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Dr Claire Dempster

Job title Family and Systemic Psychotherapist

Area of Expertise

  • Childhood obesity
  • Anti racist and anti discriminatory practice
  • Paediatric family therapy - Working with physical illness
  • Mind and body training: integrating physical and mental health issues in training and service delivery
  • Integrated models of service delivery and practice



Dr Dempster began her career in the voluntary sector before training as a Social Worker and then as a Family Therapist, now qualified for twenty years.  Over this time, she has worked across different sectors; voluntary, social care and both mental health and physical health services. She also works across both acute and community settings, a keen advocate of integrated service delivery and ensuring that families experience services in a way that is both meaningful to them and regards them as resourceful.

Dr Dempster has worked with families facing a range of challenges including children living in public care, families where there are parental mental health issues and other forms of adversity, children and families where there are chronic and life limiting illness as well as over recent years, childhood obesity. She has developed services, is active in teaching, supervision and as a consultant. She is dedicated to anti racist and discriminatory practice, mindful of her own status as a white practitioner and having carried out doctoral research looking at the same.


Key Skills

  • Service development and leadership e.g. Lambeth Healthy Weight project; support, supervision
  • and management of family therapists and other disciplines in both paediatric, medical / acute and
  • community settings
  • Supervision and development of trainees
  • Training and consultation to staff, including other disciplines e.g. bereavement, debriefing (after
  • serious incidents)
  • complex communication work with nursing and medical staff
  • Teaching and presentations at an international, European and national level
  • Strategic and operational management
  • Track record of research e.g. doctoral research and current involvement in renal research
  • Experience across different sectors i.e. health, social care and voluntary sector
  • Considerable experience working with Commissioners and funders of services


Education and Training

  • Doctorate in Systemic Psychotherapy (University of London), 2014
  • Advanced Award in Clinical Supervision (Birkbeck, London) 2008
  • Masters in Systemic Psychotherapy (Tavistock London) 2000
  • Diploma in Social Work (South Bank University, London) 1995
  • Practice Teaching Award (South Bank University, London) 1993
  • Training and Development (Institute of Training and Development) 1992
  • Honour degree English and Theology (Kent University, Canterbury) 1987
Record last modified
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