Moving Beyond the Pale: Thresholds of Change and Transformation in Training and Therapy

Kieran Vivian-Byrne, William Hardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Systemic practitioners seek to think outside of whatever boxes contain and restrain connectedness, freedom, responsibility and wellbeing. Great ecological, informational and economic shifts make it more important now than ever for systemic therapist educators to remind and re-mind themselves how they take positions in relation to uncertainty and discomfort while facing ethical deliemmas concerning safety and efficacy. We need to be able to bring into question discourses of restraint and pathology (especially those most sacred to us) that reduce human beings to experiences of 'self' and 'relationship' as bad, disordered, victim-defined, helpless and problem-saturated. We need to use the differences at the threshold of the Pale as valuable resources for transformation and liberation and at times go beyond the Pale into uncharted territory. Using this metaphor any 'Pale' becomes a threshold and context marker for transformation in training, therapy and consultation. We draw on the experience of the workshop in Istanbul and the generosity of our co-participants in that event to amplify and detail our ideas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-248
JournalHuman Systems: The Journal of Therapy, Consultation & Training
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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