Our Background Vision
This text is written as a consequence of a recent three way discussion with Colin Lago, Fabienne Chazeaux and John Wilson. In that discussion we were exploring many ideas connected to the facilitation of group work and individual therapy, ideas that had, at their centre, the optimisation, development and maintenance of colleagues’ aspirations and movements towards their own authenticity. This vision implicitly and explicitly contains a deep valuing of each person’s interests, motivations, beliefs and capacities.
Absolutely consistent with Rogers’ original ideas on authenticity and congruence, we acknowledged and respected the richness and complexity of diversity between persons; in effect we were celebrating the idiosyncratic and unique within each of us. Our conversation led us on to express a deep valuing and acceptance of the co-existence of multiple realities in our world.
People express their uniqueness in many ways. This is everyday reality. Within the therapeutic space, like Rogers, we believe the congruent therapist/ group facilitator is experienced as more trustworthy than the therapist ‘playing a role’. Indeed, there was some research that was conducted some years ago in the University of Sheffield psychotherapy research unit that indicated that the more a therapist was operating comfortably within what and how they were practising; they were more successful in their work with clients. This generalised finding suggests that the closer the fit between a therapist’s personal philosophy, theoretical stance and their behaviour in practice then it is more likely that their work with clients is more successful.
Such a perspective inevitably carries huge implications for the training process. Whilst some colleagues chose their training course based upon its particular theoretical position, many others will have just attended the most convenient counselling/psychotherapy course to them, (geographically close, lower fees, convenient timings for coursework, etc). The theoretical stance of the course could easily have been a secondary concern or perhaps not even understood by the enrolling student. One outcome of such a scenario is that therapy students might end up as qualified therapists, but not necessarily practising in a manner completely consistent with their values and philosophy. Once qualified, and in the early years of professional practice, those therapists might begin to experiment with how they do their work with clients, following their internal (developmental) tendencies whilst simultaneously feeling a lack of confidence in their practice for fear of judgement from peers and supervisors.
Colin remembers attending a workshop facilitated by Elke Lambers. The workshop focussed on the extent to which we associated ourselves with Rogers’ three relational conditions- u.p.r, empathy and congruence. We were asked, within the workshop, ‘which of Rogers’ concepts are you most comfortable with?’ Most interestingly, the group was almost split down the middle with approximately 50% realising they were more comfortable in being empathic, responding with understanding to others, (rather than speaking from their own perspective) whilst the other half felt more able to be themselves completely (and they acknowledged they were sometimes less than optimally empathic.) Of course, this is such a crude splitting of the elements related to empathy and congruence. Nevertheless this core invitation to us to explore these issues enabled the emergence of participants’ felt sensing in response to these dimensions. In short, from a personally meaningful perspective, some of us felt more comfortable in responding from our empathic frame whilst others felt more comfortable being themselves.
We are aware of different colleagues over the years who have spearheaded new ideas and developments within their work, eventually writing and running workshops and courses incorporating these ideas. However, a sad side product of initiating such new elements has often been a critique from established ‘old hands’ (For example: ‘this is not truly Person Centred/ or Psychodynamic or…..’). Nevertheless, their apparently radical new ideas or emphases eventually found popularity with others in the profession with, over time, a more generalised shift towards these new ways becoming accepted.
Within such an evolutionary process, however, the person daring to launch their idea beyond the immediate confines of their therapy room or group work, onto the wider world through publication or training, is exposed to not only the negative attitudes of many colleagues but also suffers their own internal doubts, frequently leading to loss of self-confidence and worse.
Whilst obviously none of us can magically wipe away some of these interpersonally difficult processes that can emerge through authentic sharing, our resultant vision arising from our original discussion (referred to above) was the idea of offering from one up to a series of exploratory sessions for colleagues to explore how they might choose to develop their own authentic capacities, ways of being and ideas.
The envisaged structure for continuing authentic personal development.
Our wish and intention, then, is to offer a series of up to 6 x three- hour sessions, conducted online in an experiential workshop. Participants may choose to attend just one such session or opt in for the complete sequence.
The opportunity will be to join with others in exploring and discussing your further development towards authenticity, your aspirations and goals, and the blocks towards that development. These elements might range from within your own sense of personal development right through to daring to share new developments you have evolved in your therapeutic and group work.
The online workshop will be conducted through the medium of ‘zoom’, and participants will have the opportunity to receive some coaching in how this medium works.
Temenos has recently been developing these experiential online workshops (which facilitate small and large group work) and have just had a paper discussing these accepted for publication in a peer reviewed international journal. There are some clear benefits to individual participants in using this online resource that include: cheaper costs for CPD, enhanced convenience (you can study and participate from home) and thus geographical distance is not a challenge, (which frequently incurs additional costs of hotel and travel).
Dates and Cost
The cost of the workshops will be £75.00 GBP per session or £450.00 for all 6 sessions.
The workshops will be scheduled from 10am till 1pm UK Time on the following dates
Thursday 9th January 2020
Thursday 6th February 2020
Thursday 12th March 2020
Thursday 16th April 2020
Thursday 14th May 2020
11th June 2020