Laurie MacKinnon PhD
Over the last three decades, Laurie MacKinnon
has provided couple and family therapy training in Sydney and surrounding areas with the aim of helping more therapists help more couples and families.
In the early 1980s, she
introduced the Milan family therapy approach to Relationships Australia NSW
(RANSW, formerly known as Marriage Guidance Council of NSW) and along with Kerrie James, was instrumental in developing the first family therapy training program for RANSW
, one of the first in the Australia to train family therapists using live supervision with client families.
This training program became the template for future couple and family therapy training programs at Relationships Australia.
In providing supervision to psychologists and social workers at health centres in New South Wales, Laurie
became aware of the difficulties therapists faced when working with families referred from child protection authorities.
This inspired her
to undertake qualitative interviews with parents in 50 families who were clients of both therapists and child protection authorities, asking for their views on the "help" they were receiving from professionals.
By gaining their perspective, Laurie
was able develop an alternative approach to working with these families that was inherently more respectful and ultimately more successful.
approach was further refined through the live supervision and consultation to families she
provided to a team of family therapists for several years at Dalmar
, a community-based service in Penrith west of Sydney and then published in her
book, Trust and Betrayal
in the Treatment of Child Abuse.
Laurie's collaboration with the Dalmar
team also included other projects such as the introduction of "Open Days", a solution to the problem of the impossibly long waiting lists for family therapy in Sydney's outer suburbs.
Open Days offered single session, best practice, interviews for families seeking immediate access to a family therapist.
After the team presented their work at a national conference, Open Days were implemented in many family therapy centres around Australia.
For many years, Laurie has been an ongoing consultant to Relationships Australia NSW where she supervises senior clinical staff.
also provides live supervision and consultation to the adolescent family therapy and mediation service known as RAPS
collaboration with the RAPS
team has helped them develop innovative practices in areas such as adolescent violence and substance abuse, the intersection of couple issues and family therapy, working with families from a refugee background and using client feedback in enhancing therapists' practice.
Laurie has also been a long time consultant to Unifam Counselling and Mediation, providing live supervision and case consultation to couple and family therapists and case consultation to mediators working with couples following separation.
provides consultation to their senior staff.
Over the last 25 years, Laurie
has provided family therapy supervision to several teams of psychologists, social workers and psychiatric nurses working with in NSW area health centres.
For the last five years she
has supervised at Infant, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services in Campbelltown area where she
currently provides live consultation interviews with families for the benefit of families and the training of staff.
has had a long-time interest in helping families heal from the destructive effects of abuse and violence.
Over the last five years, she
received advanced training in therapeutic approaches to resolving trauma and has integrated these approaches into her
knowledge and practice of couple and family therapy.
current interest is in helping more therapists, help more people, more effectively by teaching therapists trauma-based techniques that can more quickly resolve individual and couple issues charged with negative affect.