Your Further Learning & Development
The aim of INTEGRA CPD is to develop a comprehensive cutting-edge programme for continuing professional development, in collaboration with practitioners like yourself and in response to your evolving needs and feedback – a programme of workshops and courses that is based on a broad-spectrum integration of all the therapeutic approaches and on embodied, relational and integral principles.
How do we make our CPD learning impactful and relevant to our everyday practice? Should our own further development not be informed by the same therapeutic principles which underpin our work? In therapy as in teaching therapy, we aim to 'walk our talk' by focussing on the learning process rather than only the content - creating safe, creative and stimulating learning environments, suited to the variety of learning styles that therapists bring to the group. Our CPD workshops emphasise experiential engagement and the mind-body connection, integrating professional competence with personal process and self-awareness, combining left- and right-brain learning that translates directly into practice.
In our own work, we are aiming at an integration that draws on the theories, wisdom and gifts of all the therapeutic approaches. We welcome and attract therapists from across the modalities who find inspiration and challenge in the cross-fertilisation between different schools and orientations. You can read more about the main principles of our approach which can be summarised as: full-spectrum integrative - embodied/bodymind connection - relational - informed by modern neuroscience - systemic/multi-dimensional/integral - rooted in the 'Wounded Healer' - embracing uncertainty, conflict and paradox.
Recent News from INTEGRA CPD
What are therapists looking for in their CPD training?
What have been your experiences of recent CPD events?
Useful? Boring? Inspiring? Effective?
How has it affected your practice?
See some evaluation feedback from a recent workshop.
Broad-spectrum Integrative North London CPD Group
Some places still available in this ongoing cross-modality CPD group, meeting in North London for 4 or 5 days per year, building an integrative community of practitioners.
Next group days for 2017: 13/14 May, 1 July, 16 Sept. 25 Nov.
Do not take our word for it! Want to know what our events are like?
Depending on topic, aims and group composition, it's usally some mixture of experiential work (role-plays of vignettes, live sessions, skills practice), theory/discussion as well as individual and group process. Have a look at what other participants are saying:
Some places still available:
"Relational dynamics in body-oriented psychotherapy"
CPD in Bristol with Michael Soth: 17 June (Fee: £65)
This workshop is an ideal opportunity for an introduction to Michael’s work, and specifically how he approaches the integration of the paradigm clash between the humanistic and psychodynamic traditions. It is an affordable workshop on a crucial topic, as many integrative therapists struggle to integrate these paradigms rather than oscillate between them, both in their work and in supervision.
This website is designed to address the continuing professional development (CPD) needs of counsellors, psychotherapists and therapeutic practitioners in general. If you are looking for a therapist, or want to work individually with one of us, please see the following websites:
Michael has been running an Oxford-based referral service for about 25 years, helping you find the 'right' therapy for you. Assessment and referral sessions take place in West Oxford, and are primarily oriented towards Oxfordshire, but referrals and recommendations can also be made in London, occasionally nationwide and sometimes internationally.
To work with Michael individually in Oxford, please use the contact form to e-mail him. He offers short and long-term individual psychotherapy, as well as individual supervision for therapeutic practitioners, coaches and consultants. He currently maintains a waiting list and is usually unable to take anybody on within less than six months.
To work with Morit individually in Oxford, you can refer to her website. She offers short and long-term individual psychotherapy, specialises in trauma treatment (integrative, somatic, including EMDR) and offers individual supervision for therapeutic practitioners as well as complementary therapists.
All published articles & papers / presentations / hand-outs & teaching materials
You can now find all our writing, a list of all presentations (many of them available as pdf's) and all Michael's hand-outs in our new Resources section of this site.
Since June 2013 Michael has been publishing a blog at Psychotherapy Excellence - the UK's national portal for CPD - on the dilemmas of continuing professional development in the 'impossible profession'. To make it easier for you to follow the sequence of entries (as they are really meant to build on each other step-by-step), he has created a dedicated blog site. If you have missed any of the entries, having them all in one place like that will make it easy to catch up. Here is the link:
The Impossible Profession: Counselling & Psychotherapy
Michael has been interviewed several times now for webcasts on various topics, including 'What is psychotherapy?' (see preview) and 'The embodied phenomenology of enactment' (see preview). You can find these webcasts, which feature interviews with many other well-known therapists, on sale at: Psychotherapy Excellence.
Forthcoming Psychotherapy & Counselling CPD Workshops, Courses, & Events
In the lineage of Body Psychotherapy, we come across a set of diverse and to some extent confusing and contradictory assumptions as to what we mean by therapeutic relating and the therapeutic relationship. On the whole, the whole range of body-oriented work as practiced today clearly belongs to the humanistic tradition, with its emphasis on authentic/dialogical and empathic/reparative relating. This sits alongside influences from the psychoanalytic tradition, notably the work of Reich and his ideas about working with transference, as well as his quasi-medical and scientific attitude to treatment (which he shared with Freud). These different paradigms of relating are quite difficult to integrate and bring together, as they are based on polarised attitudes and stances in terms of one-person and two-person psychologies.
