family therapy, this can then be offered by the Family Therapy Clinician. Interventions can be undertaken separately or jointly with another member of the treating team.

    Family therapy clinician is a crucial component of the EPPIC model (Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre), ensuring consistent delivery of family inclusive practice, and compliance with EPPIC model fidelity.  The Family Therapy Clinician will aim to upskill staff about family systems and therapy in clinical reviews, increase staff confidence and competence in family inclusive practice.

    About you in the role

    • Provide family therapy directly to young people and their families accessing the program.
    • Directly work with family members and young people in a time-limited family therapy setting.
    • Provide family therapy to improve the dynamics at home to support young person’s mental health recovery

    Essential requirements

    • Qualifications in Psychology or Occupational therapy or Mental Health Nursing or Social Work with AHPRA membership or eligibility to AASW
    • Training and experience in family therapy clinical practice within the mental health field.
    • Demonstrated ability to be self-motivated and function autonomously while being able to work in a multidisciplinary team effectively.
    • Current Drivers Licence and willingness to attend home visits when required

    headspace Penrith, Mount Druitt and Parramatta deliver the headspace Youth Early Psychosis Program. The headspace program offers an “open door”, easily accessible, early intervention service for young people wishing to obtain support for mental health or substance use issues. The headspace Early Psychosis program is a specialist service which focuses on providing comprehensive services to support young people who are at risk of developing a psychotic illness, or those who have experienced a first episode of psychosis.

    Benefits & culture

    As an organisation, we celebrate our diversity and welcome all people regardless of ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation and gender identity. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people from a diverse cultural background are encouraged to apply.

    • Salary packaging entitlements, company rewards
    • Ongoing training & development, including cultural awareness training
    • Career progression & development opportunities

    How to apply:

    Please attach your resume and a covering letter outlining your knowledge of the EPPIC model in relation to Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention for young people and families (Half A4 page max)

    Should you have any questions, please contact Rose Rivera from Uniting’s Talent Acquisition Team on 0438 206 164 or for more information.

    July 2023

    AAFT Professional Development: Documentary: “Mara Selvini Palazzoli: Resonances between Life and Profession”.



    Mara Selvini Palazzoli.

    Resonances between life and profession

    Documentary By: Federico Selvini


    Date: 11 August 2023

    Time: 6PM (AWST), 8PM (AEST), 12PM (ROME TIME)

    Fee: Free for AAFT Members


    The Mara Selvini Palazzoli School of Psychotherapy has produced a documentary: “Mara Selvini Palazzoli: Resonances between Life and Profession”.


    Directed by Mara’s grandson, Federico Selvini, the documentary portrays one of the most influential Family Therapy pioneers and an expert in the field

    of anorexia.


    The scientific impact of the book Paradox and Counter-Paradox, (1975), which she co-authored with Luigi Boscolo, Gianfranco Cecchin and

    Giuliana Prata, has been paralleled in Family Therapy to The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud in individual therapy.


    Clinical scientist, mother, daughter and life companion. Mara’s story can be read as an example of a woman who could visualise and create a path

    towards freedom for herself. Mara’s life story is a reflection of the woman and the therapist she became, which in turn influenced her important model of psychotherapy.


    An emblematic story of resilience, her abandonment at birth, her difficult childhood followed by re-connection with her family, the necessity to

    re-create new links, and the development of the self-critic and observation, all contributed to the development of her model of psychotherapy.


    Mara’s life is retraced through personal documents which include family pictures and videos filmed by her husband Aldo, an old diary found in a drawer, and memories of her children, Michele, Anna and Matteo. This is followed by interviews with three of her patients in the 70’ & 80’s: Nora of the Casanti family in Paradox and Counter-paradox; Andrea, aged 20, with a severe psychotic decompensation; and

    Roberto Mazza who later became a Psychotherapist and teacher at the School. All provide evidence of Mara’s therapeutic style.


