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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships

Small Earth

Psychotherapists, ecologists, economists, philosophical and spiritual thinkers ask: can we return to living within the terms of Earth's ecosphere?

With Judith Anderson, James Barrett, Teresa Belton, Amrita Bhohi, Dr Kim Brown, Beth Collier, Dr Mick Collins, Dr Andrew Fellows, Marion Green, Melissa Harrison, Professor Tim Jackson, Paul Maiteny, Dr Alastair McIntosh, Chris Packham, Mary-Jayne Rust and Dr Yuriko Sato

Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 November 2018 - Suffolk

Thursday 8 November 2018

17.00   Registration
18.00   Supper - provided (Concert Hall Restaurant)
19.00   What's this all about? Paul Maiteny and Jane Ryan introduce the event (Britten Studio)
19:20   Film showing: Consumed - a documentary (Britten Studio)

Consumerism has become the cornerstone of the post-industrial age. Yet how much do we know about it and what it is doing to us? Using theories of evolutionary psychology to underpin a bold narrative of our times, this film takes a whirlwind tour through the "weird mental illness of consumerism", showing how our insatiable appetite has driven us into "the jaws of the beast".
20:20   Dr Yuriko Sato (Britten Studio)

Beyond Materialism
Yuriko Sato will present a worldview that has prevailed from the dawn of civilisation until recently, in which everything in nature is interconnected and endowed with spirit. In our time, however, the significance of things has been reduced to their utility and desirability. Nonetheless, the older worldview still exists without conflicting with modern science and technologies in some cultures of so-called developed countries, such as Japan. Becoming aware of this worldview can often be a turning point in psychotherapy and, if on a global scale, it could be an antidote to our dangerously anthropocentric Zeitgeist.
21.00   End of evening
Friday 9 November 2018

09.00   Registration and coffee
09.00   James Barrett (Jerwood Kiln)

Social dreaming matrix
10.00   Dr Andrew Fellows (Britten Studio)

Science, psychology and spirituality: facing the Anthropocene together
Synergies between Jungian psychology, deep ecology, systems and Gaia theory, offer a coherent but non-dogmatic approach to the challenges of the Anthropocene that is grounded in both science and spirituality. The shift of emphasis from development to individuation around midlife in personal psychology parallels the metanoia from an anthropocentric to a biocentric worldview that is now so urgently needed. These transformations oblige us to acknowledge and overcome our inertia and, worse still, hubris, and inspire us to transcend demonstrably inadequate reform environmentalism. These synergies and parallels will be theoretically substantiated, and their practical implications for both individuals and society explored.
11.30   Coffee and registration for optional workshops
12.00   Dr Alastair McIntosh (Britten Studio)

Reclaiming What Gives Life
The world's great literature, from the classics to ecofeminist writing suggests that hubris is the root of damage to our inner lives; from there, damage to both nature wild and human nature. The subversion of psychology by marketing and propaganda holds us in a consensus trance-reality. It cuts us off from deeper realms of authenticity, relationships and meaning. How can ecopsychology help to call back the soul? What can that look and feel like?
13.00   Discussion
13.30   Lunch break (self-service at venue)
15:00 - 16:45   Optional workshops

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

Workshop 1:
Marion Green & Jane Ryan (Tack room)
This beautiful historic setting will provide us with a wonderful variety of found objects; mud, sand, driftwood, grasses, stones, natural colours, ochres... perhaps some litter. Each one holds an invitation to know it and to respond to it. Making art and writing brings the outer experience to something deeply personal. We invite you to breathe in, walk, collect, to discover what happens "when nature speaks to the soul and the soul speaks to nature face to face" (Goethe). Jane and Marion will be available for anyone who would like to talk about their projects.

Workshop 2:
Kim Brown (Jerwood Kiln)
Dr Kim Brown takes a closer look at the intriguing history of the labyrinth and its 'cross-cultural blueprint for integration'. With its single circuitous path, the labyrinth provides a fascinating lens for looking at spirituality from a range of perspectives. From the Egyptians, Greeks and Celts through to modern architecture and memorial gardens, the concept of the continuous, life-giving circle has provoked debate and contemplation for centuries. No-one knows the true origins of the labyrinth yet we must deduce from their perennial existence that something important lies within. This workshop will take a historical and spiritual perspective, with guidance on using the labyrinth model (and metaphor) to engage the body with the mind and the mind with the spirit.

