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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!

Working Relationally – don’t we all? A free CPD workshop for experienced and new therapists:

Exploring multiple relational stances as responses to therapeutic dilemmas, impasses and enactments.

White Fragility in the Therapeutic Relationship

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

Working Relationally – don’t we all?

A FREE CPD Workshop - for experienced and new therapists - exploring multiple relational stances as responses to therapeutic dilemmas, impasses and enactments.

Trainer: Michael Soth
Time & Date: Saturday 21st April 2018 10.00 - 17.00
Venue: OTS-Oxford Therapy Centre
Places are limited, so early booking (see below) is advised.

CPD Certificates: Once you have booked this workshop, you will also be sent free CPD material - video and handouts which are ideal preparation for this workshop. CPD Certificates will be issued after the event and will be for 12 hours if you have completed the pre-workshop training package.

OTS Members - £0
OTS applicants - £60
Non-members - £0

Refunds: OTS have a 'money back' if not satisfied with the training day policy

Lunch: As always, we will have a bring and share lunch.

About the training:
Last year we offered a 3-hour free CPD talk to the wider community. As a follow on, this year Michael is running a 6-hour experiential workshop for us, which together with the video and training notes which are preparatory study, gives you 12 hours of free CPD this year. This is event is the rescheduled training day from October, so there already a number of people with reserved places.

Places are limited, and priority will be given to:
Practitioners who attended last years talk
OTS Member Applicants
Let us know which category you fit into when you enquire, so we can send you any specific requirements.

OTS has been running a series of workshops over recent months, based on Michael Soth’s ‘Diamond Model’, a further evolution of Petruska Clarkson’s ‘Five Relational Modalities’, which 25 years ago acted as a turning point for the profession and began the process of psychotherapy integration in this country and globally; a process which still has a long way to go, and was at the heart of last years free talk.
Michael’s ‘Diamond Model’ is the theoretical background for these predominantly experiential workshops. Through role-plays of vignettes, fishbowl sessions and demonstrations, an experiential way of working maximises opportunities for everybody to explore and embody the principles of working relationally – they are lived in the workshop, and not just talked about from a theoretical perspective.
This workshop is:

  • suitable for practitioners from all modalities and levels of experience
  • essential for developing deeper understanding of ruptures in the therapy relationship thus helping to reduce the number premature therapy endings conducive to an overall deepening of your work with clients

    What others have said about these experiential workshops:
    “At a simple level, the energy and passion brought into the room by Michael, let alone his significant experience, was stimulating, inspiring and informative.”

    “The role play session was extremely interesting and useful as it provided a learning experience which you simply cannot get from other types of CPD such as books, lectures, or less experiential methods of training. Because several of us took turns to play the part of 'therapist', we saw how different therapeutic styles would play out differently with the same client. We particularly looked at how soon, and in what way, the client's core issues would manifest themselves in the therapy, depending on the therapist's working style.”

    “My personal comprehension as to the dimensions I need to be mentally aware of and managing in a first session are significantly clearer, although of course practice will develop this further. ”

    “Recognising that I avoid opportunities for ruptures in the therapeutic relationship and I should in fact embrace them. ”

    “I discovered how my style sometimes means I try to dictate the journey of the therapy and how I can choose to shift from this perspective. ”

    “It was a boost to my confidence overall, and I really felt empowered when others observed my practice and could observe other (relational) modalities in my practice that I had not observed before. Now I am aware of them I feel I am more able to work with them. ”

    “I think the key thing that I took away was a question around my flexibility: how flexible am I in first sessions (and indeed in all of my work)?  I like being left with questions about how I am as a therapist... ”

    “I am not enough familiar with CBT or Gestalt ideology but to have practitioners from all realms of training speak and demonstrate- it opened my work up with my client the next day ... and it opened up my general integrative stance also. ”

    About the Workshop Series - Relational Dilemmas:
    These experiential workshops are based on an exploration of first sessions and assessments, but they are fully relevant to all client work at any and all stages of therapy, for all modalities. Exploring the relational modalities at the earliest stages of therapeutic work allows for clarity in the development of our perception, experience and understanding of our client work, and a wider and more creative range of therapeutic responses, strategies and interventions.

    Click here to book a place or express interest

    Or you can: email us or phone us to register your interest. Don't forget to subscribe to the OTS Newsletter in the right hand column to be kept up-to-date.

  • White Fragility in the Therapeutic Relationship

    Trainer:Robert Downes
    Time:10:00 – 17:00
    Date:Sunday, June 24, 2018
    Venue:OTS-Oxford Therapy Centre
    £40 - OTS members
    £50 - OTS affiliates
    £75 - Non-members

    About the training:
    “White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviours such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviours, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium”. Dr. Robin DiAngelo

    I have been applying DiAngelo’s ideas about white fragility (alongside the work of James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Franz Fanon, Reni Eddo-Lodge and others) to the race matrix of the therapeutic relationship and in my work training therapists and counsellors. Student, clients and therapists of colour frequently encounter this fragility and its formidable defensiveness.

    I became interested in work that addressed 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, the classroom and beyond. One of the struggles I have noticed is the reluctance in therapists to be constructed as a ‘bad white object’ and I think white fragility provides a way into unravelling ourselves from such reactions that limit therapeutic potentiality amongst other consequences.

    Whiteness as a social construction that resides within the psyche of the therapist (and profession), irrespective of race, seems to have been under examined in therapeutic training environments. The focus has traditionally been on diversity and multicultural approaches to the therapeutic project. The criticism of these approaches is that they make racism a little more palatable where racism can be constructed as something for people of colour to overcome rather than something for white people to deconstruct as part of a psychological and broader socio-political project. It can be argued that whiteness has not been placed on the ’couch’ for a thorough enough analysis.

    If whiteness isn’t a physiological reality but a social construction that is internalised and lives in both the conscious and unconscious realms of the psyche, how do we engage with it in ourselves as therapists, in its manifestation in the clinical encounter and in our thinking and teaching within the profession.

    This workshop will provide an experiential opportunity to examine white fragility as an embodied phenomena that requires many of the skills and methods of psychotherapy to engage with it creatively. There will be some preparatory reading and reflective practices to engage with prior to the day.

    About the trainer - Robert Downes
    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. Beyond that I make art, do the chores and wander.

    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:

  • Saturday, May 12th, 10:13:00 - Member Led Morning

  • 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

  • OTS Application Form:
    To attend an event for practitioners

    This confidential form tells us which event you are interested in. You can always email or phone us as an alternative to completing it. If you wish to apply using this form, please complete the personal details section, as well as any questions that are relevant to your area of interest.

    Personal details (*indicates required fields)




    Event Details.

    Please state the title(s) and venue(s) of any event(s) you are interested in:

    Please provide a very brief overview of your experience, modality and training:

    Let us know if there is anything specific you are hoping to gain from these event(s).

    Let us know if there is anything else you would like for us to respond to you about.

    Do you have any special needs which you would like us to take into account for any event.

    Thank you for completing this form.

    Once you have submitted your form below you will be be sent an email confirming it has been received, and we will contact you personally shortly afterwards. In the meantime if you have any questions, please email us.


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