Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Free Downloads!

If you'd like some CBT worksheets, formulations and self-help resources then this is your lucky day - there's a whole stack of them available for download here. In fact, if you explore further on that site you'll find it's an absolute treasure trove!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Robin Shohet and the 7 Eyed Model of Supervision - Online!

This looks like a brilliant offer - I'll reproduce the email I've received in full  -

Ahead of the 3 day intensive Supervision training course that Robin Shohet is delivering in Edinburgh, 22-24th February 2013 (click here for details), Robin is very generously holding a free 1 day seminar on the 7 Eyed Model of Supervision.

The day will consist of three 90 minute slots where Robin will teach the model and engage in interactive dialogue with the audience.

There are 60 spaces available at the venue in Edinburgh and an unlimited capacity for online viewers. Robin is particularly excited about the prospect of being in dialogue with as many practitioners as possible and will make good use of the chat room facility to respond to comments and questions from an international audience.

There is no charge to attend the seminar at the venue or to participate online. This is a unique opportunity to see Robin present his model of Supervision and to get a taster of his upcoming training in Edinburgh.

Click here for more details and a booking form.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dramatherapy Workshop

This looks interesting -

"Experience a day of movement, play and story enactment, exploring the arctic myth of Akanidi ‘daughter of the Sun, bringer of joy and happiness.’ This workshop is experiential and employs the use of movement, sound, play, and enactment to explore what the story of Akanidi means for us. If you have an interest in finding out more about yourself in a creative way, then this workshop is for you.

Whether you have no experience with drama and movement, a little or a lot this is an opportunity to explore the unique Sesame Approach to working therapeutically in a playful way. It gives space for spontaneity, communication and self expression. The aim is to build confidence and self-esteem
and emphasizes wholeness through creativity.

Please wear clothes comfortable for movement. Teas, coffee, biscuits and water will be provided.
You are invited to bring food and share lunch as a group. Or, if you prefer, there are many cafes, restaurants and shops nearby."

Takes place in Cardiff on 2nd February 2012

Further Details -

Melanie Beer: 07791455 282 e-mail:
Mandy Squires: 01633 864 448 e-mail:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Another new release- "Thought for Food"

This is Counselling DVDs' second new release this month, this time featuring Jan Gray. "Thought for Food" is a double DVD - with a running time of over three hours -  in which Jan talks about her approach to working with clients experiencing difficulties around weight control, and in which she demonstrates that approach with three counselling sessions. You can find more details on the Counselling DVDs website.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Placement Opportunity!

Newport University would like to provide a number of volunteering opportunities for both qualified counsellors/therapists and supervisors at its NUCCS service alongside an experienced team of counsellors, therapists, supervisors and researchers. The service combines a counselling provision with research activities around counselling practice and the delivery of counselling to specific client groups.

If you are experienced in particularly with carers, asylum seekers and refugees, BME communities, or travellers and gypsies, this opportunity may be for you. The service provides supervision for all its volunteers and invests heavily into volunteer training. For more information please see the attached word document or contact Blanka Hubena (Service Manager) on or contact the Service Administrator Davron Hodson on

Friday, November 9, 2012

New Release - Making the most of Supervision

Counselling DVDs is pleased to be releasing it's latest DVD - double DVD, in fact - today! Entitled "Making the Most of Supervision", this features Lesley Spencer and Els van Ooijen, both of whom teach on the Newport supervision programme. The first disk features a studio discussion while in the second they demonstrate two supervision sessions. The programme was made for counsellors and therapists at the start of their career.

You can find out more on the Counselling DVDs website.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Newport Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Conference

The conference programme is looking good and there are still some tickets available. It takes place on November 17th, Pete Sanders is the keynote speaker and tickets cost just £50. You'll find full details at 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hope Springs

Here's something of a treat - an excellent film with a plausible relationship therapist in it! He may push things along a little, but it is a film, after all. Strongly recommended, you could almost (almost?) count it as CPD - details here

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New Trailer for Counselling DVDs

I've just put together a new trailer for CounsellingDVDs. Incredibly nostalgic business thinking about all the people I've worked with over the years....

