Dr Gail Simon

Principal Lecturer in Systemic Practice

Gail Simon

Research

Practitioner Research

I lead the Professional Doctorate in Systemic Practice which is a PhD equivalent research degree for systemic professionals. I specialise in practitioner research as a qualitative researcher, as a tutor, supervisor, writer and methodologist.

My main interest is in supporting relationally reflexive practice as a form of transformative inquiry.

The contemporary approaches of systemic - social constructionist - collaborative - reflexive - dialogical - narrative - appreciative - relational - embodied ways of knowing and know-how, doing and being lend themselves well to using action research, the new ethnographies and other first person qualitative approaches to study of one's professional practice.

I consult and supervise the research of those working in the fields of therapy, organisational development, leadership, and education.

Research Interests
  • Systemic Practice and Autism
  • Systemic inquiry as qualitative inquiry
  • Writing as a method of inquiry
  • Performative methodologes
  • Criteria for quality in practitioner research
  • Dialogical pop-up spaces as a form of inquiry and intervention
  • Research ethics in counselling and psychotherapy and practice research
Research Supervision

I supervise doctoral researchers on the Professional Doctorate in Systemic Practice from the professions of therapy, leadership and education. To date, I have supervised nine doctoral students to completion and fifteen MSc by research dissertations.

Research Examinations

I have examined twelve doctorates to date in the UK, Canada, USA, Australia and the Netherlands; two as internal examiner and ten as external examiner.

Recent Research Projects
  • Criteria for Assessing Quality in Systemic Research
  • Assessing Reflexivity in Professional Practice
  • Dialogical pop-up spaces, Baltic Art Centre, Sweden
  • Writing as a relational practice
  • "The Other in The Text" - A play discussing writing, ethics, truth and power
  • Family therapy where a child has Asperger Syndrome/ High Functioning Autism
Other Research Activities
  • Research Expert Reference Group, Association for Family Therapy & Systemic Practice
  • UKCP Practitioner Research Network
  • Institute of Applied Social Research Ethics Panel
  • Autism Bedfordshire: Innovation Bridge Research
  • Autism Research Network Forum, University of Bedfordshire
  • Reflexivity in Professional Doctorates - Special Interest Group
  • Systemic Therapy with High Functioning Autism/ Asperger Syndrome. Special Interest Group
  • Reflexivity in Research International Symposium, University of Strathclyde.
  • Måfå Research Group. Dialogical Space research projects.

Editorial and Reviewer Work

  • Editor, Murmurations: Journal of Transformative Systemic Practice.
  • International Advisory Board member, International Journal for Collaborative Practice
  • Editor, Everything is Connected Press
  • Guest Editor, Journal of Family Therapy & Context
  • Reviewer for
    • Journal of Family Therapy
    • Child Abuse Review
    • Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Journal
    • International Journal for Collaborative Practice
    • Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning
    • Human Systems: The Journal of Therapy, Consultation and Training

Systemic Practice Experience

Teaching of Systemic Therapy and Research

I have over 20 years' experience of systemic practice and research teaching. I taught systemic therapy at KCC London, University of Leeds, University of Manchester, and the Relate Institute. I have been guest lecturer at Clanwilliam Institute, Dublin; Tavistock Clinic, London; University of Leicester; Diakonhjemmet Høgskole, Oslo, Norway; Institute of Family Therapy, London; Institute of Psychiatry, London; University of Bradford; Univeristy of Leeds; University of Manchester; University of Bristol. I introduced research curricula and teaching at The Relate Institute on the MA and MSc Relationship Therapy.

Systemic Therapy Practice

I co-founded The Pink Practice, a lesbian, gay, transgender and queer systemic therapy practice in London 30 years ago. This is still my practice home where I now supervise. I have used this context as a springboard to make connections with other areas of lived experience which can result in oppressive practices and cultures.

My work experience has taken place in a variety of independent and statutory settings. I have worked as a systemic therapist in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in the NHS and for Local Authorities.

In the independent sector, I worked as consultant supervisor, trainer, team manager, systemic therapist, community worker and clinical director. Organisations where I have worked include Bradford District NHS Care Trust; London Borough of Brent; London Borough of Haringey; London Borough of Camden; Relate Bradford; Off Centre in Hackney; Alone in London Service; and The Pink Practice.

