Being Present with Suffering


Saturday 23 November 2019 - London

A one-day seminar led by Nigel Wellings and Elizabeth Wilde McCormick

There is something about everything that makes it not quite satisfactory. Even things we really love are spoilt by not being quite enough or – the opposite – going on too long. People entering psychotherapy want to feel better – more authoritative, less anxious or depressed, more whole – and although it can help, an enormous amount of difficult and painful emotions continue to arise. After years and years of therapy many of us feel as mad as ever. There is no ‘happy ever after’. This all begs the question; what is the place of suffering in human experience and how best can we be with it?




Registration and coffee

Nigel Wellings
Suffering, Buddhist and psychotherapy
One of the more pervasive symptoms of our discontent is the experience of emptiness and yet the same word is used in Buddhism to describe its deepest and most transformative truth. Apparently polar opposites, could these two understandings of emptiness – psychotherapeutic and the Buddha’s Dharma – shed a deeper, more realistic light on the inevitability of suffering and how we best accommodate this?


Elizabeth Wilde McCormick
Suffering in Loss and Bereavement
This presentation will explore the value of different cultural and therapeutic approaches to bereavement with attention to ways in which this challenging human experience, common to us all, may be supported rather than over-medicalised or limited by unmanageable goals. Bereavement can become a rite of passage where life and death, darkness and light are experienced within the safe embrace of unconditional friendliness.


(Choose a workshop on arrival:)

Workshop A: Experiential Workshop with Nigel Wellings
Being present with Suffering within the Body
“How can I be with my destructive emotional reactions? Left to their own devises I end up either swamped or trying to swallow things down.” Here we have a third way – up-close and mindful. Fully present with the sensations of emotions felt in the body as they peak and wane. And there is one step more. Thoughts and emotions, like clouds, arise within the sky of spacious awareness. Can we shift our sense of location into awareness itself and the freedom this implies?

Workshop B: Experiential Workshop with Elizabeth McCormick
Mindfulness and Inner Dialogue
This experiential workshop will draw on the understanding of our embeddedness in a web of relationship and the description from Cognitive Analytic Therapy of reciprocal roles. Participants will be invited to practice a reflective, non judgmental way of being with learned patterns of responses in relationship, inner and outer, so that a new more spacious and compassionate dance of relationship may begin.


Plenary with Q&A




Handouts and lunch included

Early bird:
£100 (SOLD OUT)

£120 (SOLD OUT)

Self-funded x 2:
£200 (SOLD OUT)

£200 (SOLD OUT)

Psychotherapy trainee:
£80 (SOLD OUT)


Certificates of attendance for 6 hours will be provided at the event


8 All Saints Street
N1 9RL


09.30 Registration and coffee
10:00 Start
11:15 Coffee
13:00 Lunch break
15:45 Tea
17:00 End


Regrettably, refunds cannot be given in any circumstances except as follows:

  • You cancel in writing to 60 days before the first date of the event you have booked, in which case you will be entitled to a 100% refund.
  • You cancel in writing to 30 days before the first date of the event you have booked, in which case you will be entitled to a 50% refund.

This does not apply to parts of an event such as a seminar within a series but only to a whole event or complete series. You may give your place to another person if you let us know that person's name at least 24 hours before the event begins.

We reserve the right to change a speaker at one of our conferences without offering a refund. However, if a solo presenter cancels we will offer a full refund OR transfer of your fee to another Confer event. If the entire event is cancelled we will offer you a full refund.

We reserve the right to change our prices at any time. Regrettably, discounts offered after you made your booking cannot be claimed or applied retrospectively.