Margaret Henning


About Me.

Registered with:  Health & Care Professions Council as Clinical Psychologist (HCPC)  :: British Psychological Society (Associate Fellow)(BPS)

:: Member of British Association of Christians in Psychology (BACIP)




1973 BA (University of South Africa).  Major subjects: Psychology, English, Education.


1986 BA (Honours)(Psychology) (University of South Africa).


1988 MSc (Clinical Psychology) (University of Zimbabwe).


1990 Certificate in Family Therapy (Family Counselling Unit, Zimbabwe).


1993 Diploma of Advanced Training in Family Therapy (Connect, Zimbabwe, in association with Tavistock Clinic, London, UK).


2001 Senior Supervisor Certificate, Systemic Therapies (Connect, in association with Tavistock Clinic, in recognition of 2-year internship completed previously).


Many various short courses and conferences, including: Play therapy, Drama Therapy, Bereavement, CBT for Personality Disorder, Supervision, Family Work, Service Development, Asylum Seekers, Management, Eating Disorders, Psychosis, Narrative & Attachment, ACT, Narrative Approaches to Trauma, Research & Family Therapy, Humour & Therapy, Supervision of Supervision.






Chartered with the British Psychological Society as a Clinical Psychologist.  Consultant Grade since 1998.


Registered with the Health Professions Council as a Clinical Psychologist.







Very brief family therapy in an African hospital.  Pp100-111 in:

Mason, J, Rubenstein, J & Shuda, S (eds)(1992)  From Diversity to Healing.  Durban: South African Institute for Marital and Family Therapy.  Papers from International Conference.


Circular or screwy? – tale of a therapist.  P 21 in:

Context No 9 Autumn 1991.  Canterbury – news magazine of Association for Family Therapy (UK).


The domain of the story.  Pp 176-180 in:

Old Ways, New Theories.  Harare: Connect.  Papers from International Conference, 1995.


Reflections on a model – a conversation between a supervisor and a trainee.  Pp 22-24 in:

               Context, December 2009 (with N McNulty)


Positive Dynamics:a Systemic Narrative Approach to Facilitating Groups  2016 Palgrave Macmillan






1989-1991 Member, Psychological Practices Advisory Committee, a joint committee of the Zimbabwe Psychological Association (see below) and the Health Professions Council, Zimbabwe, which made recommendations on ethical and disciplinary issues.  


1992-1993 Vice-President, Zimbabwe Psychological Association  (the professional body for psychologists in Zimbabwe).


1993-1995 President, Zimbabwe Psychological Association.


1996-1998 Member, advisory board of Christian Counselling Centre, Harare.


1998-2000 Chair, HomeStart, Crawley-Horsham


2000-2001 Area representative, on executive committee of  RACSE (Regional  Advisory Committee South East).



2006 – 2007

Committee Member, Division of Clinical Psychology, South-East Region.


Trustee, Crawley-Horsham MIND (later amalgamated with Brighton MIND).


               Member of the South East Coast Psychology Advisory Committee.


2007 - 2009

Chair, Systemic Forum (a network of those involved in Family Therapy or Family Work across the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust).


Chair, Systemic Governance Group (the group overseeing the governance of Systemic Therapies across the Sussex Partnership Trust).



               Committee member and Branch Representative, Sussex Branch of the Association for Family Therapy (AFT).   




In 2001 I was a member of an 8-person ‘think tank’ in Germany, consulting to Christian Blind Mission on developing services to those suffering disability through mental illness in the Developing World.




As a Systemic Narrative theorist, I see my style as being basically facilitative.  I prioritise encouraging co-operative teamwork not only within nuclear families but also in wider networks, including families, peers and professionals.  


Although often very involved in the initial development of models or services I then tend to delegate and support, continuing to hold a large proportion of purely clinical work – Systemic Narrative Therapy (including training, supervision and consultancy) is my first love and what I choose to be most involved in. Examples are my ‘sideways movement’ in Connect and, in the NHS context, the development of the service to Tinsley House and the refugee/asylum seeker population and work around Personality Disorder and Eating Disorder services.  


At an international Family Therapy conference in South Africa in the early 1990’s I presented my own model for facilitating conflict resolution; I use this, and the Narrative view that all participants in a discourse have valid ‘expert knowledge’ to contribute, in both management consultancy and clinical work.  


For this reason I am also passionately committed to embracing diversity and to partnership working, especially partnership with Service Users and Carers.




BEFORE 1988 (Non-Psychology)

Various occupations, including:

Manager and remedial teacher, remedial clinic.

High school teacher and Head of Remedial Department.



Head of Psychology, Harare Central Hospital (one of the three largest hospitals in Zimbabwe).  I was tasked with developing the Psychology Department from inception.    Referrals in the Harare hospitals came from psychiatrists, neurologists, physicians, obstetricians, paediatricians, etc. within the hospital.  There was also community outreach work in conjunction with district clinics and the Child Rehabilitation Unit (treating children with special needs throughout the country).  Cases included a full range of psychiatric problems, psychosomatic disorders, brain injury, PTSD (especially of war-traumatised individuals), childhood development problems, child sexual and physical abuse, drug and alcohol misuse, sexual dysfunction, AIDS and HIV issues and serious self-harm.  


