Staff profile

Lesley Novelle

Programme Leader




College of Health, Psychology and Social Care


School of Allied Health and Social Care


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am Programme Leader for Systemic Courses at the University of Derby. I was originally 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.

My specialist areas of interest are in working with families who are experiencing 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.

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

Having explored with practitioners their practices relating to siblings of a young person experiencing an eating disorder, I hope to go on and talk with siblings about their experiences of eating disorders. 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



BA (Hons)

Postgraduate Diploma Family and Marital Therapy

Tavistock Qualification in Systemic Supervision

Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

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 children's in-patient unit before going on to undertake family therapy training. I qualified as a Family Therapist in 1993 and have worked mainly in community services since that time.

Additional interests and activities

For the last 10 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 their context.

I enjoy theatre and film and walking in the countryside.

Recent publications

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

Ward,C., Smith, A., James, H., Novelle, L., Bruder, M. (2010)  Using systemic approaches, methods and techniqies in rehabilitation medicine. Clinical Rehabilitation. Vol:25, issue 1 pages 3-13

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