Karen Partridge

Trust Head of Systemic Psychotherapy, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Systemic Psychotherapist

Karen Partridge, PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons), AFBPsS, C Psychol, Dip ST, UKCP and HCPC Registered, is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Systemic Psychotherapist currently working as Trust  Head of Systemic Psychotherapy at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and in private practice.

She has worked for over 35 years in the NHS, beginning her career in learning disabilities and adult mental health where she carried out PhD research into organisational change in hospitals. She explored the effect of staff training and organisational interventions in long stay hospitals for people with learning disabilities from an ecological and systemic perspective. This led to an ongoing commitment to staff training, in which she remains passionate about finding ways to honour the individual client and staff member and resist institutional practices.

She completed systemic training at the KCC Foundation where she worked as a Tutor for many years and latterly as Co-Director. Karen trains and supervises health and social care professionals across a wide range of settings and client groups. She works with children, families, couples, work groups, organisations  and in the community. She teaches and supervises professionals and is interested in consultation and training in staff groups and organisations and in the interface between therapy, community and organisational interventions, action research and social justice.

She is an Associate Member of the Taos Institute. Karen's  interests include narrative approaches and social constructionism, discourses in training and supervision, reflexivity and positioning, art, music, Buddhism, mindfulness and the application of systemic ideas in organisational settings.

Email: kpartridge@tavi-port.nhs.uk


Visit the Tavistock Library staff publications online

Cullen, C. and Partridge, K. (1981)    The Constructional Approach: A way of using
Different Data. Apex: Journal of the British Institute of Mental Handicap, 8,4,  133-135.

Partridge, K. Chisholm, N. and Levy, B. (1985) Generalization and Maintenance of Ward. Programmes: Some Thoughts on Organisational Factors. Mental Handicap,13, 26-29.

Partridge, K. Family Problems, in L A Champion and M J Power (Eds) Adult Psychological. Problems: An  Introduction, Falmer Press, 1993, 150-171.

Partridge, K. Bennett, E. Webster, A. and Ekdawi, I. (1985) Consultation with Clients: An Alternative Way of Working in Adult Mental Health. Clinical Psychology Forum, June, 26 - 28.

Partridge, K. Family Problems. In L A Champion and M J Power (eds), Adult Psychological. Problems: An Introduction. Second edition. Psychology Press, Sussex. 2000.

Nieboer R, Moss D and Partridge K. (2000) A Great Servant but a Poor Master; A Critique of the Rhetoric of Evidence Based Practice, Clinical Psychology Forum, 2000, 17- 19.

Manojlovic,J. and Partridge, K. A Framework for Systemic Consultation with Acute
Ward Systems. Clinical Psychology Forum July 2001. Division of Clinical   Psychology, British Psychological Society. 27-30.

Amias, D, McNab, S. Manojlovic,J. and Partridge, K. (2003) The Joint Clinic: Working with Adult and Child Services. Context : The Magazine for Family Therapy and Systemic practice in the UK.

Partridge K. (2005) A Systemic Tale of Assessment and Formulation. Clinical Psychologist, 46, February, 13- 18.

Partridge, K. (2006) Acting and Dreaming: Sparking Meaning with Metaphors. Context :The Magazine for Family Therapy and Systemic practice in the UK. 85,25-29.

Partridge, K. (2006) Re-Membering: Reflections on the Death of a Client. Context The Magazine for Family Therapy and Systemic practice in the UK.

Partridge, K. (2007) Holding onto Fragments: Reflections on Using Mindmaps in Therapy. Context: The Magazine for Family Therapy and Systemic practice in the UK. 93, 22-26.

Partridge ,K. and McCarry, N. (eds) Systemic Practice and Psychosis: diversity and inclusion. Context : The Magazine for Family Therapy and Systemic practice in
the UK. 93, 2007.

Partridge, K, McCarry, N, and Wilson, T. (2007) Practices of Freedom: Playing with the Position of the Other. Journal of Family Therapy, 29, 4, 311-315

Partridge K. (2007) The Positioning Compass: A Tool to facilitate Reflexive Positioning. Human Systems: The Journal of Systemic Consultation and Management, 18, 96-111.

Partridge, K. , McCarry, N., Kelly, A., Ruse, E. and Holmes, J. (2009) Externalising inner conversation in supervision and in therapy through “I” and “You” dialogical writing. Context : The Magazine for Family Therapy and Systemic practice in the UK,103, pp. 2- 7.

Lang, S., Oliver, C. and Partridge, K. (2009) Research cartwheel: An exercise for developing research ideas. Context : The Magazine for Family Therapy and Systemic practice in the UK,103, pp. 37- 38.

Partridge, K. And McCarry, N. (2009) Dissolving blame: systemic therapy in action.
Healthcare, Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal, 9, no 3, pp. 12-16.

Partridge, K. (2010) Systemic Supervision in Agency Contexts: An Evolving Conversation with Clinical Psychologists in a Mental Health Trust. in Charlotte Burck and Gwyn Daniel, Processes in Systemic Supervision, London: Karnac, pp. 309-335.

Partridge, K. A Bundle of Treasures for a Wandering Therapist: An exploration of personal and professional resources to sustain a therapist on a systemic journey. Context: The Magazine for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice in the UK, December 2010, pp. 26-29

McNab, S. and Partridge, K. (Eds) Creative Positions in Adult Mental Health: Outside in/Inside out. The Systemic Thinking and Practice Series, Series editors Charlotte Burck and Gwyn Daniel, London: Karnac, 2014.

Research activities


MSc Generalisation and Maintenance of Ward Based Programmes

PhD Organisational Change and Staff Training in Hospitals


Prof Doc: In the Margins: Minoritised Young Women's Narratives of Recovering from an eating Disorder

Prof Doc: A family untold story:  the meaning of drug abuse as an organizing principle of family relational patterns.

Prof Doc: Research into the experience of the relationship between family /carer and mental health staff after suicide; what are the implications for the mental health services?

Prof Doc: How do mental health nurses experience their work of caring for young persons with anorexia nervosa in an in-patient therapeutic setting? What ideas and beliefs do they see as influencing their approach to their work?

Prof Doc: Is the Mind, Body, Spirit Connection Relevant in Contemporary Mental health? A Future Forming Action Research Project in Adult Mental Health.

Sharing Supervision Conversations: An exploration of the effects of videoed feedback in family therapy and supervision.


Karen Partridge