Lesley Novelle

Position: Programme Leader

College: College of Health and Social Care

Department: Health Care Practice

Subject area: Counselling and Psychotherapy

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I am Programme Leader for Systemic Courses at the University of Derby. Having originally been employed in 2005 to lead the development of a Qualifying Level Family Therapy training course which expanded on the already successful Foundation and Intermediate level courses.

Teaching responsibilities

I teach, with colleagues, across all of the Systemic courses, leading on the University advanced Diploma Systemic Thinking and Practice (Foundation level) and MSc Systemic Psychotherapy course including running a live training team to support the Qualifying Level trainees.

Professional interests

Like all the Systemic course team here at the University of Derby, I also work as a Senior Family Therapist in the local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Specialist Services (CAMHS).

My specialist areas of interest are in working with families who are expereincing Eating Disorders as well as those experiencing long term developmental difficulties such as Autism Spectrum Disorder or physical ill health, including how siblings are included in Family Therapy.

I am keen to work collaboratively with partner agencies and families together in "open dialogue", especially where safeguarding and risk are an issue.

I have an interest in supervision and systemic models of supervision. This year, becoming involved with the delivery of supervision from a CYPIAPT perspective and working with a small team on the development of the Maudsley Model of intervention applying this to the development of a Children and Young Persons Eating Disorders service. 

In terms of the development of the profession, I work as a panelist for AFT considering the accreditation and training standards of courses nationally.

Research interests

This year I am hoping to explore with local Family Therapists how they work with siblings of young people referred to CAMHS services. In the longer term I hope to study how family feedback and participation can influence the development of services for Eating Disorders.

Membership of professional bodies

  • Member of the Association of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice in the UK (AFT)
  • Member of the AFT accreditation commitee
  • Registered with the Nursing and Midwifery council as a Registred Mental Nurse (RMN)
  • Registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherpapy (UKCP) as a Systemic Psychotherapist
  • Qualified Systemic Supervisor
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


RMN, BA(Hons), Postgraduate Diploma Family and Marital Therapy, Tavistock Qualification in Systemic Supervision, Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.

Recent publications

Novelle et al (2008) So, is this goodbye?. Context, December 2008. pp37-38

Abbott, S., Bracelli, A., Novelle, L., Wilkinson, K. (2014) The experience of undertaking a group reflective-diary during the MSc systemic-famil-therpay training. Context, October 2014  pp 33-36

Additional interests and activities

For the last six years I have been a Guide Leader for our local Guide group. This has given me the opportunity to work in a safe, all girl space with young women from all backgrounds and have a fun and skills based experience. The skills I have learnt have been invaluable in helping me to think about young people in thier context.

I enjoy theatre and film and walking in the countryside.

Experience in industry

I have worked within Child and Adolescent Mental Health services since 1986, following qualifying as a Registered Mental Health Nurse. Working as a nurse, I led a childrens inpatient unit before going on to undertake Family Therpay training. I qualified as a Family Therapist in 1993 and have worked mainly in community services since that time.

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