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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


CPD Training Days & Workshops 2019

CPD Training: OTS run a programme of training days throughout the year, including and annual free CPD event. Make sure you sign up for our newsletter on the right-hand column of the website to be kept up to date as new events are announced!

Touch and Embodiment - 29th September
Dilemmas of First Sessions and Initial Assessments - 5th Oct.
Working Relationally with Movement & Touch - 16th/17th Nov
Client's Conflict becomes Therapist's Conflict - 24th November
Taster Day for the Certificate in Embodied Therapeutic Practice - 9th February



Certificate in Embodied Therapeutic Practice

This post-qualifying course running over 5 weekends (April - October 2020) is designed for experienced counsellors and psychotherapists (as well as the recently qualified practitioner) who are interested in developing their knowledge and skills in working with the body in the counselling and psychotherapeutic relationship.

We are offering a taster day on 9th February (see above) to help you to decide if this course is for you!

Certificate in Embodied Therapeutic Practice



Groups, Meetings & Talks

OTS Training & Development Group

A new ongoing monthly training and development group is starting at OTS-Witney on Saturday mornings for trainees and newly qualified practitioners.

Personal and Professional Development Group

Practitioners working psychologically and developmentally with clients/patients.

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.



Touch and Embodiment

Trainer: Michael Soth
Time: 10:00 – 17:00
Date: Sunday 29th September 2019
Venue: OTS - Oxford Therapy Centre
Fee:
£40 - OTS members
£50 - OTS affiliates
£75 - Non-members

About the training:
This workshop will be an opportunity to explore how your embodied experience and perception contribute to your way of working as a therapist.

How much of your awareness - when you are engaged in the relationship with a client – is attentive to the process between the two bodies (or better: the two bodyminds)?
From your moment-to-moment perceptions of the two bodyminds, how do you extract meaningful information relevant to the therapeutic process?
How can this information help us to deepen the relationship and the process and make it more effective?
How can it give us a context for making therapeutic decisions about whether or not to touch or be touched, and if so, how?

So for the purposes of therapists’ CPD learning, to clarify the safety and parameters of the relational space we are entering into for such a workshop becomes as important an issue as for a client entering into therapy.
For this workshop we will focus on a simple distinction between spontaneous versus reflective processes throughout the bodymind, and how the tension between the two plays out in the relational dynamic between client and therapist moment-to-moment. We will use the diamond model of diverse relational modalities (Michael’s further evolution of Petruska Clarkson’s ideas) to bring a neglected relational perspective to the question of touch between client and therapist, i.e. different kinds of touch corresponding to different relational spaces in therapy.

Full workshop description here.

Click here to apply

Click here to return to training events



Dilemmas of First Sessions and Initial Assessments

Trainer: Michael Soth
Time: 10:00 – 17:00
Date: Saturday 5th October 2019
Venue: OTS - Oxford Therapy Centre
Fee:
£40 - OTS members
£50 - OTS affiliates
£75 - Non-members

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.

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 apply

Click here to return to training events




Working Relationally with Movement and Touch

Trainers: Allison Priestman and Stephen Tame
Time: 10:00 – 17:00
Date: Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th November 2019
Venue: OTS - Oxford Therapy Centre
Fee:
£180 (early bird £150)

About the training:
This workshop is for psychotherapists, counsellors and allied practitioners. Much of our clients' formative experiences are of movement and touch. It is important for our clients that we have some confidence and competence to work in these core channels of their experience.
Our bodies are in constant movement, mostly unnoticed. This is an opportunity to open and refresh our insight into how our clients move, how we move, and how our clients move us. We will be working with small and large movements, intentional and unconscious movement, in a gentle and supported way.

Similarly, our clients are always experiencing touch – the touch of fabric on skin, the touch of our emotional contact. We will be introducing a frame for working more confidently and intentionally with touch, in support of our clients safety and unfolding process. This work will be held and explored through a relational framework. Exploring how to make use of and think about, our complex embodied responses to our clients. The weekend will be experiential, underpinned by theoretic input drawn from Embodied-Relational Therapy.
Group size 8-14 participants. This workshop would serve as useful ‘taster’ for the Embodied-Relational Therapy training starting in Derbyshire in April 2020.