That raises the question as to what we mean by being ‘relational', especially in recent years, when that notion has become increasingly fashionable, and is in danger of becoming diluted. As psychotherapists working in the body-oriented traditions, we have the potential to bring a more substantial, embodied and complex notion of relating to the talking therapies.
This workshop is an opportunity to explore your own experience of the tensions between the polarised humanistic and psychoanalytic traditions, and how you integrate them. This tension hinges around the essential conflict between ‘authentic relating’ and 'working with the transference' - two principles which many of us find equally valid and want to equally do justice to in our work.
It has been understood and acknowledged for decades that any direct and directive work with the body, especially if it includes touch, intensifies the transference. However, psychoanalysts have contested that by using directive body-oriented interventions, body-oriented therapists are minimising and sidestepping the transference. In fact, all therapies that are relying exclusively on an empathic, attuned, heartfelt connection are open to that psychoanalytic challenge (keeping things too cosy, encouraging regression or over-dependency, avoiding the negative transference) and the question of whether this is in the client's best interests.
When our intention is to work with the client’s ‘character’, i.e. with all the embodied levels of developmental injury, across the whole bodymind, how do these different traditions and paradigms of relating get in each other's way or complement each other and how might they create an integrative synergy?
Engaging with therapeutic impasses, breakdowns and stuckness by integrating non-verbal communication, somatic processes and ‘implicit relational knowing’
“How can we use our own embodied awareness and our perception of the client's bodymind to maximise our understanding of the intersubjective dynamics in the therapeutic process?”
This workshop is based on integrating the wisdom and expertise of two diverse and in many ways contradictory traditions: the psychoanalytic tradition and the body-oriented Reichian and post-Reichian tradition. Psychoanalysis has developed incredible sensitivity to unconscious mental processes and relational vicissitudes, but remains limited to the ‘talking cure’.
Body psychotherapy has developed a profound understanding of bodymind processes, and a rich and creative toolbox of working experientially bottom-up towards an integration of physical, emotional, imaginal and mental aspects of being, but remains limited by fixed relational stances on the part of the therapist and a lack of awareness around countertransference (where it is understood as the therapist’s problem only, rather than also containing information about the client’s unconscious).
By bringing the two traditions together, we get the best of both worlds, leading to profound possibilities of deepening the therapeutic process, making therapy more effective, and dealing with otherwise unmanageable impasses and complications.
Whereas recognising and working with the transference has been an essential aspect of the Reichian tradition, working in the transference and with the countertransference has been a neglected part of the therapeutic relationship in body-oriented work. Most humanistic therapists share with Freud the classical assumption that countertransference boils down to the therapist’s own ‘stuff’ or pathology, and is therefore best dealt with by further therapeutic work on one's own process and character as a therapist, towards authenticity or congruence.
As long as we reduce countertransference - in David Boadella’s terms – to an “interference with contact”, our work can not benefit from what the psychoanalytic tradition calls the ‘countertransference revolution’: the recognition that the transference and countertransference “interlock” (in Heinrich Racker’s terms) and that some of our experience in the therapeutic position can give us deep insight into the client’s inner world, including their early relational experiences which contributed to their character formation. This interlocking depends upon ‘somatic resonance’, but goes way beyond its traditional meaning as ‘feeling the client’s feelings’. The ‘countertransference revolution’ helps us recognise how the “client’s conflict becomes the therapist’s conflict”.
The fact that body-oriented tradition has overlooked and ignored the ‘countertransference revolution’ is curious, because it is precisely embodied perception should enable the therapist to be much more acutely aware of the ways in which the client's unconscious experience is communicated nonverbally, subliminally - via empathic attunement, somatic resonance, projective identification - and thus appears in the countertransference.
“Within the Body Psychotherapy tradition … the relational vicissitudes of the therapeutic endeavour are still under-theorised. Thus, a holistic and phenomenological two-person psychology as bodymind process still awaits formulation.”
Michael has been working on re-integrating the Reichian and psychoanalytic traditions since the 1980’s and is an internationally recognised trainer in this field.