Apart from my own clinical load, I was responsible for supervising junior and intern clinical psychologists, including those on the University of Zimbabwe MSc (Clinical Psychology) course.  I also gave lectures in the Medical and Nursing Schools.


Already practicing Family Therapy, it was in Harare Hospital that I developed much of my own model, working cross-culturally with extended families.  There was a strong emphasis on cultural context and the necessity for culturally appropriate forms of therapy.



Head of Psychology, Harare Central and Parirenyatwa Hospitals (the Parirenyatwa is the other major Harare hospital to which the University of Zimbabwe Medical School is attached).



Director, then Clinical and Training Director, then Clinical and Training Consultant, Connect (Zimbabwe Institute of Systemic Therapy), formerly Family Counselling Unit.


Connect is a voluntary sector organisation offering family therapy and training in family therapy and counselling.  Founded in 1983, it received its first substantial donor funding in 1989 and I was appointed first paid Director (part-time).  In this role I was responsible for setting up audit feedback mechanisms and negotiating further funding as well as the general running of the organisation and development of policies.  


As the organisation grew, the directorship function was split up and I became Clinical and Training Director, responsible for initiating, designing and negotiating training courses.  This reflected my always greater commitment to my clinical functions over managerial functions.


The courses included systemic counselling training, originally delivered to Zimbabwean police and health workers and finally extended through international funding to aid workers and community counsellors throughout sub-Saharan Africa.  They also included a link-up with the Tavistock Clinic, London, to deliver a high-level Diploma of Advanced Training in Family Therapy.  I trained and developed courses at all levels offered by the organisation and supervised on the Diploma course.  I was one of the two internal examiners (external examiners were supplied by the Tavistock Clinic and included Barbara Dale and Judy Hildebrand).  Initially

I was responsible for all negotiations in the partnership working with the Tavistock and frequently visited there to observe and participate in work with Rosemary Whiffin, John Byng-Hall, David Campbell and others.


Work in this unit was highly specialised Family (Systemic) Therapy.  Adult work comprised couple therapy, post-divorce mediation and the treatment of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders, domestic violence, sexual and physical abuse, substance misuse, etc.  Child and adolescent treatments emphasised liaison with the family, school and other agencies, often in session.


By the time I resigned from the position of Clinical and Training Consultant to emigrate to the UK, Connect had 30 full-time staff members, had hosted an international conference and was beginning negotiations for an MSc course.


1990 – 1997

Private Practice

I had a busy private practice in Harare, Zimbabwe, functioning as a Systemic Narrative Therapist and supervisor.  I was known as a practitioner who worked across the whole lifespan and accepted very complex cases.


I designed and facilitated various workshops and seminars, including; Basic Systemic Counselling, Advanced Systemic Counselling, Stress Management, Assertiveness Training and Organisational Planning.


Apart from this, I ran training workshops or seminars for many organisations, including; Tavistock Clinic (UK), University of the Orange Free State (RSA), the Zimbabwe Medical Association, Zimbabwe Institute of Personnel Management, Astra Holdings, City of Harare, the Conference of Heads of Independent Schools (Zimbabwe) and various primary and secondary schools.


1990 – 1997

University teaching.

Apart from my teaching, training and supervision load in Connect, I also trained and gave occasional lectures for the University of Zimbabwe in Family Therapy and related areas (e.g. Eating Disorders).



Systemic management consultancy.  

In the context of my private practice I gave systemic consultancy to various organisations.  This varied from consultations of only a few hours in length to complete ‘team-building’ events of four days in length.  Clients included various school boards, especially the trustees and staff of Petra Schools (a group of Christian private schools in Bulawayo), and Connect.


1997 – 2009

Clinical Psychologist, Adult Mental Health Services.

I began a fulltime post in the NHS soon after arriving in England.  As soon as I started I offered a Systemic Supervision Group, as Family Therapy for Adult services was a new concept in the area.  That supervision continued and expanded to other groups, individuals and Family Therapy teams throughout my work to the present, as has my clinical practice.  My job continued permanent to the present, but I have been appointed to various different posts, as listed below.



Head Adult Mental Health Psychology, Crawley-Horsham NHS Trust.  Acting Head of Psychology, Sussex Weald and Downs NHS Trust.

When the Head of Department left in September 1998, I was appointed Head of the Crawley-Horsham Psychology Department, which at that time had a staff of 3 B Grade psychologists, 5 A Grade psychologists and two secretaries. Soon after he left I appointed a full-time assistant psychologist and instituted clinical audit and feedback mechanisms for the local service.