Qualifications

  • Professional Doctorate in Systemic Practice
  • MA Systemic Practice
  • PG Dip Systemic Therapy with Individuals, Couples and Families
  • Counselling Supervision training
  • Diploma in Art and Design
  • Certificate of Qualification in Social Work (CQSW)
  • BA (Hons) Sociology with Professional Studies

Professional Memberships

  • 2016 - National Association for Writers in Education.
  • 2012 - Society of Authors. Memb. No. 55543
  • 2012 - Taos Institute. Associate.
  • 2010 - Association of Family Therapy - Reg. Psychotherapist and Supervisor, Memb. No. 1251738
  • 1999 - Association of Family and Systemic Therapy (AFT)
  • 1996 - 2010 - Kensington Consultation Centre - Registered Supervisor
  • 1994 - United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy - Registered Psychotherapist no. 940203
  • 1993 - 2010 - Kensington Consultation Centre Professional Register – Registered Psychotherapist
  • 1992 - 2015 British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy – Reg. Member no. 508634

Publications

Books
Chapters
  • Simon, Gail; Wickens, Mairi; Cano Urbistondo, Francisco; Helps, Sarah & Vlam, Ingrid (2020). Autism and Systemic Family Therapy. Chapter in Vol. IV Systemic Family Therapy and Global Health Issues for Family Therapy, The Handbook of Systemic Family Therapy. Wiley.
  • Simon, Gail & Salter, Leah (2020). Transmaterial Worldng as Inquiry. In The Sage Handbook of Social Constructionist Practice. Eds. Sheila McNamee, Mary Gergen, Celiane Camargo-Borges, & Emerson F. Rasera. London: Sage.
  • Simon, Gail (2016). Thinking Systems. Mind as relational activity. Opportunities for communicating within relationships. Chapter in Re-thinking Autism. Eds. Mallett, Rebecca; Runswick-Cole, Kathrine & Timimi, Sami. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Simon, Gail (2016). Systemic Therapy as Systemic Inquiry as Transformative Research. In Systemic Therapy as Transformative Practice. Eds. Imelda McCarthy & Gail Simon. Farnhill: Everything is Connected Press.
  • Simon, Gail (2014) Systemic Inquiry. Innovations in Reflexive Practice Research. Farnhill: Everything is Connected Press.
  • Simon, Gail (2014). Beyond the Spoken Word. Chapter in Creative Positions in Adult Mental Health. Outside-In : Inside Out. Eds. K. Partridge & S. McNab. London: Karnac.
  • Simon, Gail (2010). Critical Thinking: A first step towards good practice in training. In C. Lago & B. Smith (Eds.), Anti- Discriminatory Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice. Pp 149-162. London: Sage Publications.
  • Simon, Gail & Whitfield, Gwyn (2000). Systemic and Social Constructionist Therapy. Chapter in D. Davies & C. Neal (Eds.), Pink Therapy II: Theoretical Perspectives in Working with Lesbians, Gay Men and Bisexuals. Open University Press.
  • Simon, Gail (1996). Working with People in Relationships. Chapter in Pink Therapy, eds. D. Davies & C. Neal. Open University Press.
Peer Reviewed Papers
Other Papers
  • Simon, Gail (2021). Leaving academic dissociation behind. Writing in our own voices. Context.
  • Simon, Gail (2016). Systemic Practice and Autism. Context April 2016. Association for Systemic Family Therapy Publications.
  • Simon, Gail & Whitfield, Gwyn (2010). Transgressive Lives, Transgressive Practices. Context. October 2010.
  • Simon, Gail (2010). Down to the Wire. Context. October 2010. Association for Systemic Family Therapy Publications.
Edited Journals

