Arlene is a registered systemic psychotherapist with more than 40 years’ experience working with children and their families in the NHS in both Child and Family Services and CAMHS where she worked for more than 30 years. She is a registered clinical supervisor with the Association for Family Therapy. In 1999 following the implementation of the Belfast/Good Friday Peace Agreement in Northern Ireland, she established and managed the Family Trauma Centre. The Centre provide services for children and families affected by the conflict in Northern Ireland. The Family Trauma Centre was the first systemically led trauma service. Arlene developed a culturally sensitive family therapy approach to help families in trauma and has published her work in several journals and books. She continued to manage the Centre for 18 years until she retired in 2016.
Arlene was active in crisis response work, and was a member of the Belfast Health Trust’s Community Crisis Response Team for more than 15 years. In January 2005 she was seconded to the British Red Cross as part of the first response to UK nationals in Thailand following the tsunami.
Arlene retired from the NHS in December 2015 and is now in private practice. During the past few years she has undertaken work for the Official Solicitor Royal Court of Justice Belfast and Lighthouse, a charity based in Belfast providing help for families affected by suicide. She continues to provide clinical supervision for several family therapists both in the NHS and private practice both in the UK and Ireland. She continues to teach and present at conferences both nationally and internationally. More recently Arlene has been providing consultation and training to Hostage International, an organisation who provide support and guidance to families during and after the kidnap of a loved one and also support hostages following their return home.