About the trainers:
Allison Priestman - I have been working as a psychotherapist for 18 years and as a trainer for 11 years. I am a member of the Embodied-Relational training collective and have worked extensively with Nick Totton. My professional bodies are the European Association for Body Psychotherapy and Chiron Association for Body Psychotherapists. I'm curious about how play, creativity, movement and the wild can resource practitioners in their work. I continue to be stretched, stimulated and nourished by my work with clients, supervisees and trainees.

Stephen Tame - I am an experienced Embodied-Relational Therapist, supervisor and trainer. I work with individual clients and couples, both indoors and out. I see my job as supporting my clients to find their way to manage and process their life experiences. I aim to take a non-expert position, and continue to learn from my clients.

Click here to apply

Click here to return to training events




The Client's Conflict becomes the Therapist's Conflict

Trainer: Michael Soth
Time: 10:00 – 17:00
Date: Sunday 24th November 2019
Venue: OTS-Oxford Therapy Centre
Fee:
£40 - OTS members
£50 - OTS affiliates
£75 - Non-members

About the training:

How to spot it and what to do next - a step-by-step recipe book (for processing the therapist’s dilemmas)

After previous training days on topics such as ‘Relational Dilemmas of First Sessions and Initial Assessments' we have had several enquiries and requests to take the topic further and deeper. There was a clear sense that we needed a Part 2, and it was understood that Michael’s principle that “the client’s conflict becomes the therapist’s conflict” is just the first step in exploring the connection between the client’s and the therapist’s inner world in the context of the working alliance.

Three things stood out from the work we did in the small groups, as borne out by some of the feedback:
1. as therapists we don’t always know when we are in conflict;
2. when we do know, we often hit a blank wall - what to do or how to understand what’s going on;
3. in order to avoid the discomfort of the conflict, we take refuge in default therapeutic interventions, routine manoeuvres and habitual stances, i.e. mechanisms which dilute the necessary charge and tension in the relationship - in doing so, we abort the therapeutic process or unwittingly precipitate ruptures in the alliance

Some of the feedback was: ‘It is scary to feel like you don’t know what to do as a therapist, so it can be a relief to not know you are in conflict.’ (this is rather reminiscent of Bion’s statement: “In every consulting room there ought to be two rather frightened people.”)
Being aware of and acknowledging our internal (countertransference) conflict as therapists feels like we’re losing our therapeutic position, and a sense that we are failing. In order to avoid the inherent sense of feeling powerless and vulnerable, we resort to our ‘habitual position’ as therapists, trying to shore up our shaky therapeutic position. One of the most common manoeuvres is to ask more questions of the client in the hope of ‘getting somewhere else’, where we can feel on safer ground. However, in doing so we then manage to fall into two further pitfalls:
- by trying to ‘move on’ or ‘hold on’ to our therapeutic position, we give the implicit message to the client that we can’t bear their pain, and can’t sit in it with them;
- because we are doing so defensively, prematurely and without awareness or preparation, our interventions precipitate us further into enactment: we fall on one or the other side of our conflict, and fail to ‘hold’ the conflict, or to catch the rupture we are entangled in.
This training day will develop your capacity to be aware of your conflict as a therapist and learn to ‘sit in it’ without being overwhelmed by pressure, fear or shame. It then becomes more possible to extract the precious information which the therapist’s conflict contains about the relational dynamic and the client’s inner world.

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 apply

Click here to return to training events



Taster Day for the Certificate in Embodied Therapeutic Practice

About the Bodies: Embodiment in the Therapeutic Relationship

Trainer: Robert Downs
Time: 10:00 – 17:00
Date: Sunday 9th February 2020 (priority given to those needing the taster day as a decision-making process for the course, but this taster day can be done as a standalone experience)
Venue: OTS - Oxford Therapy Centre
Fees:
£40 - Trainee Members
£50 -Full Members
£60 - Trainee Non-members
£75 - Qualified Non-members

About the training:
This taster day is precisely that – to give you a sense of whether you want to commit to the 5-weekend certificate course. Priority for applicants for the taster day will be given first to people who have also paid a deposit (refundable 30-days prior to the first weekend) of the certificate course. You do not have to do the course, and the taster day will be a useful standalone experience for many. We simply want to and the best chance of filling the course. So, read on and decide if you would like to do the taster day – we may well run the course again in the future anyway!...

