Systemic Family Therapy

A therapy service for individuals, couples and families

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About Esther

Qualifications and background

Esther Usiskin Cohen (BA Hons, Manchester, MA, CQSW, Sussex, and MSc, London) is a  fully registered Consultant Systemic Family Psychotherapist.  In her NHS practice, she is the Head of the Systemic and Multi-Modal Training Portfolio in the Tavistock Centre, which is a world-renowned centre for the treatment of children with emotional difficulties, and a prestigious training institution. She is registered with the AFT as a systemic supervisor, and  supervises qualified and trainee therapists, in the NHS and privately. Esther practises privately in north London.

Family practice

Esther has more than 30 years of wide-ranging experience working with adults, families, couples, young people and children in difficult relationships and in a variety of settings.  

She works with a comprehensive range of adult, child, adolescent, family, couple and relationship issues; for example: complex grief, addictions, anxiety, and separation. She is fully professionally insured and operates within the codes of practice laid out by the professional registering bodies: AFT, UKCP and HEA.

Work with schools and organisations

Esther also delivers training and consultation to organisations such as schools, GP practices, local authorities, social workers and the third sector,  training and supervising health and social care professionals in a wide range of settings and client groups. Her interests include voices, positions and discourses in training and supervision, art, health, music, mindfulness and the application of systemic ideas in organisational contexts. See the website:

Court work

Esther  provides assessments and reports for the Courts in child care and contact cases. She has worked in the statutory and voluntary sector with children and families in different contexts, including court-mandated assessment and treatment work in complex child protection cases. She has appeared as an Expert Witness in Court proceedings. See the page on Court work.


Esther is trained as a teacher in Mindfulness (through the University of Bangor) and incorporates this into her therapeutic practice when indicated. Mindfulness has a strong evidence base in helping with anxiety, depression, stress and pain.


Previously a part-time tutor and lecturer on the Graduate Certificate in Systemic Practice with Families and Couples at Birkbeck College, University of London, and the Institute of Family Therapy, Esther currently presents lectures and workshops at the Tavistock Clinic and provides systemic consultation to social workers, family lawyers, schools and GPs. Esther has worked in both the criminal and family court systems as an expert witness and has delivered training to lawyers and the judiciary.

Pro-bono work

Esther goes to Dunkerque once a month on pro-bono basis as part of the Refugee Resilience Collective (AKA Calais Resilience Collective - Tavistock group) - a team of experienced therapists and clinical psychologists who are developing approaches to enhance the resilience, capacity, coping strategies and skills of refugees, staff and volunteers in the Calais camp. They work alongside other helping organisations in the camp, including Médecins du Monde, Médicins Sans Frontières and Art Refuge, to negotiate ways to most effectively meet the complex needs of refugees who have fled terrifying contexts, often experienced traumatic journeys, and are living in terrible circumstances, while hoping to make a transition to a safe home. They build on work carried out by the refugee team at the Tavistock Centre in London, which has been found to be helpful to unaccompanied minors and refugee families in the UK. Two members of the team are in the camp every Friday, running a group to support the volunteers who are working intensively to keep the camp functioning, running a group for unaccompanied minors, carrying out family meetings with mothers concerned about their children, and running a group for women and children.

If you have any questions about Esther’s  experience and qualifications, or if you would like documentary evidence of police checks, insurance and qualifications, please contact us at

Copyright Esther Usiskin Cohen 2019.  Website by Chestnuts Design

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