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Freud: The Case Histories

Two linked Radio 4 dramas that come strongly recommended -

Episode 1 - Dora

"1899 finds a father imploring Sigmund Freud to treat his daughter after discovering her intention to end her life. When Dora first comes to Freud she suffers from a loss of voice, a debilitating cough and a limp. Dream analysis is the key to unlocking the causes of Dora's condition, and as Freud's treatment continues, secrets, seduction and betrayal are uncovered."

you can get that one on the iPlayer

Episode 2 - The Wolf Man

"It is 1910 when the depressed son of a wealthy Russian landowner arrives in Vienna. Sergei Pankejeff, 24 years old, is suffering from debilitating fears and phobias. Freud's treatment of Pankejeff is centred around an enigmatic dream his patient had as a very young child; a dream of white wolves. Freud invites Sergei to return to his childhood as a means of understanding his current depression. Analysing the child inside the man Freud unlocks the meaning of the wolves that haunt Sergei's dreams"

This will be broadcast at 9pm on Friday 31st August and then, presumably, will also be available on the iPlayer too.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Marilyn, the Last Sessions

Goodness knows what this will be like, or what it says about client confidentiality, but it's certainly something I'll be watching.

Screening on More4 at 9pm this Saturday, this is tagged as "A unique look at the life of Marilyn Monroe, focusing on the relationship she had with Freudian psychoanalyst Ralph Greenson shortly before her death"

A quick search on the web will find you a ton of information about both the film, and the book of the same name. Could be interesting.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Therapy with Child Soldiers

Uncomfortable viewing but some extraordinary work
You can find out more about the project by contacting David Taransaud directly at

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dying Matters Awareness Week

Today marks the first day of the "Dying Matters Awareness Week", an event whose theme is ‘Small Actions, Big Difference’. By being more open about dying and taking small actions such as writing a will, signing up to become an organ donor or looking out for those who have been recently bereaved, we can all help make a big difference to ensuring people can live well and die well. 

There's an excellent web site which is well worth visiting - you can find it here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dave and his hierarchy of needs

This is Dave, a feral cat that has been hanging around our house for the best part of a year. Yesterday he spent the evening sitting on the arm of the sofa watching TV with us. This was something of a breakthrough, because Dave has been extremely cautious about any sort of contact. I mention this not just because I'm extraordinarily  fond of this small black cat who yowls, dribbles and who gives me asthma, but because watching him through the last few months has made me very aware of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. 

Dave's primary concerns have been food and safety. We left food outside the house and he would eat it. We put food just inside the house and he would eat it - but only if we left the door open so that he could escape. If we got between him and the door he'd be off in a flash. This went on for months, which was particularly tedious in mid winter. He then discovered the stove, and realised how nice it was to sit by it - but  it was a long way from the door - but by then he was starting to trust us enough for us to be between him and the door and, eventually, for us to actually shut the door. Then he let us stroke him when he was outside. Then he decided that he liked that quite a lot and started to purr for the first time. Then he let us stroke him when he was indoors. Cat's aren't pack animals, they're solitary hunters, but seeing him watch TV last night made me wonder whether there was some need for belongingness that was now being met. 

Dave doesn't always feel safe with us, though - it's a comparative thing. This morning the door was open, Dave was half way in when a walker went by with a couple of dogs - most cats' would have responded by diving into the house and hiding under the bed. Not Dave - he  shot out of the door again and disappeared into the undergrowth. He's constantly calculating the risks and benefits. Mixing with humans might get him a more reliable source of food, and a TV to watch, but he's not going to go for it if he doesn't feel safe. Is it any different for humans? I doubt it.

You can find out more about Maslow here, (and sorry, yes, that's wikipedia) and you can find a truly terrible game I made many, many years ago based on his hierarchy of needs here

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Picture This

I've been making a lot of web sites for therapists lately, and in many ways the content of all of them has been pretty similar - this is what I offer, this is where I'm located, this is what counselling's all about, and so on.

One thing that not every counsellor agrees on, though, is whether they want a picture of themselves on their site. I think it's a good idea, it gives potential clients a bit of a sense of the person they might be working with, but this is the very thing that some people don't feel at all happy about. They don't want to be judged by what they look like - they want potential clients to come to a decision based on what they read rather than what they see.

