a1 Bower Place, Level 2/55 Gawler Place, Adelaide 5000.
a2 School of Psychology, University of Adelaide SA 5005.
a3 Bower Place, Level 2/55 Gawler Place, Adelaide 5000.
a4 School of Psychology, University of Adelaide SA 5005.
a5 Bower Place, Level 2/55 Gawler Place, Adelaide 5000.
The difficulties associated with conducting valid family therapy research within a clinical practice discourage many potential researchers. This article will describe collaboration between a group of academics, researchers and clinicians who decided to explore the process and efficacy of systemic family therapy conducted within a working private practice. The specific questions we are addressing are, whether the requests clients bring to their first session of therapy can be reliably classified by practitioners, whether these requests change over time, and whether the nature of the request is associated with therapist and client ratings of therapeutic outcome. Additional questions about the form and nature of the therapeutic alliance as experienced by both client and practitioner are also being explored. This paper will map the passage of the work from inception to its current state where over 140 clients are active participants. In doing so attention will be paid to the obstacles encountered: practical, financial and ethical, and the solutions devised to address these.