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Oxfordshire Therapy & Self-Development Centres
1-to-1 Counselling & Psychotherapy - Group Therapy & Workshops in Oxford and Witney

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Practitioner Events

OTS Workshops, Seminars & Talks For 2018

Now that we have a new therapy centre in Oxford (as well as our centre in Witney), we will be offering regular training workshops seminars and talks there. Make sure you sign up for our newsletter on the Right hand column to be kept up to date!

Dilemmas of First Sessions & Assessments

How we can begin to develop the kind of resiliency and sensitivity required to navigate the arena of race and the trauma of racism in the consulting room

Death and Dying - with Witness Theatre

explore your own feelings around death and dying and draw out unconscious fears/defences against the idea of death

OTS Meetings for this year

Come and meet us and find out more about OTS

Oxford Psychotherapy Talks Programme

OPS (Oxford Psychotherapy Society) is a local organisation which runs great talks and workshops throughout the year. Here is the current programme.

Dilemmas of First Sessions & Assessments

Trainer:Michael Soth
Time:10:00 – 17:00
Date:Sunday, 16th September 2018
Venue:OTS-Oxford Therapy Centre
£40 - OTS members
£50 - OTS affiliates
£75 - Non-members
£60 - OTS-applicants

About the training:
First sessions and initial assessments are different and in some ways more difficult than regular sessions within an established process. In a first session we do not yet have a shared understanding nor an agreed therapeutic frame. It is one of the main tasks of a first session to develop such a frame, but not just routinely or as an arbitrary or standard given, but in service of the specific work required and therefore appropriate and maybe adjusted to each individual client.

A first session, especially if it includes an assessment, therefore comprises some quite contradictory modalities of engagement (all of which have matter-of-fact, practical implications as well as therapeutic and relational ones): some quasi-medical interactions, a business negotiation, a meeting of two humans / strangers, as well as therapeutic considerations throughout, plus the tensions between the four, manifesting to some extent as contradictory pulls between the therapist's presence as a person and their presence within the role. Hopefully at the end of the hour all of that will culminate in a sufficiently solid and mutually understood and negotiated working alliance (another relational modality).

The special dilemmas of such initial sessions arise because, after all, these are quite contradictory relational modes, and thus reveal more clearly just what a confusing mix of relational modalities the therapeutic relationship consists of.

So that means that a workshop on this topic is of interest and has benefits for a wide range of therapists, including specifically beginners as well as experienced practitioners.

What will you get out of this workshop?

As a beginner trying to build up your practice, the topic is immediately relevant to how you approach initial meetings with clients and whether or not these lead to ongoing work. The way most of us handle this to begin with relies mainly on imitating and copying our own therapists and tutors. However, that may not suit you and your style. Being clear about the conflicts and dilemmas that are inherent in first sessions is helpful in you working out your way of conducting these.

These questions are not only relevant for beginners, obviously, but we can all continue learning and reflecting on the habits we have developed in our practice. We can all usefully spend some time investigating what happened with clients who did not choose to continue after initial meetings, and what was the dynamic that got in the way of a working alliance.

For experienced practitioner focusing on the complexities of first sessions helps us sharpen our awareness of the tensions between the various relational modalities that are inherent in the therapeutic relationship all the time. Based on an integration of contributions by Lavinia Gomez, Martha Stark and Petruska Clarkson, Michael has developed some formulations that bring out the inherent tensions more clearly than each of these models by itself.

Format of the day:
So in order to provide a foundation and framework, Michael will give some background teaching and briefly touch upon his ‘diamond model’. But apart from that more general and abstract input, we will stick closely to the topic of the day and its practical applications.

In preparation, it will be useful for you to remember difficult first sessions and bring these as examples for us to work on experientially.

Once you have registered for this event, and paid the relevant fee, we will send you preparatory materials to enable you to get the most out of the day.

Click here to book a place or express interest

Or you can contact our CPD Coordinator Lizzie Cummings here.

Death and Dying - with Witness Theatre

Trainer: Ellen Carr and Kelli Jarlais
Time: 10:00 – 17:00
Date: Sunday, October 14th, 2018
Venue: OTS-Oxford Therapy Centre
£40 - OTS members
£50 - OTS affiliates
£75 - Non-members

About the training:
This workshop will enable you to explore your own feelings around death and dying and draw out unconscious fears/defences against the idea of death. It will be an immersive experience.

Using stimulus material from Witness Theatre’s current production in development, “Dead Bird”, we will invite you to consider your own reactions and boundaries around death and dying. As well as responding to material we present, you will also be invited to work with writing exercises, embodied processes inspired by our physical approach to making work, visualization and abstract imagery (you will be moving and using your body, but don’t worry, you will not be ‘performing’ in any way!). Exercises will be designed to facilitate accessing unconscious beliefs and fears about death and the dying process, and create space for engaging with these. We have found that sometimes the best way to engage with this topic is not with words, but through the body and images.

Workshop material considers both scientific and spiritual sides to death and dying, addressing facts we often don’t talk about and things we just don’t know. We believe that creating a more open and honest conversation around death and dying and help us have a happier and healthier society.

About the traininers: Ellen Car and Kelli Des Jarlais

This workshop will be run by Witness Theatre Co-Artistic Directors Ellen Carr and Kelli Des Jarlais. Writer/Director Ellen founded the company in 2011 and has created six full productions since then. Ellen was joined by Designer Kelli in 2013, and the two have run the company together ever since. They are interested in collaborative creative processes, and the ways in which theatre can support and promote wellbeing. Witness Theatre creates work exploring contemporary taboos in our society, creating supportive space for dialogue and further engagement. The Witness Theatre stage is a space for revealing unspoken, marginalised or ignored stories and encouraging debate, questioning and change.

Click here to book a place or express interest

Or you can contact our CPD Coordinator Lizzie Cummings here.

OTS Meetings for this year

We have a variety of meetings throughout the year, which any practitioners who are interested in finding out more about OTS are welcome to come to. Just send us an email and let us know you would like to come! As part of our community culture of development, some meetings are member led on a subject of interest, and some meetings are just about getting together, having coffee and constructing the meeting together on the day!

Meetings for this year:
Additional events are planned from time to time where you can come and meet us and find out more about OTS - please email us for details.

  • Sunday, July 1st - 10:13:00 - Members Meeting

  • Sunday, September 16th - 10:00-13:00 - Members Meeting

  • Sunday, November 18th, 10:00-13:00 - Member Led Morning

  • Saturday, 8th December - Christmas Party

    If you would like to come to one of one meetings as a guest to meet us, please email or call us!

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