Philip Messent trained and worked as social worker in the UK, then as a systemic psychotherapist, in the 1980s, then spent 30 years working in children and adolescent mental health services in the East End of London. He has increasingly been drawn to using narrative ways of thinking in his work. He now works in an independent capacity, working with individuals, couples, families and organizations, and is committed to developing collaborative ways of working which acknowledge and hold in mind the complexities of people’s lives, and which seek to harness resources to overcome difficulties by building a sense of meaningful and effective connection with others.
He is of white UK heritage and has a long-standing interest in working across differences in culture (as has been an everyday necessity living and working in London), teaching and writing on this topic. More recently Messent has been working with social care and mental health teams towards more collaborative and transparent ways of engaging with clients and their families around issues of concern and risk, and has also published about this area of work.
Messent is the current editor of the Journal of Family Therapy. He also contributes to international health links in Uganda and Bangladesh, and is committed in this work to mutual learning between countries and institutions.