Counselling Workshops

We our proud to offer a series of Counselling Workshops for complementary practitioners and existing counsellors,  facilitated by Paula Fenn

Foundations of Therapeutic Counselling
1st October 2017

This stand alone workshop is the first in a series of five counselling workshops which are facilitated at Earthworks School for the Healing Arts. In this full day workshop we will be exploring the key facets which underpin therapeutic practice including:

  • The definition and goals of counselling.
  • The importance of the therapeutic relationship.
  • Therapeutic empathy.
  • Qualities of effective counsellors.
  • Techniques of counselling: attending behaviours and the use of questions.
  • An overview of observational awareness.
  • Discussion about how people experience reality, including Freud’s topographical model, conscious and unconscious, sensate and emotional.
  • Exploration of the realms of holding and containment.
  • The importance and review of professional boundaries and ethics.

This workshop is appropriate for counsellors and therapists of all levels of experience, and all types of holistic practitioners. This workshop can be used as an educative practice, a tool for self-reflection about current practice and ongoing professional development. It is also aimed towards practitioners in other fields such as hypnotherapy, healing and social work who can gain insight from attending this workshop.


Foundations of Therapeutic Counselling part 2
12th November 2017

Experiential/Skills Workshop

Spirituality in the Consulting Room
11th February 2018
Given the current upsurge of interest in spiritual matters and the transpersonal, it is of special concern to counsellors, therapists and holistic practitioners to equip themselves as fully as possible with valuable knowledge pertaining to the intersect of spirituality and therapeutic support. In this one day workshop we will address current documentation and guidance released by the BACP Spirituality Division regarding necessary spiritual competencies required of the practitioner and ways to support the spiritual needs of clients. In addition we will discuss and enhance understanding by addressing the following:

  • Definitions of spirituality and research into this aspect of human life
  • Explore reasons for “The spirituality revolution”
  • Consideration of the spiritual dimension in practice including explicit and implicit presentations of this phenomenon
  • Review of the oscillation model of psychology/soul, therapy/accompaniment
  • Consider a range of ‘alternative’ aspects of the transpersonal entering the consulting room – such as near death experiences, spirits and synchronicity
  • Case examples will be provided throughout to enrich understanding of spirituality and how to work with spiritual presentations in the consulting room.

Transference, Countertransference and Attachment Implications upon Therapeutic Practice
25th March 2018
In this full day workshop we will address the psychoanalytic concepts of transference and counter-transference from a practical, clinical perspective. These complex terms will be brought to life with extensive case material in order to assist practitioners and students to reach a greater understanding of their meanings and how their manifestations can both contribute to, and detract from, the therapeutic relationship and the clients healing. In order to fully embrace the term ‘transference’, in the morning session we will be looking at attachment styles from an early childhood perspective (including The Strange Situation) and adulthood, in order to comprehend particular transference dynamics within the therapeutic context.Counter-transference reactions present their own particular dilemmas and their is much confusion in theoretical terms regarding their therapeutic usage. I will be exploring this concept in terms of its beneficent usage in the therapeutic space. Particular focus will be given to Wounded Healer connotations, and concordant, complementary and embodied counter-transferences. Energetic thinking will also be addressed in terms of how both parties are affected within the intersect where both client and therapist resonate. This workshop is pertinent for clients who wish to gain an understanding of their style of relating, and is especially useful to practitioners who are interested in the deeper relational components of client work.

Dreams and the Symbolic Dimension
6th May 2018
In this full day workshop we will explore the meaning and use of symbols and the symbolisation process, and enter the symbolic territory of the dream. Dreams are meaning laden events and understanding how to analyse them is useful not only within your practice but also in terms of your own self realisation.Many clinicians generally associate symbols with Jungian practice and theory but symbolisation itself, and the therapeutic engagement with symbols, is manifest in all therapeutic work. Even transforming an emotion into a word is a symbolising process as is a client turning thoughts into narrative and sharing them with their therapist. Essentially we live in a symbolic world and we are co-creators in this as we layer and apply meaning to the world of image around us. In this interesting workshop we will open up the mind to the magnificent realm of symbols and how they create and contain personal meaning and how they can we worked with in a client context. We will specifically focus on the definition of symbols, the meaning laden quality of symbolisation, and dream analysis and interpretation. In this class we will also look at the meanings held within the tarot and how clients can project and resonate with the stylised symbols. Please bring a symbol with you to the class which has personal meaning for you!

Grief and Loss in Clinical Practice
17th June 2018

In this one day workshop we will be exploring a variety of dimensions of grief and loss. This includes not only considerations of how death affects people, and how to assess whether clients’ presentations of bereavement can be assessed as ‘normal’ or ‘complicated’, but also how there are a range of other losses which can have moderate or severe effects upon clients. Essentially, loss is pervasive throughout life and takes many forms. We will travel through these many dimensions of loss and give consideration to deprivation losses, assumptive world losses, tangible losses and developmental losses. Significant deaths can create a range of emotional, behavioural and cognitive manifestations and in this workshop we will reflect upon these aspects and how they present in clinical practice. From the standpoint of the practitioner we will give consideration to the role of what Worden terms ‘The Mediators of Mourning’ and further explore his, and other, ‘Models of Mourning’. In addition to the above we will open up the realm of how grief affects the energy body and can become encoded within the mind-body. In this new territory you will learn alternative ways to give consideration to the impact of loss upon your clients and your self, whilst also learning new ways to address the dense blockages which can be created.This workshop will not only consolidate attendee’s prior knowledge of Grief Work but will also expand your awareness of contemporary styles of thinking and working in this field. In addition it will provide room for self reflection upon your own wounds and how they can potentially be catalysed in positive and negative ways in the therapeutic and transferential dyad. This workshop is recommended for counsellors, therapists, alternative practitioners and also non practicing individuals who wish to explore the very human condition of grief and loss on a continuum of experience.

All workshops are repeated on a yearly basis. The first workshop, Foundations of Therapeutic Counselling, presents the basics that are now a requirement for qualification in complementary therapy training, and is suitable for all practitioners, including students who must demonstrate this training before full qualification. Basic counselling skills (or “listening skills”) are essential to help you understand and deal sensitively and compassionately with clients, especially when they have experienced crisis or trauma.

Other workshops are devised to offer practical understanding of some of the more difficult situations that come up in practice, and are suitable CPD training for all existing practitioners, therapists and counsellors. CPD certificates are available on request.

Fees: Workshops are £60 each; £300 (£60 savings) when you sign up for all 6 workshops
Duration: 10 am – 5 pm
Venue: Earthworks at Rebel Angel, 158 Avoncliff, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire BA15 2HB

Paula Fenn is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and counsellor, with a clinical and personal interest in spirituality, theology, philosophy and healing. She is the author of ‘The therapeutic encounter with spiritual symbols: A phenomenological study of clinicians’ experiences with spiritually meaningful symbolic language and imagery’.

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