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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships

Developing embodied awareness in the psychotherapy relationship

A weekend retreat in Dartington

With Julianne Appel-Opper, Margaret Landale, Jon Sletvold and Nick Totton

Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 March 2019 - Dartington

Friday 15 March 2019

19.00   Settle-in and join us at the White Hart Pub
Saturday 16 March 2019

09.30   Registration and coffee
10.00   Nick Totton

It's not rocket science (but nor is it easy)
There's nothing super-technical required for embodied therapy, we are already doing it: all therapy happens between bodies. However, to allow ourselves to consciously know this can be challenging, requiring us to enlarge our sense of self and universe. Being bodies, we are animals: the electrified fence which has been erected between humans and other living beings is imaginary, and like other animals, much of our experience is pre-conscious and involuntary. Being bodies, we are not separate from the world: we are networked in many kinds of systemic relationships, other beings pass in and out of us, and we pass in and out of them. Surrendering our sense of separateness moves our therapeutic attention from the visual - observing the client across empty space, to the visceral - being immediately and intimately touched and changed by their presence.
11.00   Discussion
11.15   Coffee and registration for workshops
11.45   Julianne Appel-Opper

Developing embodied interventions and experiments within the co-created embodied field
The Therapist and client communicate with each other as rhythms/melodies of moving and being moved, parallel both to the spoken words and when sitting quietly. Julianne's talk introduces a new way of understanding and working within this body-to-body-communication in a relational and field-oriented way. Examples will be offered from psychotherapy and training which highlight embodied interventions and experiments where the therapist works with their own tiny movements without physically touching the client. Theoretically rooted in Dialogical Gestalt and intersubjective psychoanalytic thinking, different perspectives of these processes will be opened and linked to concepts from trauma research, developmental psychology, attachment, neuroscience.
12.45   Discussion
13.00   Lunch break (lunch can be purchased at the Dartington Hall restaurant or pub)
14:00 - 16:00   Workshops

(Select one and book during coffee break on a first-come first-served basis)

Workshop 1:
Led by Jon Sletvold
Embodied supervision with Jon Sletvold
In this workshop participants will be invited to explore cases of their own choice guided by an embodied and experiential model of supervision. The supervisees will be instructed to embody their own participation with the patient, to embody the patient and to look at and reflect upon their interaction.

Workshop 2:
Led by Margaret Landale
Embodied presence: Enhancing our skills for embodied dialogue with Margaret Landale
This interactive workshop focuses on the intricate processes of embodied perception, attunement and presence and explores some of the challenges we may encounter when working with the complex dynamics of trauma and shame. In this context the therapist's own capacity for paying attention to their embodied experience and felt sense as well as to the unfolding relational processes is essential. Drawing on mindfulness, compassion and phenomenological traditions this workshop will consider how to practise skillful attention to the direct lived experience and how to facilitate an embodied dialogue based on qualities of curiosity, acceptance and empathy.

16.00   Tea
16.30   Wild Hour

An opportunity for participants to suggest and lead their own sessions in groups in and around the venue. The organisers will place a board in the coffee break area where participants can add and sign up to these impromptu workshops.
17.30   Re-gather to share experiences
18.00   End
19.30   Supper (provided)
Sunday 17 March 2019

09.30   Coffee
10.00   Margaret Landale

Working in the present moment; The phenomenology of embodied dialogue
This talk will focus on the following key aspects of embodied work. Firstly the most important aspect of embodied processes within the therapeutic relationship are dependent upon the therapist's own capacity for embodied awareness. Secondly embodied awareness arises through phenomenological enquiry into the ongoing lived experience of therapist and client. Phenomenological processes also require deep sensitivity to the client's complex processes such as implicit trauma memories, chronic shame and associated dissociative or arousal tendencies. A meaningful embodied dialogue arises naturally through an awareness of and engagement with all the above processes.
11.00   Discussion
11.15   Coffee and registration for workshops
11.45   Jon Sletvold

Embodied psychotherapy and psychoanalysis
The verbal-symbolic exchange in psychotherapy is built upon an embodied self-process constituted by embodied awareness and felt experience. Psychological trauma disturbs the regulation of body-based emotions. It is therefore important that we as therapists are able to sense our own bodies while also observing and sensing our patient's bodies. Furthermore, it is essential that patients are invited to attend to everything that can be sensed, not only what can be put into words (immediately). I will illustrate the centrality of embodied awareness and felt experience through a demonstration of what happens during the first moments of a meeting between patient and therapist.
12.45   Discussion
13.00   Lunch break (lunch can be purchased at the Dartington Hall restaurant or pub)
14:00 - 16:00   Workshops

(Select one and book during coffee break on a first-come first-served basis)

Workshop 1:
Nick Totton
Finding Our Bodies
Contrary to common belief, our bodies do not start at the neck and proceed downward. Our heads, including our brains, are integral aspects of our embodiment, they cannot be separated from it - but nor are they in charge of it. This workshop will use experiential exercises to help you experience the previous sentence as not just theoretical but real, and leading on directly to embodied relationship with others.

Workshop 2:
Julianne Appel-Opper
Therapist and client: moving each other
This experiential workshop will give the opportunity to discover and explore how the therapist can work with body-to-body-communication. Exercises will be linked with concepts to encourage a greater awareness of and sensitivity to such inter-bodily processes. Julianne wants to provide a safe and respectful space for exploration of own embodiment and inter-bodily rhythms and melodies using exercises, experiential work, short demonstrations and small group work.

16.00   Tea
16.30   Panel Discussion/Group Movement/Experiential Exercise
17.00   End

Click here to book
You will be taken to a secure web server where your payment will be processed.
Please read our booking conditions before making your booking
Beginnings of a Dance by Neeraj Goswami

Fees include all talks, workshops and supper
Self-funded: £240 (Limited places)
Self-funded x 2: £400 (Limited places)
Organisationally-funded: £400 (Limited places)
Under 25's: £120 (Limited places)
This event with our online video package Embodied Approaches to Psychotherapy: £360

CPD Hours

Certificates of attendance for 12 hours will be provided at the event

Dartington Hall

Hotel-style accommodation is available at Dartington Hall, which can be booked via their website or by calling their Guest Services Team on 01803 847150 who will be happy to assist.

Friday evening:
Settle-in and join us at the White Hart Pub from 19.00

09.30 Coffee and registration
10.00 Start
11:15 Coffee
13:00 Lunch
16:00 Tea
17:30 End of day

09.30 Coffee
10.00 Start
11:15 Coffee
13:00 Lunch
16:00 Tea
17:00 End of day