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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!

The Client's Conflict becomes the Therapist's Conflict - 19th Jan
Embracing Shame - 7th April
Do's and Don'ts in Trauma Work - 22nd June
Touch and Embodiment - 29th September
Erotic Transference - TBA

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.

The Client's Conflict becomes the Therapist's Conflict

Trainer:Michael Soth
Time:10:00 – 17:00
Date:Sunday, 19th January 2019
Venue:OTS-Oxford Therapy Centre
£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 the training day we had on September 16th (on ‘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 born 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 down 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 book a place or express interest

Click here to return to events list

Embracing Shame

Trainer: Robert Downes
Time: 10-5pm
Date: April 7th 2019
Venue: OTS-Oxford Therapy Centre
£40 - OTS members
£50 – OTS affiliates
£75 – Non-members

'It’s here in all the pieces of my shame
That now I find myself again.
I yearn to belong to something, to be contained
In an all-embracing mind that sees me.'
Rainer Maria Rilke

About the training:
We can think of shame as the experience of an absence of an all-embracing mind in the company of the fragmentation of self. It is the absence and the presence of an all-embracing body and mind that we will be exploring in this workshop.
Shame can be such an inhibitor to learning, being in the world, relating and the therapeutic project itself. Our clients often feel shamed by us, we actually shame our clients, we feel shamed and are shamed by them. So, what do we do with the shame matrix when it arises? How do we navigate our way through it to gather the riches that are revealed when we meet shame more optimally? How does shame feature in relation to oppression and discrimination? If shame is a refuge how do we approach it? We will explore the topography of shame, its function as an embodied psychological process as well as its impact in more chronic forms.

We will:

  • Look to befriend shame via personal explorations to deepen our capacity to be with shame more fully and know it in ourselves and others.
  • Engage with theories, ideas and practices that support this project of shame; befriending that will enhance our resiliency with states of shame in ourselves and with our clients.
  • Explore the territory of chronic shame alongside the defences against shame.
  • Identify self-care practices for working with shame in ourselves and for our clients.

    It is through a collective exploration of shame that we come to understand shame more deeply, we normalize it and find our ability to respond more fully to it in ourselves and with our clients. There will be experiential exercises and practices, case explorations and a practical application of theory drawn from a variety of sources. There will also be some preparation reading and practices.

    About the trainer:
    I am a psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer in the field of psychotherapy. I have taught at a variety of institutions and services abroad and locally, including the Minster Centre and Metanoia in London. I am currently on the faculty at NAOS teaching on a trauma diploma course. I am the current Chair of The Relational School, a community of practitioners who are engaged in relational thought and practice. My training began at the Chiron Centre for Body Psychotherapy in the 90s. This has been extended over the last 14 years through my studies of the Diamond Approach. I am currently engaged in integrating notions of white fragility into clinical thought and practice. My background in youth and social work lead to my therapeutic work with young people as a school therapist as well as writing on therapeutic work with young people. I enjoy the potential of the learning environment for therapists and counsellors and bring to it a depth of experience gathered over the last three decades of teaching and facilitating learning. I run a private practice in South London.

    Click here to book a place or express interest

    Click here to return to events list

  • Helping the Helper: some "Do's" and "Don'ts" in Trauma Work

    Trainer: Morit Heitzler
    Time: 10:00 – 17:00
    Date: Saturday 22nd June 2019
    Venue: OTS - Oxford Therapy Centre
    £40 - OTS members
    £50 - OTS affiliates
    £75 - Non-members

    About the training:
    Working with traumatized clients can be challenging and at times overwhelming. Often therapists are familiar with some of theories that underpin trauma and its manifestation but feel under-resourced when it comes to the actual work that needs to be done in order to enable the traumatized system to undo layers of defences and patterns of internal and external relating.

    Where do we start? What would be re-traumatizing? How do we know when to stop a client re-telling their trauma story and when to encourage it? What do we do when we feel overwhelmed, depleted or confused?

    In this practical workshop Morit will review some methods and techniques that can be used as a foundation for working with trauma and PTSD. The aim of the day is to expand the tool-box of therapists and support them in their work with various degrees of trauma presentation. Through a series of experiential exercises, amongst other things, Morit will review concepts such as:

  • Safety and boundaries

  • Windows of tolerance

  • Resources

  • Somatic counter transference

  • Her emphasis will be on practical methods and tools. Some theory will be shared as a way of making those tools more accessible. The workshop is suitable for therapists who work with trauma, no previous experience is required.

    About the trainer:
    Morit is an experienced therapist, supervisor and trainer with a private practice in Oxford. She has been teaching on various training courses in the UK, Israel and in Europe, and regularly leads workshops and groups. Through her work in Israel, at the Traumatic Stress Service of the Maudsley Hospital, the Oxford Stress and Trauma Centre, her supervision at Oxford Refugee Resource, as well as her private practice, Morit has gained experience in treating a wide variety of PTSD symptoms and traumatised clients, including refugees and asylum seekers. Over two decades, she has been developing an integrative approach to trauma work, incorporating - within an overall relational perspective - Body Psychotherapy, attachment theory, EMDR, modern neuroscience and Family Constellations. In recent years she has been focusing on delivering intermediate and advanced CPD and supervision for trauma therapists, specifically on integrating the various trauma therapies. More information can be found on her website here.

    Click here to book a place or express interest

    Click here to return to events list

    Touch and Embodiment

    Trainer: Michael Soth
    Time: 10:00 – 17:00
    Date: Saturday 29th September 2019
    Venue: OTS - Oxford Therapy Centre
    £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 book a place or express interest

    Click here to return to events list

    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:(meetings for 2019 will be added soon)
    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.

    Next Meeting: Clinical Discussion Group on 'Fees and Cancellations'

    Hosted by: Paula Maddison

    Please email here, or call us if you would like to come as a guest!

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