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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships
Psychotherapy and the Natural World

Exploring the other-than-human in the process of therapeutic healing and discovery

Friday 31 August - Sunday 2 September 2018 - Ireland

So much psychotherapy takes place within the confines of a consulting room. But what happens when therapy takes place in a natural setting - or when the natural world is invited into the narrative of self and other? This conference brings together the practices of ecology and psychotherapy to illustrate how engagement with nature is a powerful transformative tool, both in itself and - potentially - when integrated into any therapeutic approach.

This conference rests on the principle that by seeing ourselves as part of the biosphere, rather than above or beyond it, we can begin to return to a relationship with the natural conditions that once provided us with the core of our psychological, spiritual and cultural sustenance. We suggest that our rapid withdrawal from nature is the source of damaging alienation from a part of ourselves and the inherent context of our lives. Our presenters will propose that the biological and ecological field of being is always somewhere present in the relationship and, when embraced through ecologically-aware therapeutic modalities, profound transformation of emotional states can occur.


Dr Sharon Blackie
Dr Sharon Blackie is an award-winning writer of fiction and nonfiction. She has a PhD in behavioural neuroscience from the University of London, and an MA in Literature/Creative Writing; she is currently completing an MA in Celtic Studies at the University of Wales Trinity St David. Whilst in private practice, she specialised in narrative psychology, working with myth and story to achieve personal transformation in her clients... More >>

Robbie Breadon
Robbie's passion for nature began in childhood on a farm in Co Fermanagh. He later studied microbiology at Queen's University Belfast and went on to do a PhD in molecular microbiology. He then jumped ship, became an acupuncturist and has been working in complementary health for 30 years. This has taken in him into Chinese Medicine (practice and education), clinic management, humanistic psychotherapy, and in the past decade ecopsychology and ecotherapy. Robbie has taken his bodywork and psychotherapy practices into private, corporate and UK-NHS settings... More >>

Dearbhail Conlon
Dearbhail qualified with class honours MA in Art Therapy in 2010. She also holds a BA in Fine Art and a BA (Hons) in Media Production. She has lived and studied with the Ehama people (metis American Indian wisdom keepers) whilst studying the ways and traditions of the Native American medicine wheel. She has also trained with Amantha Murphy in the ways of pre-Celtic shamanism. Her work combines weaving together ancient and intuitive wisdom with the academic world of knowledge and reason... More >>

Patricia Fitzgerald
Dublin Mandala artist and author Patricia Fitzgerald is passionate about the healing potential of Mandala. She has used it as a tool of transformation and healing in her own life and her mission now is to share the power of this profound creative tool with others. She studied Visual Education and Communication at Dún Laoghaire College of Art & Design and holds an honours degree in Philosophy and Sociology from UCD... More >>

Joanne Hanrahan
Joanne Hanrahan is an IAHIP accredited Psychotherapist working in private practice in Co. Clare. She completed her psychotherapy training and MSc with Turning Point Institute and Dublin City University (DCU). Living by the sea on Ireland's west coast, Joanne's awareness of the therapeutic value of nature in terms of her own psychological process inspired her choice of research topic... More >>

Andy Hardie
Andy Hardie is a Therapist registered with the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP). Additionally he is an Accredited Practitioner of the Institute for Outdoor Learning, and trainee member of the British Psychoanalytic Council, approaching registration as an Organisational Therapist. His primary role is as Operations Manager and Lead Therapist with the Venture Mor Wilderness Therapy programme in Scotland... More >>

Matthew Henson
Matthew Henson is an existential psychotherapist (IAHIP and UKCP registered), ecopsychologist, group facilitator and psychotherapy trainer, qualified in each of those areas. He currently run's private psychotherapy, ecopsychology and freelance training practices based in Kinsale, working both indoors and outside to (re)locate psychotherapy within the other-than-human (natural) world... More >>

Katarina Horrox
Katarina Horrox is an Art Therapist based in Barcelona, professionally registered with Asociacion Profesional Espanola de Arteterapeutas. She is approaching registration as an Organisational Therapist and is a trainee member of the British Psychoanalytic Council. She has worked in therapeutic roles in secure, institutional and community settings in several countries... More >>

Therese O'Driscoll
Therese O'Driscoll is an experienced psychotherapist, supervisor and movement practitioner living and working from her rural garden/cabin studio in Sligo. She has been integrating embodied and embedded practices into her work for many years. In 2014 she completed her Masters in Supervision and was awarded the Michael Carroll award for excellence for her portfolio on Eco Supervision -embodied, embedded, emergence in supervision... More >>

Mary-Jayne Rust
Mary-Jayne Rust is an art therapist and Jungian analyst. In the early 1990's two journeys to the traditional culture of Ladakh alerted her to the seriousness of the ecological crisis and its spiritual roots. Alongside her private practice she writes, lectures and facilitates workshops in the field of ecopsychology - an inquiry into the psychological and spiritual dimensions of our relationship with the earth... More >>


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Please read our booking conditions before making your booking

Fees include all talks, workshops, refreshments, supper on Friday and Saturday, and evening entertainment. B&B and lunches are not included but can be purchased at the venue

Self-funded: £230
Self-funded x 2: £410
Organisationally-funded: £350
Under 25's: £100
CPD Hours

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

The Glendalough Hotel
Co. Wicklow
Public transport

We are providing a minibus to take participants from Bray dart station to Glendalough Hotel.

Dart trains travel regularly from both Dublin-Connolly and Dublin-Pearse stations.

5 Euros per journey, to be paid to our team at the event.

Friday 31 August: Coach pick-up from Bray dart station at 17.30hrs.
Saturday 1 September: Coach pick-up from Bray dart station at 09.00hrs.

Sunday 2 September: Coach pick-up from Glendalough Hotel at 17.30hrs for transfer to Bray dart station.

18.00 Registration and welcome evening
19:00 Meal, open fire, local music

09.30 Start
17.30 End
19.00 Supper, open fire, music

10.00 Start
17.00 End
Accommodation options

Early booking is advised