Roger Duncan

Roger Duncan, MSc, trained as a biologist, Waldorf educator, and wilderness rites of passage guide before becoming a Systemic Family Therapist. He was one of the pioneer tutors of the Ruskin Mill Education Trust, working for ten years as the woodland manager setting up the Woodland curriculum, wilderness experience and transition programs. He is former Deputy Principal and Head of Education and Therapy at Ruskin Mill College, Glos, and currently works as a Family Therapist in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, (CAMHS) and the Outreach Service for Children and Adolescent (OSCA) Oxford Health NHS trust. Roger also works in private practice as a systemic organizational consultant and is involved in the UK Ecopsychology movement and offers workshops and writes and lectures on this topic.

Roger is a father of three grown up children and has been involved in working with adolescents for thirty years, initially a science teacher in a Steiner school in the UK before becoming one of the pioneer tutors of the Ruskin Mill Education Trust. Roger worked initially as project manager to develop a practical land and craft based therapeutic education curriculum for adolescents with complex learning needs and behaviour difficulties. He worked for ten years as the woodland manager and developed the wilderness experience and student transition programs before becoming Head of Education and Therapy and then Deputy Principal.

This work led to Roger becoming interested in the issue of adolescent rites of passage and he trained as a rites of passage guide, with The School of Lost Borders, California in 2001. His own experience of this work kindled an interest in becoming a Systemic Family Therapist and later the work of Gregory Bateson and his ideas about the links between understanding nature and mental health. This topic was the subject of his MSc. thesis, Mind and Nature revisited; a study of systemic ecopsychological interventions for adolescents with complex learning needs using realistic evaluation. Roger’s training in Systemic Therapy coincided with a move into a management role at the Ruskin Mill College where he was able to initiate systems that integrated health, education, residential care and therapy. He spent the last five years at Ruskin Mill in senior management, involved in staff training and helping to develop the college to achieve outstanding Ofsted status.

After this period he returned to work directly with adolescents with a CAMHS team in Wiltshire where he works in the Family Therapy Clinic as well as doing outreach work with complex cases in the OSCA team. In this Role he also provides regular monthly consultation to Social Workers for Wiltshire Council and to special schools in Wiltshire and also attends the Wiltshire Risk Management Group.

He enjoys face-to-face clinical work with adolescents and couples and has skills and experience in teaching and staff training, leadership and management, and helping to resolve complex systemic issues in the work place.

Other areas of experience include;

  • Working with adolescent depression, anxiety and self-harm
  • Couples work
  • Working with complex family issues
  • Adoption and fostering placement break down
  • Working with family life transitions
  • Systemic organizational change management
  • Team facilitation for complex organization issues
  • External supervision for staff working with emotional complexity
  • Consultancy on the development of therapeutic education programs
  • Staff training on working with challenging adolescents
  • Working with therapeutically with nature and eco psychotherapy
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