I then job-shared the Acting Head of Psychology position in the Sussex Weald and Downs NHS Trust with two other Consultant Clinical Psychologists until the appointment of a permanent Head to the post in October 2000.  I did not apply for the substantive post.



Head of Specialty Adult Mental Health Psychology, Crawley-Horsham/North.

This role involved being Lead Professional for Psychology in the Crawley-Horsham, later North, Sector, but also operating as an Integrated Team Manager for those psychologists and psychotherapists who were not in (other) multi-disciplinary teams.  I managed/provided support for a staff of 15 people.


In conjunction with another Consultant Psychologist, I initiated and worked in a service to asylum seekers in the Tinsley House detention centre, Gatwick.  This service still runs, although I no longer take an active role.




2004 (JULY) – 2005 (FEB)  

Acting Head of Psychology & Psychological Therapies, West Sussex Health & Social Care NHS Trust.

Responsible for management and strategic direction of all psychology and psychological therapy services in the Trust, especially in initiating the beginning of a programme following the Government guidance on ‘Organising and Delivering Psychological Therapies’.


2005 (MARCH) – 2006 (MARCH)

Acting Deputy Head of Psychology & Psychological Therapies, West Sussex Health & Social Care NHS Trust.

I deputised for the Head, in particular chairing the Working Party for Psychological Therapies and managing the development of a database, web pages, committees and specific activities relating to the development of Psychological Therapies.


2006 (APRIL) –  2006 (JUNE)

Associate Head of Psychology & Psychological Therapies, West Sussex, Sussex Partnership NHS Trust.

I deputised for the Director of Therapies and represented Psychology and Psychological Therapies on West Sussex forums in particular.  I chaired the management group and working party for Psychological Therapies and line managed therapies leads in West Sussex.  I continue to be responsible for the administration of developments in Psychological Therapies.


2006 (JULY) – 2006 (OCTOBER)

Associate Director of Psychology & Psychological Therapies, West Sussex, Sussex Partnership Trust.

As one of three interim Associate Directors of Psychology I chaired the West Sussex Psychology Leads group and provided professional line management for the Psychology Leads in West Sussex in all care groups except Working Age Adults.  I continued to be responsible for various developments in Psychological Therapies and represented Psychology and Therapies in the Trust in certain regional forums (e.g.  the CSIP/SEDC Psychological Therapies Network, the South East chapter of the Division of Clinical Psychology).  I represented Psychology and Psychological Therapies in the West Sussex Locality Management meeting.


2006 (NOVEMBER) – 2009 (DECEMBER)

Consultant Clinical Psychologist – Lead for Family & Systemic Psychotherapies.

In November 2006 I terminated most of my involvement in management to focus on my clinical role as a Systemic (Family) Psychotherapist.  I was appointed to chair the cross-trust Systemic Therapies Governance Group, a group created to feed into the Therapies Governance Group of the Trust and to have overview of all issues related to the ethical practice of Systemic Therapies (knowledge and skills, supervision requirements, qualifications, etc).


I was also on the Trust steering group for Spirituality.


My clinical load continued to be of complex families and includes, apart from ongoing therapy, consultations to teams across the whole of West Sussex, mostly in Adult Mental Health but also in other care groups.  


My supervision load, which was also specifically in Systemic and Narrative Psychotherapy, included practitioners in all care groups (Adult, including AOT [Assertive Outreach Team] and Rehabilitation, Child and Adolescent, Elderly, Learning Disabled, Substance Misuse).  I regularly supervise Consultant Clinical Psychologists, Family Therapists, Psychologists, Trainee Psychologists and Trainee Family Therapists.




Team-building facilitation, teaching and training.

I have facilitated team-building workshops within the NHS Trust for various teams, especially when there have been difficult issues for them to address.  These have included the Psychotherapy Department, Chichester, the AOT (Crawley-Horsham), Rose Ward, Summerfold CMHT and Linwood and Horsham CMHT’s, Chichester AOT, CAMHS LAAC Team, Langley Green Hospital Therapies Department.


I completed, in 2009, a Supervisors of Supervision course offered in-Trust to senior practitioners who would be expected to carry forward the supervision of senior supervisors in Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.  I continue to give supervisory input to the Trust, largely to teams or supervisors, though I now only work for the Trust one day a week.


I have given lectures/training input in my chosen therapy field (Systemic and Narrative) within the Trust, to the Clinical Psychology doctoral courses at Surrey University and University College London and to doctors doing psychiatry training in the University of Sussex-Brighton Medical School.  I also lecture/train on Systemic Supervision and Supervision of Supervision on the MSc in Clinical Supervision at the University of Surrey.




Private practice and related supervision & training.

In December 2009 I ‘retired’ from almost fulltime work in the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (though I started with them again in February 2010 on a day-a-week basis) and began a private practice in therapy, training and supervision.   From February I began work with MIND (Brighton and Hove), contracted for staff support and clinical supervision.  I have led workshops on supervision for UKCP, the DCP (BPS) and at the Tavistock Clinic.  For up-coming public training, see the Training page.




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