Workshop 3:
Dr Alastair McIntosh (Britten Studio)
Towards Cultural Psychotherapy
In many approaches to depth psychological healing, personal history is re-membered by understanding what has been dis-membered. That can help a life to be re-visioned and re-claimed. What about whole communities? Can similar principles be applied across entire societies? This workshop will start with land reform in Scotland and West Papua as its case studies.

Workshop 4:
Beth Collier (Conservatory, Snape Bridge House)
Nature based Psychotherapy
This session will be held in our beautiful natural surrounds where Beth will introduce Nature based Psychotherapy as a modality for ongoing client work. In addition to exploring our human relationships, Nature based Psychotherapy help us to discover our relationship with nature. Nature is a significant other in our lives, able to offer the core conditions of a primary care giver and therefore positive attachment, being truly a mother. Through experientials we will explore our intimate relationship with nature as a means of grounding ourselves as therapists to hold others safely. We will consider our formative experiences of nature, and family/cultural associations about spending time in nature; and how this impacts our lifelong relationship with the eco-system in which we live.

Evening programme

17.15   Chris Packham in dialogue with Paul Maiteny (Britten Studio)

Ecologist and psychotherapist Paul Maiteny asks naturalist Chris Packham if we can achieve a different kind of thinking about the place of our species within the ecosystem. How do we reconcile our scientific knowledge about climate change, and awareness of the rapid rate of species extinctions with our own behaviour? Could we harness the human capacity for altruism, restraint and care? And what form would that take?
18.15   Supper - provided (Concert Hall Restaurant)
19.30   Chris Packham - public lecture (Britten Studio)

We're presiding over an ecological apocalypse and need to take action now
"Our generation is presiding over an ecological apocalypse and we've somehow or other normalised it. We need a peaceful public uprising. We need people to say we've had enough. We do that every time there's a terror attack. We need a similar movement for nature." (The Guardian, 11 June 2018)

Chris Packham

Naturalist and campaigner Chris Packham offers a naturalist's perspective on the place of the human species within the eco-system and asks: Can we transcend our destructive behaviour? And what would a sustainable future for Earth look like? To book this talk only £25 >>
20.30   Discussion
21.00   End of day
Saturday 10 November 2018

09.00   James Barrett (Jerwood Kiln)

Social dreaming matrix
10.00   Dr Mick Collins (Britten Studio)

The "Spirit of the Depths" and the Transformocene age
It is not an understatement to say that our modern Western lifestyles (now being adopted by many non-Western cultures) are out-dated and outmoded. We only have to look at the pressures we are placing on the Earth's resources to see that our insatiable appetites are causing untold damage to eco-systems. We have been treating the Earth's resources as a commodity, and we appear to have lost a sacred relationship to nature. To be sustainable it is clear that humanity needs to do more in terms of our outer adaptations, such as reducing carbon emissions, using more renewable energy and recycling etc. But, in order to live more harmoniously with other species and nature, we also need to do more in terms of our inner adaptations, such as increasing our awareness and raising our consciousness so that we can activate our human potential to co-create an improved future.
10.40   Amrita Bhohi (Britten Studio)

The new economics, spiritual ecology and enlivenement
This presentation will explore the emergence of new ways of organising our collective needs that are rooted in values that honour life: ecological sustainability, economic equality and resilience. In searching for such models, Amrita discovered many people pioneering alternatives to the capitalist system, with new models of enterprise, money and food systems and ownership models, showing that alternatives are not only possible but already flourish. During her studies she arrived at some unexpected realisations which drew her attention to something deeper. She discovered that while economics is powerful as an organising principle for society, we are governed by something even more powerful - the collective story. She came upon the term 'enlivenment' which resonated for her as articulating the urgent need to renew a relationship with life, with the interconnected and sacred nature of all existence, and she will tell us about this journey.
11.15   Coffee and registration for optional workshops
11.45   Professor Tim Jackson (Britten Studio)

