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Simple Steps to Safer Families: Australian Association of Family Therapy Conference

The annual Australian Association of Family Therapy (AAFT) Conference is shaping up to be one that is not to be missed. Held in Adelaide on 19-20 October, this year’s theme is Family therapy and social justice – Collapsing the divisions of inequality.

“The idea was to look at how inequality brings people to therapy; that sense of finding the world unjust and not being able to navigate it either within their own families or within the systems they are interacting with,” said Tonia Keating, AAFT Secretary and Senior Family and Relationships Counsellor with Relationships Australia SA.

The conference will explore where family therapy and systemic practice can work effectively at every level of system, and will address four main themes in areas greatly impacted by inequality: Indigenous Australians; health and disability; age; and gender.

Relationships Australia South Australia is a principal sponsor and a number of our staff members are speaking and facilitating workshops.

Jamie Lee, Principal Researcher, and Janet Muirhead, Practice Manager for Family and Relationships Counselling, will present their talk, “Universal Risk Screening as a Tool to Identify Client Vulnerability in Family and Relationship Counselling”. Co-authored with Deakin University’s Professor Jenn McIntosh, the talk will also introduce the sector to the latest developments in universal screening in counselling at RASA and the new C-DOORS tool.

“Decades of public health research tell us for a healthier lifestyle all we need to do is to ‘eat less, and move more.’ But putting that into practice consistently is another matter. It’s the same for making sure families and relationships are safe and well. The research in this area tells us to ‘screen more, and presume less.’ We want to see practitioners putting this into practice for what they already know in their hearts. “We hope our presentation gives family therapists a framework for ‘more screening’ and some evidence for ‘less presuming’,” added Jamie.

To learn more about the conference or to register now, visit the website.