In this workshop, we will use participants’ own personal-professional experience and client material to learn experientially and theoretically, using role-plays to work through supervision vignettes in an embodied and experiential way. Michael will interweave the group process with the learning as well as skills practice, to demonstrate and teach, drawing on our shared experience in the group.
to deepen and enhance our ‘implicit relational knowing’
to deepen our awareness of the relational significance of non-verbal communication
to apply the insight of modern neuroscience to our practice
to integrate ‘one-person‘, ‘one-and-a-half-person’ and ‘two-person psychology’
to recognise oscillations in the working alliance in response to unconscious processes
to recognise transference and countertransference as bodymind processes
to understand the principles and application of the countertransference revolution
to recognise the therapeutic potential of impasses and enactments
Ενώ το να αναγνωρίζουμε και να εργαζόμαστε με τη μεταβίβαση έχει υπάρξει ένα βασικό στοιχείο της Ραϊχικής παράδοσης, το να εργαζόμαστε μέσα στη μεταβίβαση και στην αντιμεταβίβαση έχει υπάρξει ένα παραμελημένο κομμάτι της θεραπευτικής σχέσης στη σωματικά προσανατολισμένη θεραπεία. Οι πιο πολλοί ανθρωπιστικοί θεραπευτές μοιράζονται με τον Φρόυντ την κλασσική υπόθεση ότι η αντιμεταβίβαση συνοψίζεται στα θέματα του ίδιου του θεραπευτή ή στην παθολογία του και συνεπώς αντιμετωπίζεται καλύτερα με περαιτέρω θεραπευτική εργασία επί της προσωπικής διεργασίας και του χαρακτήρα ως θεραπευτή, με στόχο την αυθεντικότητα ή τη συνέπεια.
Όσο αναγάγουμε την αντιμεταβίβαση σε μια «παρεμβολή στην επαφή» (με τους όρους του David Boadella), η εργασία μας δεν μπορεί να επωφεληθεί από αυτό που η ψυχαναλυτική παράδοση ονομάζει «την επανάσταση της αντιμεταβίβασης»: η αναγνώριση ότι η μεταβίβαση και η αντιμεταβίβαση «αλληλοεμπλέκονται» (με τον όρο του Heinrich Racker) και ένα μέρος της εμπειρίας μας στη θεραπευτική θέση μπορεί να μας δώσει βαθιά επίγνωση για τον εσωτερικό κόσμο του θεραπευόμενου, συμπεριλαμβανομένων των πρώιμων σχεσιακών βιωμάτων που έχουν συνεισφέρει στη δημιουργία του χαρακτήρα του. Αυτή η αλληλοεμπλοκή εξαρτάται από τη σωματική αντήχηση (somatic resonance), αλλά είναι πολύ διαφορετική από την κλασσική έννοια του «νιώθω τα συναισθήματα του θεραπευόμενου». Η «επανάσταση της αντιμεταβίβασης» μάς βοηθάει να αναγνωρίσουμε πώς η «σύγκρουση του θεραπευόμενου γίνεται η σύγκρουση του θεραπευτή».
Είναι περίεργο που η σωματικά προσανατολισμένη παράδοση έχει παραβλέψει και αγνοήσει «την επανάσταση της αντιμεταβίβασης», επειδή ακριβώς η ενσώματη ακρίβεια είναι η οποία θα έπρεπε να επιτρέπει στον θεραπευτή να είναι πολύ περισσότερο ενήμερος των τρόπων με τους οποίους η ασυνείδητη εμπειρία του θεραπευόμενου επικοινωνείται μη λεκτικά, υποσυνείδητα δια μέσω ενσυναισθητικού συντονισμού, σωματικής αντήχησης, προβολικής ταύτισης και συνεπώς παρουσιάζεται στην αντιμεταβίβαση.
«Εντός της παράδοσης της Σωματικής Ψυχοθεραπείας… οι σχεσιακές δυσκολίες της θεραπευτικού εγχειρήματος είναι ακόμα ελλιπώς θεωρητικοποιημένες. Έτσι, μια ολιστική και φαινομενολογική ψυχολογία των δύο προσώπων ως διεργασία ψυχοσώματος ακόμα παραμένει να αναπτυχθεί.»
Anticipating the recurrent pitfalls of the 2-chair technique and making therapeutic and transformational use of them
When it comes to shifting the focus of therapeutic interaction from 'talking about' to 'exploring the experience', there are few techniques more useful than 'empty-chair' or 'two-chair' work (this applies to supervision as well as therapy).
However, when therapists risk using the technique, it often does not produce the intended or intuited results. Having started with what seemed a burning, vibrant issue, the spark gets lost, and the interaction ‘goes flat’ or starts going round in circles.
From many years of using the technique myself, as well as supervising it, I have concluded there are some built-in recurring pitfalls which we can anticipate and prepare for; when understood and addressed, these pitfalls can actually enhance our use of the technique and make it more elegant and effective.
These three CPD days are designed to engender both detailed knowledge and skill as well as confidence, whatever level of experience you are currently bringing to this type of work.
I am expecting that in terms of the nitty-gritty detail of technique (what you actually do and say as a therapist and how and in what sequence), these days will be amongst the most specific and useful you will ever do. In terms of this particular technique, it's as close to a 'recipe book' or ‘manual’ of therapeutic intervention as is feasible when what we are really interested in is the aliveness and spontaneity of the client-therapist interaction.
For more detailed inofrmation about the background, format and content of the weekend workshop, download the leaflet.