I think this is an interesting point - do we judge a book by its cover, or do we simply feel more ready to open the book once we know what the cover looks like?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Enduring Love

The Enduring Love project looks interesting -

The Enduring Love? research project is an exciting development in the study of personal and family lives in contemporary Britain. Much recent policy, academic and professional research has focused on the causes and effects of relationship breakdown, but many heterosexual and same sex couples also remain together for significant periods of time. In some ways, then, these couples appear to sit outside a growing tendency towards serial or transitory relationships. To understand more about couples who stay together, our research will focus on the meanings and everyday experiences of long-term relationships. However we will not be presupposing that such relationships are uniformly loving or straightforwardly associated with contentment. The project will rather be concerned with what helps people sustain relationships and how cultural myths, such as finding ‘the one’ and living ‘happily-ever-after’, are understood and reconciled by adult couples whose own relationships may fall short of these romantic ideals.

- and you can find out more on their web site

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Workshop - Working with Suicidal Clients

Saturday 19 May 2012
10.00am – 4.00pm
St Andrew's Church Centre, Station Road, Churchdown, Gloucester

How confident are you deciding whether and how to intervene on behalf of a suicidal client, or seek help from other professionals, perhaps against a client's wishes?

This workshop aims to help therapists assess the mental functioning of clients who are harbouring suicidal ideas, which includes considering issues of risk. It will also consider important legal and ethical perspectives such as the concept of mental capacity and autonomy.

As well as presentation of some theoretical material, this workshop will also make use of some clinical vignettes and will aim to provide participants with an opportunity to explore their own values and beliefs about suicide that may influence their clinical practice.

For more information contact -
Admiralty House, 11A Spa Road, Gloucester, GL1 1UY01452 383820,,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Volunteer Counsellors Wanted!

Volunteer counselling available at Womens Refuge in Gwent. Student welcome if  attending 2nd Yr of Diploma or equivalent.

For further details please contact kim.speer@ymail,com

Workshop: Integrating Imagery into Cognitive Therapy

Here's notice of a one day workshop to be held at UWN on 16th March. Led by Dr Ann Hackmann, it will explore issues of mental imagery in clinical practice, and how clinicians can use imagery in their work with clients.

Participants will leave this workshop with a clearer picture of how to understand imagery from a clinical and theoretical perspective, how to formulate problems in which imagery plays a role, and how it can be used across a range of client presentations to reduce intrusive imagery, including distorted images of the past, present or future; intrusive memories; metaphorical images and dreams. The workshop will look at theory and research in this field and there will also be an experiential aspect to the day.

Dr Ann Hackmann
Ann has a special interest in imagery, and she has taught and written extensively on the subject. She has recently published the Oxford Guide to Imagery in Cognitive Therapy, with James Bennett-Levy and Emily Holmes. She has also worked on projects on intrusive images and memories in depression with Chris Brewin and in social phobia with Jen Wild and David Clark at the Institute of Psychiatry. Ann worked at Oxford University with Mark Williams on Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) from 2007-2010.

More info here

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Therapists target of a new scam

Just passing on something that came to me this morning -

"The 'Industry and Commerce Register of Business Information'  is a 
private organisation based in Barcelona, Spain but targeting 
counsellors and psychotherapists in the UK.  This scam gives the 
impression of a governmental organisation which offers a free listing. 
 But if you sign the form to update your details you find you have 
signed away Euros 997 per year plus VAT!!!!  If you have already signed 
it, you only have 15 days to get out of it!" 
We assume they are contacting people via email - so watch out for this, 
it sounds very expensive.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

An Introduction to Psychosexual Therapy with Sexual Diversity Clients

Notice of a two day workshop (4th & 5th Feb) taking place in central London -

"This two day workshop provides an introduction to some of the key issues in working therapeutically with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clients with psychosexual concerns. The workshop will cover current models of sexual response, the classification of sexual difficulties and a brief review of the literature and then explore some of the implicit assumptions in these hetero-normative models. 

By widening our understanding of sex, sexuality and sexual difficulties we will give workshop participants an opportunity to explore some of the multiple contexts (sexuality, gender, age, ethnicity, culture, religion etc) that shape both clinicians and clients views of sexual difficulties and diverse sexual practices.

We will then move on to interactive exercises with the aim of helping participants develop practical skills in assessment and therapeutic interventions with individual clients and couples. 
 We hope that by the end of the two days, participants will feel a greater sense of confidence in incorporating discussions of sex and sexual functioning into their general clinical work and/or developing their psychosexual therapy."

You can find further information here.