Tavistock and Portman talk: Talk one: Self-harm in a family system and the patterns of emotional response. Talk two: Thinking family in primary care: Beyond diagnosis

Event overview

Tavistock and Portman talks: Self-harm in a family system and the patterns of emotional response and Thinking family in primary care: Beyond diagnosis_V2

This event was postponed following the COVID-19 outbreak. We are looking to provide a live streamed webinar very soon. Watch this space for more details.

Tavi100 final logo for news item preview boxFirst talk: Self harm in a family system and the patterns of emotional response.

Doreen Robinson will provide an illustration of a case where intergenerational patterns were brought forth to elicit change. A mother presented with her 10 year-old daughter whose feelings of being overwhelmed would lead her to self-harm by severely scratching her body.

The family were at a loss on how to respond or to understand where these feelings and behaviours came from. Over a period of therapy with sub systems of the family, some changes occurred ending the demonstration of this distress.

Second talk - Thinking family in primary care: Beyond diagnosis

In the second talk of the evening, Sara Barratt will describe some of her work with GP’s in primary care in different contexts. Her work includes joint work with GP’s to provide a coherent and consistent service to patients who present a variety of physical and emotional symptoms. 

By providing therapy in general practice, patients are more comfortable with engaging in therapy, particularly as this avoids the necessity of referring to a secondary service that may require or lead to a diagnosis. She will describe joint work with patients making frequent visits to their doctor and those who have benefited from the security of a close working relationship between GP, therapist and family. 


Sara Barratt was employed as a consultant systemic psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic until retirement in 2015. Her responsibilities included sharing the leadership of the Masters Training in Systemic Psychotherapy, working as the first Head of Systemic Psychotherapy and Team Manager of the Fostering, Adoption and Kinship Care Team.  

She continues to work as mentor and teacher on the systemic trainings. Alongside this, she has worked as a systemic psychotherapist in General Practice since 1988. Sara has been part of the Thinking Families in General Practice group, comprising General Practitioners and Systemic Family Therapists. The group published articles and worked together to consult to one another’s practice, and continues to meet to develop ideas about how best to include the family context in our work in primary care. 

Doreen Robinson

Doreen Robinson is a qualified Social Worker and Systemic Family Psychotherapist. She has over thirty years of experience in clinical practice with cultural groups across London and the south east. She has worked in community work, child protection, fostering and adoption and adult, children and families mental health, within voluntary and statutory child and health services.

Doreen was a member of staff in the Asian Service at the Tavistock Clinic of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and a founder member of the South  Camden Community CAMHS Team where she is the Lead Systemic Psychotherapist. She provides systemic consultation to community groups including a Peer Mentoring Scheme that she co-founded.

Doreen teaches systems theory and practice on a number of postgraduate courses at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust.


6 to 6:15pm: Registration

6:15 to 7:45pm: Talks

7:45 to 9pm: Reception, drinks and refreshments

Cost: £16-20

Buy your ticket on Eventbrite now. 

Venue: Lecture Theatre, Tavistock Centre, 120 Belsize Lane, London, NW3 5BA

We're celebrating 100 years of our Trust with our Tavistock and Portman talks. Join us for a stimulating evening with leading practitioners in mental health, refreshments and drinks.

The Tavistock Centre, London
16 March 2020 18:00 to 21:00