A post-growth society for a finite planet?
Every society has a cultural myth by which it lives. Ours is the myth of economic growth. One of the roles of cultural myth is to furnish us with a sense of meaning and provide continuity in our lives. At the heart of Tim Jackson's work is the call for a new vision for the economy of tomorrow which might be 'fit for purpose' on a finite planet. Two critical challenges emerge from this approach. One is macro-economic: to ensure economic and social stability by providing decent livelihoods for people. The other is social: to arrive at a credible new narrative, capable of providing our lives with deeper meaning, in a way that both replaces and improves upon the dysfunctional myth of endless growth. Tim will argue that recent research to address these challenges offers pragmatic and meaningful avenues of change: a genuine hope for a lasting prosperity.
13.30   Lunch break (self-service at venue)
15:00 - 17:30   Workshops

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

Workshop 1:
Marion Green & Jane Ryan day 2 (Tack room)
This beautiful historic setting will provide us with a wonderful variety of found objects; mud, sand, driftwood, grasses, stones, natural colours, ochres... perhaps some litter. Each one holds an invitation to know it and to respond to it. Making art and writing brings the outer experience to something deeply personal. We invite you to breathe in, walk, collect, to discover what happens "when nature speaks to the soul and the soul speaks to nature face to face" (Goethe). Jane and Marion will be available for anyone who would like to talk about their projects.

Workshop 2:
Paul Maiteny: A curious saunter - how does Life fit together, visibly & invisibly? Where do you fit in? (Jerwood Kiln)
"In nature the soul finds its life's demand. For seers, nature makes a living picture which at every moment reveals a new secret, a new mystery to their hearts. They are inspired every moment of life by constantly reading and understanding the holy script of nature. There is one Holy Book, the sacred manuscript of nature. All other sacred books of the world are interpretations of this book"
Sufi Inayat Khan

This workshop will be a 2-in-1. We will start with a sauntering walk along the river Alde as the sun sets, then spend an hour so indoors considering what has revealed itself to us. The outdoor part will combine curiosity about 3 dimensions: the outer visible habitats, birds, sounds, colours, smells...; the invisible ecological dynamics and relatedness of habitat and community...; and your inner habitat of experiences, atmospheres, smells, sensory and emotional responses, and what all these are 'saying' to you. The 'wow factors'.

With dusk, we will bring the nature within you into the human-created habitat. In the Kiln, we do some alchemy, 'simmering' our experience to deepen the meaning prompted in us. What subtle messages or calls of nature do you hear about where you fit in the ecosystem, your personal place and purpose as a member of the more-than-human planet? What do you depend on for life, outer and inner? How do you live this out 'in the everyday'? How satisfying is your current style-of-life? What dilemmas & excitements does this pose for you?

The church at Iken (Icanhóh) is dedicated to St Botwulf. He built a monastery here in 654 AD so, we are told, starting the Benedictine Order in England. He died here. It was here he experienced the equivalent of the lonely, desert-like places of the early hermits in Egypt, which he sought for his Minster. Centuries later, Daniel Defoe described these 'Sandlings' as England's desert. The Benedictines later developed a method they call Lectio Divina (Divine Reading). We will be doing something similar during this workshop.

Workshop 3:
Dr Mick Collins (Britten Studio)
The Rise of the Transformocene Generation
In this time of global crisis, how will humanity co-create a shift in collective consciousness, which recognises life's interconnectedness and wholeness? We have now arrived at a collective growing edge, which could move us beyond individualism and consumerism. In this way, 'planetary citizens' are more likely to emerge when our awareness, attitudes and actions are connected to a wider transpersonal-ecological reality. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to use practical exercises that explore the dynamic relationship between active imagination (as inner work) and imaginative action (as outer work). The interface between our 'dreaming mind' and an evolutionary 'transformational unfolding' is where we align with the inspiration and wisdom that emerges from the Spirit of the Depths. These revelations will be explored in relation to the rise of the Transformocene generation.

