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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!

The Client's Conflict becomes the Therapist's Conflict

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

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.

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:
The Client's Conflict becomes the Therapist's Conflict
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

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, 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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