    There is also participation from Paola Di Blasio, Alfredo Canevaro, Stefano Cirillo, Matteo Selvini, and Anna Maria Sorrentino. All of whom

    share her human and scientific endeavours, providing a whole description of Mara, the person and the therapist.


    In May the school made the documentary accessible in four versions: The original in Italian, with subtitles in English, Spanish and French.


    We are now thrilled and honoured to launch this documentary to an Australian audience.

    * Introduction: Matteo Selvini & Deisy Amorin-Woods -15 mins

    * Presentations by Maurizio Andolfi, Umberta Telfener, & Mary Joe Barrett – 30 minutes

    * Documentary – 1.15mins

    * Q&A: Matteo Selvini & Deisy Amorin-Woods -15 mins


    NOTE: Please submit a booking form to register your attendance and receive the Zoom link.



    Job Opportunity: Family Therapist – Strengthening Connections (Tarrengower)



    Family Therapist – Strengthening Connections (Tarrengower)

    The Bouverie Centre – La Trobe University

    • Part time (0.6 FTE), Fixed Term (12 month contract)
    • Located at Tarrengower Prison, Nuggetty, VIC (Maldon)
    • Take your career in exciting, rewarding directions
    • Work with inspiring people who are driven to make a difference!
    • $92,064 to $101,276 plus 17% Superannuation with Attraction and Marketing Loading available to the right candidates based on experience)



    The Bouverie Centre runs the Strengthening Connections Family Therapy Service program, an innovative therapy service for women prisoners designed to assist women to maintain or re-engage connections with family while in custody and to increase women’s successful reintegration from prison back to the family unit. The aim is to promote healing and consolidation of close relationships, to create a more secure environment for the woman to return to on release, reducing risk of recidivism and rates of reincarceration. The clinical services are underpinned by an action-research model, based on an established evidence of criminogenic and healing pathways for women. The pilot programme commenced in October 2020. The Project was contracted to be delivered to July 2023, and has since received renewed funding until June 2024.

    This role will be solely responsible for clinical service delivery at Tarrengower prison. This centrally involves providing in-person family therapy services within the Bouverie Centre’s Strengthening Connections for Women in Prison program. This includes providing small group, individual and family therapy services to women and their family members or identified supports, and involves case management of personal clinical caseload. Sessions are delivered in-person at Tarrengower and via telehealth. Both individual and co-therapy practices are used.

    The incumbent will work closely with fellow members of the Strengthening Connections clinical team, Project Director and Project Manager. In addition, this role works closely with the Family Engagement Worker and other staff at Tarrengower prison, who support women to access the Strengthening Connections Program. The incumbent will be responsible for communicating and sharing information and resources about the Strengthening Connections program to women and staff at Tarrengower, in order to raise awareness of the program and maintain referrals.

    Clinical supervision is offered by senior Family Therapists at the Bouverie Centre, and First Nations cultural support and consultation is offered.


    The work base for this position will be Tarrengower prison, where the incumbent will be on-site three days per fortnight. Telehealth Sessions will be conducted via Zoom on other assigned days. Attendance at the Bouverie Centre staff meeting, planning days and essential training is also expected, in person, once per month, with other meetings attended via zoom. In addition, occasional in-person attendance at Dame Phyllis Frost Centre will be required, up to once per month.

    Enquiries:  Ellen Welsh  03 8481 4800

    Closing date : 8th Aug 2023

    To apply  :

    June 2023

    Bower Place Online Workshop


    May 2023

    Training: Interdisciplinary & Holistic Approach on ADHD & School Refusal



    Training: AAFT QLD PD

    How does “mentalisation” enhance Systemic and Family Therapy Intervention

    Presented By: Raymond Ho



    Friday 2nd June 2023



    5:30pm to 6.00pm Welcome and Snacks

    6.00pm to 7:30pm Presentation and Branch update



    Hybrid – In person at Relationships Australia at 159 St Pauls Terrace, Springhill and via Zoom

    (The venue is located on the corner of Warren Street and St Pauls Terrace. It is mostly metered parking in Warren Street, Quarry Street and St Pauls Terrace. Do not park on St Pauls Terrace after 4pm as you will be towed.)



