A Systemic Approach to Sex and Relationships

A Systemic Approach to Sex and Relationships – expanding perspectives

With Dr Joanne Collins

A 6 day-training that integrates systemic therapy with relationship and psychosexual therapy

NCP: 42 hours CPD

It could be argued that psychosexual and relationship therapy, aiming to be a specialisation within psychotherapy, is currently a poorly defined discipline in its own right; as a result it (conventionally) leans into medicine, more recently into a social justice issues and at best borrows generic psychotherapy skills such as CBT.
This training aims to integrate systemic therapy understanding with the various discourses that inform sex, gender and relationship expressions. The purpose of this training is to enable you to include more and more levels of complexity that are present within relationships. A relationship cannot be seen isolated from its context, but can be truly seen as (socio-)political.

Together we will reflect on the following:

  • From a systemic perspective we will consider ‘multiple voices’ that are at play in a relationship, including issues of power and difference.
  • Around relationships we find multiple contexts: work, friendships, family, country, religion etc. These contexts are impacted and influenced by a number of forces: culture, gender, race, age and income, to name but a few. What kind of framework would help us to map all of these?
  • Our identity and ‘the self’ are being shaped in relationship. We relate to others and we form relationships with these others. We will explore what changes in our assessments of self-in-relationship when we make systemic thinking our central perspective.
  • We will examine how the socio-political (including power and privileges) is a legitimate force that frames and shapes these relational experiences and are thus enmeshed with our ‘meaning-making’ in life.
  • We will also explore together social-constructivist approaches and how language is used to construct reality (therefore also creating multiple meaning) in any relationship.

The course will be structured, using theory, self-reflection, case discussions and role play.

For Whom is This Training
Applications are invited from accredited counsellors, therapists, and psychologists but also couples therapists in training working towards accreditation.
The training is especially attractive for those who want to work with diverse, multicultural and marginalised groups of clients.

Please complete the your application form via this link: application form


Dr Joanne Collins

Dr Joanne Collins has been working in the field of Social Care for twenty years. She began her work in the field working with women who were experiencing pregnancy crisis and went on to undertake therapeutic training. She has gained extensive therapeutic experience in a variety of settings e.g., 3rd sector, statutory sector, NHS, and since 2013 she has been in private practice.

Currently based in Central London, Joanne has successfully completed her Clinical Doctorate in Systemic Psychotherapy. An education enthusiast, Joanne has completed a number of trainings to include an MSc in Systemic and Family Therapy, an M.A in Transpersonal Child Adolescent & Family Therapy and an MSc in Rehabilitative Counselling & Healthcare. At the beginning of her exploration into working with race, she completed a course in Brief Psychoanalytic Work with Young Black People at Tavistock & Portman Clinic and is also a qualified teacher.

Joanne is a 2014 graduate of London Diploma in Psychosexual and Relationship Therapy. The main goal was to work explicitly with sex and sexual dysfunction in all genders. Since completing this course, Joanne has gone on to develop her practice to include working with LGBT sex and relationship problems and to explore ideas of intersectionality and how this impacts on sex, sexual relationship and experiences of different sexual groups. This continues to be an area of interest for her.

More Information
Dr Joanne Collins’ website


£ 950.00 Payable by one deposit of £100 (to reserve your place), plus 2 instalments of £ 425.00 a month.

Fees are including 20% VAT


Ealing, London
The training finds place in person

Full Course Content

Themes of the modules:

  1. Multiple perspectives and the reflecting process. The importance of Self-Reflexivity.
  2. Family Scripts, Cultural Patterns and the Sexual Genogram
  3. Power and Privilege in therapy. The importance of language
  4. Milan Family Therapy: Hypothesizing, beliefs, curiosity, circularity
  5. Working with Couples
  6. Working with Sex in a Couple

Learning Outcomes. By the end of the course students will

  • have acquired a working understanding of working with self-reflexivity and ‘the use of self’ in therapy
  • have learnt to develop systemic hypothesis and formulations when working with couples who are experiencing difficulties around sex
  • have practiced working with multiple perspectives and multiple voices in the therapeutic work
  • have acquired a critical understanding of the reflecting team process and its clinical use
  • understand and practice working with racial and cultural issues in couple work
  • have critically explored power dynamics in couple work
  • have explored a range of socio-political issues and how these impacts on couple relationships
  • have critically examined family patterns and how this can inform the couple relationship.

Training times each day: 10am – 5pm

Max 18 students

Students have an option to write a 3500 words case study.


After successfully ending the training students will be awarded a certificate of attendance or after submitting the essay,  a certificate from  NAOS Institute.

Jaap Westerbos: 0782 792 3134
Or email info@naos-institute.com

Course application form
Click here

Student Testimonials

We hope to receive them soon


6 days over 3 weekends
Training times each day: 10am – 5pm

Dates for 2025 are not known yet