This post-qualifying course is designed for experienced counsellors and psychotherapists (as well as the recently qualified practitioner) who are interested in developing their knowledge and skills in working with the body in the counselling and psychotherapeutic relationship. This course will be an opportunity to develop your understanding and clinical practice with regard to the body and its place and potential within the therapeutic relationship.

The course will consist of experiential exercises, theoretical input and exploration, skills practice, self study and play - there is no learning unless there is play (and some pain of course). The course will be experiential and touch on your own process and history. Self care practices will be explored. It will also be a place for exploration and integration of the theoretical underpinnings of working with embodiment.

Course Aims:
The course is designed to broaden your awareness and engagement with embodiment to enhance your way of working within your therapeutic approach & modality.

Experientially - our own experience is the main teacher so there will be personal explorations of your experience of embodiment. Doing this in a learning community extends the learning considerably as we learn from and sensitise to the diversity of experiences of embodiment. This resources our work.

Theoretically - we will explore some of the key ideas and theories that underpin embodied therapeutic practice in a variety of ways to support embodied integration - theory is best integrated through experience.
About the trainer:

About the trainer
I practice as a body psychotherapist and supervisor in London and I have done so for 20 years. I trained at the Chiron Centre for Body Psychotherapy in the 90s and have continued my education since through exploring a diversity of traditions and practices including transpersonal perspectives. I have been particularly interested in what body psychotherapy has to offer all therapeutic modalities. My current areas of focus have been on working with chronic shame and exploring racism and whiteness in the therapeutic encounter. I have taught in a range of institutions as well as independently. I also like to make art, write and wander.

For more details about this taster day click here

Click here to apply

Click here to return to training events



Certificate in Embodied Therapeutic Practice

About the Bodies: Embodiment in the Therapeutic Relationship

Trainer: Robert Downs
Time: 10:00 – 17:00
Dates: Five weekends: 25th-26th April, 23rd-24th May, 27th-28th June, 19th-20th September, 24th-25th October
Venue: OTS - Oxford Therapy Centre
Fees:
Trainee Members - £40 per day
Full Members - £50 per day
Trainee Non-members - £60 per day
Qualified Non-members - £75 per day

Commitment Requirements:
Payment for each of the 5 weekends is due in the week before each weekend. Please note: once you have paid a deposit for the first weekend, withdrawal is only possible up to 30 days prior the first weekend in April. Beyond that, you are committed to pay for the entire course, even in the event of foreseen or unforeseen circumstances.

About the training:
This post-qualifying course is designed for experienced counsellors and psychotherapists (as well as the recently qualified practitioner) who are interested in developing their knowledge and skills in working with the body in the counselling and psychotherapeutic relationship. This course will be an opportunity to develop your understanding and clinical practice with regard to the body and its place and potential within the therapeutic relationship.

The course will consist of experiential exercises, theoretical input and exploration, skills practice, self study and play - there is no learning unless there is play (and some pain of course). The course will be experiential and touch on your own process and history. Self care practices will be explored. It will also be a place for exploration and integration of the theoretical underpinnings of working with embodiment.

The course is not accredited. A certificate of attendance will be provided and you will take away extensive learning and experience to resource and extend your capacity to be with your own embodiment and that of others in the therapeutic relationship.

Course Aims:
The course is designed to broaden your awareness and engagement with embodiment to enhance your way of working within your therapeutic approach & modality.

Experientially - our own experience is the main teacher so there will be personal explorations of your experience of embodiment. Doing this in a learning community extends the learning considerably as we learn from and sensitise to the diversity of experiences of embodiment. This resources our work.

Theoretically - we will explore some of the key ideas and theories that underpin embodied therapeutic practice in a variety of ways to support embodied integration - theory is best integrated through experience.

About the trainer:
I practice as a body psychotherapist and supervisor in London and I have done so for 20 years. I trained at the Chiron Centre for Body Psychotherapy in the 90s and have continued my education since through exploring a diversity of traditions and practices including transpersonal perspectives. I have been particularly interested in what body psychotherapy has to offer all therapeutic modalities. My current areas of focus have been on working with chronic shame and exploring racism and whiteness in the therapeutic encounter. I have taught in a range of institutions as well as independently. I also like to make art, write and wander.

Further details about this certificate course can be found here

Click here to apply

Click here to return to training events



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, and we will invite you when they are arranged.

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



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