Conferences

Invited Speaker and Keynotes
  • 2021 The end of the clinic. Association for Family Therapy, Friends of KCC, CMM Institute annual conference.
  • 2021 The different ways of doing psychotherapy and their impact on the social context. Presenze degli allievi del Centro Bolognese di Terapia della Famiglia. Seminario dell’ anno 2021.
  • 2020 Systemic thinking and practising in the Anthropocene era. Systemic Association of Northern Greece annual conference.
  • 2019 Attunement as a form of Practitioner Research. Association of Asian Family Therapy Conference, Indonesia.
  • 2018 Intimacy as a form of Collaborative Inquiry. PPIS Family Therapy Conference, Singapore. Rethinking Intimacy and Culture in Systemic Practice and Research.
  • 2018 Eight Criteria for Quality in Systemic Practitioner Research. 2nd Postgraduate Research Conference, UoB & Tavistock Clinic.
  • 2018 Are we not already researchers? GCK Family Therapy Institute, Gothenburg, Sweden.
  • 2017 Symposium on Systemic PhDs . Systemic Practice and Research Conference, University of Heidelberg, March 2017.
  • 2016 Teaching Systemic Research. Singapore Family Therapy Association Annual Conference. October 2016.
  • 2016 Waving not drowning, and living out of one͛s depth . Association for Family and Systemic Therapy Annual Conference. Brighton, September 2016.
  • 2015 Thinking Systems. ͚Mind͛ as Relational Activity. Opportunities for communicating within relationships. National Autistic Society. Autism and Communications Conference. Leeds. Nov 2015.
  • 2013 Communication, connection and co-ordination between family members. Autism Today, London.
  • 2013 Blurring distinctions and living embodied relationality across systemic practice. Embodiment in Systemic Supervision Conference. Friends of KCC. London
  • 2007 Self-Supervision, Surveillance and Transgression. Systemic Supervision Conference, Tavistock Clinic, London.
  • 2006 Relationship therapy as a political act: beyond individualising practices. Pink Therapy Conference, London.
  • 2005 Working with difference and power in therapy. British Psychological Society, Division of Counselling Psychology, Manchester.
Recent Conference Presentations
  • 2021 Distinctions between Professional Practice and Research Practice. 7th International Conference on Professional & Practice-Based Doctorates. UKCGE and University of Middlesex.
  • 2021 Transmaterial Worlding. Re-thinking the Concept of Participant in Knowledge Creating Practices. With Leah Salter. 7th International Conference on Professional & Practice-Based Doctorates. UKCGE and University of Middlesex.
  • 2020 Transmaterial worlding as inquiry. European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. University of Malta.
  • 2019 The Systemic Vision of Beatrix Potter. Sustainability, Symbiosis and Tenticularity. Bedfordshire International Systemic Summer School, Ambleside, UK.
  • 2018 Writing in our own voices. Resisting academic dissociation. Qualitative Research in Mental Health 2018. Berlin.
  • 2018 Reflexive Ethnography. European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. Katholic University, Leuven, Belgium. February 2018
  • 2017 Criteria for Evaluating Quality in Systemic Practice Research. The Big Research Conversation, Association for Family Therapy, London.
  • 2017 Criteria for Evaluating Quality in Systemic Practice Research. Systemic Practice Research Conference. University of Heidleberg. March 2017.
  • 2017 The socioacoustics of talk in research writing. European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. Katholic University, Leuven, Belgium. February 2017.
  • 2017 Preparing for the rehabilitation of reflexivity in research. European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. Katholic University, Leuven, Belgium. February 2017.
  • 2016 Systemic Therapy as Transformative Practice. Singapore Family Therapy Association Annual Conference, October 2016
  • 2016 Finding descriptions of movement in relational inter-activity. Bedfordshire International Systemic Winter School.
  • 2016 Local and Global Reflexivity in Research Practice. International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, University of Illinois.
  • 2015 Relational Ethnography: Writing and Reading in and about Research Relationships. International Congress Qualitative Inquiry, University of Illinois.
  • 2014 Assessing Reflexivity in Practice Research. 5th International Conference in Professional Doctorates, Cardiff.
  • 2014 Relational Ethnography: Writing and Reading in and about Research Relationships. British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Conference, London.
  • 2014 Ventriloquation and Ghost Writing as Responses to Oppression. 15th International Bakhtin Conference, Stockholm.
  • 2014 Innovations in Reflexive and Dialogical Systemic Practitioner Research. European Conference on Systemic Research in Therapy, Education and Organizational Development, University of Heidelberg.
  • 2013 New Forms of Systemic Inquiry: Developments in Reflexive Practitioner Research. European Family Therapy Association Congress, Istanbul.
  • 2013 Writing as Systemic Practice. European Family Therapy Association Congress, Istanbul.
  • 2013 Researching with a Systemic Social Justice Agenda. Association of Systemic and Family Therapy Conference. Imperial College, London.
  • 2013 Developing Reflexive Research Writing and the Emergence of New Ways of Knowing. International Conference on Developments in Doctoral Education and Training. UK Council for Graduate Education. Edinburgh.
  • 2011 A relational turn for qualitative research in counselling and psychotherapy? British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Conference, Liverpool.
  • 2011 Writing Inquiry as a Transformational Challenge to Power in Therapeutic Practice. International Congress Qualitative Inquiry, University of Illinois.
  • 2011 No-one is Illegal: Autoethnography as Lesbian Activism. International Congress Qualitative Inquiry, University of Illinois.
  • 2010 Hearing Voices for Written Conversation in Research. Vital Signs 2: Engaging Research Imaginations, University of Manchester.
  • 2010 Dialogical Writing: A Challenge for Practitioner-Researchers. International Congress Qualitative Inquiry, University of Illinois.
  • 2010 Reflexivity in Practitioner Research. Research Symposium, The Relate Institute
  • 2010 Developments in Qualitative Inquiry. Research and Scholarship Forum, University College, Doncaster.
  • 2010 Writing for Readers: A Challenge for Practitioner Researchers. British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Conference, London.
  • 2009 Dialogical Reflexive Writing in Practice. Training in a Woman's Voice, KCC Foundation, London.
  • 2009 A Doctoral Journey. Research and Development Forum, University College, Doncaster.
  • 2009 Writing Practice: a challenge for practitioner-researchers. Post-Graduate Research Conference, Social Sciences and Management, University of Bradford.
  • 2008 Writing in Practice. KCC Summer School, KCC Foundation, London.
And...

Beyond work, I love living in the countryside and working in town. This gives me a good mix of night skies, green hills and urban culture. I enjoy hanging out with family and friends, doing some sketching and photography especially when combined with walking and nature.

Links
Contact Details

Luton campus
University Square
Luton LU1 3JU

E: gail.simon@beds.ac.uk

telephone

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