    AAFT Financial Member: Free

    Non AAFT Member: $25.00



    Mentalisation refers to the process of how people make sense of themselves and others. The presentation will focus on how systemic & family therapists can apply concepts of “mentalising” to enhance their intervention practice.


    About the presenter

    Raymond Ho is an accredited Clinical and Mental Health Social Worker, Clinical Family Therapist and Certified Gottman Therapist. He has over 30 years of clinical experience providing psychotherapy to individuals, couples and families in public and private mental health sectors, and has been providing clinical supervision and training to mental health professionals in Australia and overseas for many years. In recent years, Raymond has been integrating clinical hypnosis, Gottman method of couple therapy, and mentalisation into his psychotherapy and systemic/family therapy practice. He is an accredited supervisor and trainer in mentalisation based therapy for families (MBT-F).

    Raymond is operating a private practice “Enhancing Lives” offering direct clinical services to individuals, couples and families, as well as supervision training and consultancy to mental health professionals and organisations.


    Registrations close: Monday 29 May 2023

    Dulwich Centre – Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work 2024 – Online in 2024



    Due to the pandemic, we had to transform this program into an online adventure. New pedagogies
    were developed, Dulwich Centre was transformed into a film studio, and Aboriginal faculty member
    Tileah Drahm-Butler and her family created a morale boosting online Dance Academy. Weekly
    ‘Meet the author’ sessions were developed as ‘pop-up communities’ and regional/country groups
    facilitated by graduates were established. Unexpectedly, the innovative local practice projects
    developed by students were just as sparkling and significant as they had been when the program
    was face-to-face. Because of this, and because of the continuing effects of the pandemic in
    various parts of the world, we will be offering this Masters online in 2024.

    This program is practice-based and involves participants honing their narrative skills and
    innovating forms of narrative practice in their own contexts. We are excited about what this
    means for the continuing development of diverse narrative practices

    The diversity of participants is a particular highlight with graduates from Rwanda, Singapore,
    Canada, Australia, Japan, Spain, Hong Kong, Israel, China, Tanzania, Ireland, Chile, South Africa,
    Denmark, Qatar, Turkey, Mexico, India, New Zealand and the UK. There is also a strong Aboriginal/
    First Nations representation on both the faculty and among students (the program has been
    awarded the Excellence and Innovation in Indigenous Higher Education Award).

    This Master’s program is co-ordinated by Dulwich Centre, taught by our international faculty
    and in conjunction with Australia’s leading university, the University of Melbourne. If you are
    interested in undertaking this Masters at the University of Melbourne/Dulwich Centre in 2024
    without having to travel to Adelaide to do so, please write to us at

    Or look up this website:

    AAFT 2022 Annual General Meeting Notice



    Notice is given that the 2022 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Australian Association of Family Therapy will be held online on Wednesday 17 May 2023 at 7.30pm EST.

    In accordance with the rules, the business of the meeting shall confirm the minutes of the AGM held on Thursday 21 October 2021, receive reports, elect AAFT Committee of Management office bearers and members, receive and consider the financial statements for 2021/2022 and vote on any motions being put forward.

    Call for nominations for the following committee positions:

    President Vice President
    Treasurer Secretary
    Committee Members (Clinical) Committee Members (Other)


    Nominations close on Monday 15 May 2023, however nominations will be accepted from the floor.

    AGM Nomination Form

    AAFT AGM Proxy Form

    AAFT Members can register here:

    Submissions are being accepted for the Secretary Role. 

    Download Secretary Position Description


    Please contact AAFT Admin on 0499 078 211 or for further information.

    Opinions of contributors and advertisers on the AAFT Noticeboard are not necessarily those of AAFT. AAFT makes no representation or warranty that information contained in articles or advertisements is accurate.

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