Miss Paula Kennedy

Associate Family and Systemic Psychotherapist
DipHE, BSc, PGCE, MSc

As a Family and Systemic psychotherapist, Paula provides consultation to families, couples and clinicians with a wide range of behavioural and emotional difficulties including (but not limited to) eating disorder, personality disorder, attachment difficulties, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism. Paula utilises a number of evidence based systemic intervention models in her practice, tailored to meet the individual couple or family needs. These include (but are not limited to) couples therapy, narrative family therapy, post Milan family therapy, structural family therapy and solution focused therapy. Her role involves helping families or people in close relationships with each other to make useful changes in their relationships and their lives. The aim is to offer opportunities for families and couples to explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely and to reflect and build on their strengths and resources.

Paula has worked in mental health services for many years, including 10 years as a senior community mental health nurse, moving into higher education in 2004 as a senior nurse lecturer for a number of years. Throughout her time in higher education she has maintained clinical practice as a nurse and then as a family and systemic psychotherapist. Since 2015, Paula has worked part time within a large NHS Trust offering consultation and project leadership aimed at clinical governance related activity for the nursing executive team.

As well as her private work, Paula works in an honorary role within a large Mental and Physical Health NHS Trust as a family and systemic psychotherapist. Her work is based in an inner city early intervention service with young people and adults experiencing a wide range of complex difficulties alongside a first episode of psychosis. She has previously worked within a child and adolescent Tier 3 service for five years and then for two years within a specialist eating disorder service for people of all ages.

Alongside her work with families and couples, she offers systemic consultation and training to teams across health, social care, primary and secondary education and policing. She is a highly skilled teacher involved in the development of education programmes and innovation/research projects across the health and social care fields. She currently leads systemic practice and children and young people’s mental health CPD modules within Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). She also co-facilitates systemic leadership sessions to medical consultants within the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust (LJMU collaborative) consultant leadership programme.

Paula is currently undertaking a systemic practice doctorate programme at the University of Bedfordshire. Her current research is focused on family and systemic psychotherapy practice as a means of developing greater understanding of the families’ experience when their loved ones have a first episode of psychosis.