Research tools

If you are carrying out research which requires you to 'manualise' the therapeutic practice you are developing, systemic competencies and manuals referenced here may be useful to draw on. A freely accessible family / relational outcome measure is also listed here.

Practice Based Evidence Based Practice

A fluid and evolving manual of Feedback-informed Integrative Therapy within Systems (FITS) has been developed and applied as a Practice Based Evidence Based Practice (PBEBP) which is able to fit with the uniqueness and complexity of family, social and cultural life.

Self Harm Intervention: Family Therapy (SHIFT)

The SHIFT Family Therapy Manual was adapted from the Leeds Family Therapy Research Centre Manual and developed for use in the Self Harm Intervention: Family Therapy (SHIFT) trial, funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme (project no. 07/33/01).

Systemic Therapy Competences Framework

The systemic competences were developed by a group of systemic psychotherapists working with Tony Roth and Steve Pilling at Centre for Outcomes Research and Effectiveness (CORE) at University College London.

Leeds Systemic Family Therapy Manual

The manual is principally designed as a research tool for outcome studies in which the effectiveness of systemic therapy can be assessed. It therefore aims to offer a framework and guidelines for the implementation of systemic family therapy, so that therapists can offer a unified version of therapy, with some flexibility to express their own creativity.

SCORE-15 Index of Family Functioning and Change

SCORE is a self-report outcome measure designed to be sensitive to the kinds of changes in family relationships that systemic family and couples therapists see as indications of useful therapeutic change. It is intended to be serviceable in everyday practice; short, acceptable to clients and usable across the full range of our work - the full range of presenting problems, the clientele, and the formats of work - including individual, couple, family and multi-family groups. It is free to use. For more information visit the SCORE page on the AFT website.

There are training videos available, demonstrating how to use SCORE with families:


Useful articles

Chenail, R.J. (2011) How to conduct clinical qualitative research on the patient’s experience. The Qualitative Report 16(4), pp. 1173-1190.

Corboz-Warnery, A., Fivaz-Depeursinge, E., Gertsch Bettens, C. and Favez, N. (1993) Systemic analysis of father-mother-baby interactions: The Lausanne triadic play, Infant Mental Health Journal, 14(4), pp. 298–316. doi: 10.1002/1097-0355(199324)14:4<298::AID-IMHJ2280140405>3.0.CO;2-#.

Olson, D.H., Waldvogel, L. & Schlieff, M. (2019) Circumplex model of marital and family systems: An update. Journal of Family Theory and Review 11(2) pp. 199-211. https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12331

Tilden, T & Wampole, B.E. (eds) (2017) Routine Outcome Monitoring in Couple and Family Therapy. The empirically informed therapist.  Springer.

Research references

We include research which is directly relevant and useful to family therapy and systemic practice, and to the families, individuals and communities...