Workshop 4:
Teresa Belton (Conservatory, Snape Bridge House)
The Non-material Nature of Wellbeing
A vital aspect of forging a path to a more promising future for people and all life on Earth is the simple but crucial realisation that, with basic material needs met, personal wellbeing is generated and sustained not by material consumption but by a wide range of conditions and circumstances that could be termed non-material assets. The development of these advantages needs active support. In this workshop we will consider the range of personal qualities and capacities which best enable individuals to derive fulfilment and satisfaction from life and contribute to the building of a thriving society. We will also think about how the nurture of such qualities and capacities can be actively supported for all, and how the understanding of the largely non-material nature of wellbeing can become embedded in society.

17.30   End of workshops

18.00   Street food party (Hoffmann Building Foyer)

19.00   Live music from folk duo Honey and the Bear
22.00   End of day

Sunday 11 November 2018

09.30   James Barrett (Jerwood Kiln)

Social dreaming matrix
10.30   Judith Anderson interviews the author and nature writer Melissa Harrison (Britten Studio)

Melissa Harrison is a novelist and nature writer whose third novel, All Among the Barley, will be published this year. Her second, At Hawthorn Time, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year award. As well as writing fiction, she writes a monthly Nature Notebook column in The Times. She delivered one of the inaugural Coleridge Lectures as part of Bristol's Festival of Ideas, spoke about landscape and Englishness at The Southbank's Changing Britain festival, and has appeared at the Hay Festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, on numerous BBC radio programmes, and on Springwatch and Springwatch Unsprung on BBC2. Melissa won the John Muir Trust's 'Wild Writing' Award in 2010. How does she give meaning to our environmental challenges?
11.15   Coffee
11.45   Mary-Jayne Rust (Britten Studio)

Restoring our relationship with the Earth: can Ecopsychology change our mindset?
What does it mean to grow and tend our relationship with the earth? To change one's understanding of our position in the ecosystem? Mary-Jayne will share some reflections from her own journey which, she will describe, has meandered through explorations of cultural attitudes towards Nature, the meaning of reciprocity as well as healing cultural wounds, including consumerism. At the heart of this is spending time on the land which can challenge our current worldview. What for her began as a psychological exploration has become a spiritual path - which perhaps the darkness of our times demands?
12.45   Paul Maiteny (Britten Studio)

Ecologically Embodied Living
This talk will consider how the human psyche is an embedded part of the ecosystem in ways that are not immediately apparent. Planet Earth, home (ecos) of all species, can be understood as a living, embodied manifestation of our origin, whatever name we may give this - Big-Bang, Divine Spark, Stardust, God - evolving over billions of years of increasing diversity of species and complexity of relatedness. We humans have the possibility of really knowing that we have emerged from, are participants in, and are dependent on this extraordinary context. Deep listening to what heartfelt conscience might be telling us about our personal and collective place and ecological niche can inform real meaningfulness in life. In so doing, we can also play a part in sustaining the ecosystem and in planet Earth consciously knowing itself. However, we can, instead, choose to continue using the Earth merely as a resource, just for ourselves - the cause of today's ecocidal destruction. This basic choice is not new and we have been trying to communicate it to ourselves via trans-personal wisdom traditions for a very long time. This talk will consider how deepening ecological crisis is symptomatic of our failure to listen to this, and now makes it an imperative that we do so at last, for both collective survival and a deeper sense of meaningfulness in life.
13.45   Closing ceremony
14.00   Lunch - provided (Concert Hall Restaurant)
End of conference

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Please read our booking conditions before making your booking

Fees include all talks, workshops, entertainment, 3 suppers and Sunday lunch

Self-funded: £245 (SOLD OUT)
Self-funded x 2: £360 (SOLD OUT)
Organisationally-funded: £400 (SOLD OUT)
Under 25's: £100 (SOLD OUT)
Chris Packham (only) Friday at 19.30hrs: £25 (SOLD OUT)
CPD Hours

Certificates of attendance for 20 hours will be provided at the event

The Hoffmann Building
Snape Maltings
IP17 1SP

17:00 Registration
18.00 Supper
21:00 End of evening

09.00 Start
18.15 Supper
21.00 End of day

09.00 Start
17.30 End of workshops
18.00 Street food party
19.00 Live music from folk duo Honey and the Bear
20.00 End of day

09.30 Start
13.45 Closing ceremony
14:00 Lunch
End of conference