Blogs and News

Using Sand & Objects in Therapy

Working with objects, characters without sand – anything can be used. We also looked at nesting dolls and myself and other counsellors tool kit regulars; Knapmans Drama Triangle and Transactional Analysis’s Parent Adult Child (PAC).

After a usual check in and group agreement, everyone appeared to be ready to begin. There was a lovely mix of two different diploma groups and from the outset they immersed themselves into experiential learning. We began by using objects to identify how they were all feeling at the time and the results brought up some very interesting patterns of human and individual behaviours. It was at this point that I knew it was going to be a fabulous day. We spent time exploring the use of nesting dolls as the possibilities are quite vast. Everyone began to share their own experience and how they might use some of the objects – it was a wonderful mix of sharing and learning – for me too!

The rest of the morning was spent working in pairs utilising all the wonderful pieces in college. I must admit that our lovely tutor Jan Finn lent me some incredibly interesting objects that the group readily embraced; a glass house, rainbow and wooden triangle were amongst the items kindly loaned.

After a short lunch, we continued with exploring the Drama Triangle and PAC. Whilst doing this I had my own personal revelation about a current personal dilemma I was dealing with. We used this as an example, so we all learned from the experience and I was able to put into action my reflections of our exploration and sorted things out.

It was a lovely open and honest experience with everyone ‘trying out’ and ‘testing’ skills and experience. It was a fabulous day overall, one I hope to repeat in time.  Henri Treece – Trainer

Working in the Here and Now
Developing the communication of immediacy, metaphor and spontaneously evoked imagery to add further depth to your counselling. Julie Wyman – Trainer

The ‘here and now’ day was such an opportunity to delve a bit deeper into powerful interventions that raise awareness in my clients and in myself as a counsellor. I sometimes find counselling concepts and interventions to be a bit of a mystery until I read something or have chance to ruminate until the penny drops and understanding to whatever degree appears. 

I went home considering that working with what came into a client’s awareness in the here and now was at the right place in a client’s process. If this is so, then I can be braver in trusting that what is coming up in myself when I am with a client is appropriate and timely. A line of a poem led into a communal exploration of the phenomena of awareness bringing change in other facets of a client’s world. In considering various ways of encouraging awareness in clients and in ourselves, we discussed how the therapist bringing what they sense is happening out into the open can feel exposing for both parties. We were able to explore together the associated fear that comes with what could feel like potential for conflict.

The day was both fun and developmental. It has inspired me in my journaling around working in the immediate moment, and led to further experimenting in client sessions. Work, fun and great cake!! A wonderful day with wonderful people. Fiona Eaton – course attendee.

Working in Nature
A Brief Introduction to Walk and Talk Therapy

The Working in Nature day was a day of two equally engaging and enjoyable halves. We started the day inside college, cocooned with one eye on the weather as we examined and explored the differences between room-based counselling and ecotherapy. As the rain fell outside, we considered how the added dynamic of moving through a landscape provided an ever-changing backdrop to the therapeutic process; how we manage the boundaries to keep our clients safe – including contracting, insurance, risk assessments and what to do when approached by a wet dog. 

After lunch we started the experiential element of the day – leaving the bubble of college and walking through the town, bringing our awareness to sounds, smells and sights of the manmade environment. We walked to a park, through the woods, noticing the changes (traffic noise replaced by the sound of the river, linear structures replaced by the tangle of branches). We walked, we talked and we stopped to notice the world around us and our place in the environment – and, yes, we did hug a tree! 

I just want to say a big thank you to those who took part in the day, you jumped in with both feet!  Simon Heath – Trainer

Accessing the child inside your grown up self
Using creative exercises to embrace and nurture your inner child. Claire Goss – Trainer

I wanted to send you a big thank you for Saturday’s Inner Child workshop. It was a full schedule and emotionally tough, but very safe, and so worthwhile. I felt held and supported throughout and that everything was an invitation whatever I chose to do/share was exactly that, my choice. 

You managed the time so well, Claire, allowing us time to reflect and share but keeping us all moving into the next exercise. It was so valuable to actually experience all the different exercises and the different ways they impacted me, and so important to have experienced them before offering them to a client. Attending your Inner Child workshop has definitely helped me grow, both personally and professionally. Alison Terry – course attendee.