Calendar of Events

Calendar of Events 2017-03-31T22:36:16+00:00

There are four different ways in which you can display the forthcoming events (use the drop-down menu on the right to switch between them): Calendar, Agenda, Stream, and Posterboard.

To see all events and display earlier or later time periods, click the < or > next to the calendar icon on the left.

You can use the Categories and Tags drop-down menu to filter the display and restrict it to certain kinds of events. To de-select categories or tags and show all events, click the crossed circle next to the currently displayed category.

View a whole month at a time: hovering over a date cell that contains an event, you can see a summary - click to follow the link to the full event details.

View a sequential listing of events by date, including their titles, date and time details. By clicking on the plus-sign on the right, you can expand the panel to see the full workshop/event description - at the bottom you find a button saying "Read more ..." - follow that to the dedicated page with all the event details.

View a list of events, including their titles, date and time details as well as an excerpt of the event description and its image - click the title to follow the link to the full event details.

Events are displayed with their date, time, images and titles in large boxes - four across the page - with an excerpt of the event description - click the title to follow the link to the full event details.

None of these previous listings include proposed events - there is a separate page for those in the menu: Proposed Events.

Feb
27
Tue
2018
Oxford: The most recent advances in interpersonal neurobiology (OTS CPD) @ OTS-Oxford Therapy Centre
Feb 27 @ 19:30 – 21:30

 

Report and Review of Allan Schore’s recent presentation "The growth-promoting role of mutual regressions in deep psychotherapy"

For several decades, Allan Schore has been known as an interdisciplinary giant, bringing together neuroscience and the affective cognitive sciences with psychoanalysis as well as developmental psychology and attachment theory. Last September he promised to offer his latest thinking, and I think he delivered on that promise. In this evening, I will present a summary of his latest formulation which includes a new appreciation of spontaneous regression and a new and comprehensive neuropsychological model of dissociative and repressive defences.

In this evening workshop, suitable for therapists from across the modalities as well as associated therapeutic and helping professions,  Michael will present and critically review the model Allan Schore presented in September 2017. A graphic summarising the key elements of the model is available in this handout. A blog post summarising the content of the evening can be found here.

About OTS

This workshop is being offered by OTS, which was set up by Justin Smith as an initiative to de-mystify psychotherapy and counselling and make it more accessible and affordable to the wider community. OTS is unique in bringing together therapists from a broad spectrum of therapeutic approaches, working together to tailor the therapy to our client’s needs and ‘match’ clients to therapists. Our idea is to create the best fit for what is going to work best for each client and maximise the ‘quality of relationship’ (which is widely recognised as a crucial factor in making therapy work). OTS also aims to make therapy more affordable, through offering effective group therapy.

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Mar
4
Sun
2018
Oxford: Allowing ourselves to be constructed and the enactment of the bad object (OTS CPD) @ OTS-Oxford Therapy Centre
Mar 4 @ 10:00 – 17:00

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Why the idea of allowing ourselves to be constructed by the client’s unconscious is a necessary ingredient in the therapeutic position if we want transformations of deeply held character patterns to become possible

The starting point for this workshop is the following assumption: if we are serious as therapists about wanting to work with ‘the unconscious’, we need to be capable of allowing ourselves to be ‘constructed’ and ‘used’ as an object (in Winnicott’s sense). However, for most of us being used as an object evokes painful and traumatic aspects of our own life story and biography. Allowing ourselves to be used as an object is difficult and it feels difficult.

But if I want the therapeutic space that I provide to invite and make room for ‘the unconscious’ (which - as Jung was quite clear about - is then not going to be restricted only to the client, but will include me as the therapist and the whole system of the therapeutic relationship), then I need to develop the capacity to allow the unconscious to construct that therapeutic space, including me as the therapist (and that includes my ‘professional’ responses as well as my ‘personal’ reactions). This is simply a consequent formulation and application of what has been a basic psychoanalytic principle for decades. An integration of humanistic and psychoanalytic traditions would crucially need to include this principle.

Being constructed is as complex as the psyche itself and it means we can become all kinds of ‘objects'. But for most of us, the crucial sticking points are becoming the ‘bad object’ and/or the ‘idealised object’.

The implications of this principle have been clearly understood and formulated in psychoanalysis: it means we will at times be perceived and experienced - in the transference - as the ‘bad’ wounding object.
However, traditional psychoanalysts could remain somewhat protected from the impact, pressures and inevitable countertransference disturbances which constitute the lived reality of that principle by an underlying one-person psychology stance and a degree of disembodiment manifest in psychoanalytic technique.

As soon as we embrace the spontaneous embodied mutuality of two-person psychology, and the notion of enactment, we are more exposed and vulnerable in the therapeutic position. Beyond being perceived and experienced as the ‘bad’ wounding object in the transference, within a two-person psychology paradigm it means we will be caught in enacting that object, i.e. becoming that object – thinking, feeling, behaving and – crucially – therapeutically intervening like and as that object. That is an altogether more intense experience, which implicates more of us more comprehensively (please don’t broadcast this publicly and indiscriminately! - it’s not an attractive proposition, but very helpful for practising therapists, especially those identifying as humanistic and integrative).

In a nutshell:

• inviting the unconscious requires the principle of allowing ourselves to be constructed

• which in turn in an embodied two-person psychology paradigm requires that we embrace the full bodymind enactment of the wounding dynamic.

At this point in the development of our profession, most available counselling and psychotherapy training does not comprehensively prepare us for that experience. As our community includes many recently qualified therapists, we have made it a priority to explore it together. This experiential CPD day is meant to be an introduction and exploration of the principle, and how it fits and can be included in your own way of working.

For detailed background to this topic, see this blog post.

Inevitably, we bring our whole being, conscious and unconscious, personal and professional to this exploration, including our experience of our own therapy. In engaging in that exploration, we will want to be mindful both of the potential and the risks, our limitations and curiosity, our willingness and our boundaries within the context of the OTS community of practitioners.

Apr
21
Sat
2018
Oxford: What do we mean by ‘relational’? (OTS CPD) @ OTS-Oxford Therapy Centre
Apr 21 @ 10:00 – 17:00

This 1-day workshop is an opportunity to explore in detail a topic which Michael gave a three-hour talk on in October 2016.  Since then he has refined that presentation and made it more accessible.  You can read a detailed description about the background of the topic here ...

Over the last 15 years or so, relational perspectives have had a significant impact across the field of psychotherapy. However, the wider its increasing influence has spread, the less clear it has become what we actually mean by ‘relational’. The default common denominator would be the recognition that in therapy it's the relationship between client and therapist that matters, and that the quality of that relationship is a significant indicator of outcome.

Continue reading on the dedicated page ...

 

About OTS

These workshops are being offered by OTS, which was set up by Justin Smith as an initiative to de-mystify psychotherapy and counselling and make it more accessible and affordable to the wider community. OTS is unique in bringing together therapists from a broad spectrum of therapeutic approaches, working together to tailor the therapy to our client’s needs and ‘match’ clients to therapists. Our idea is to create the best fit for what is going to work best for each client and maximise the ‘quality of relationship’ (which is widely recognised as a crucial factor in making therapy work). OTS also aims to make therapy more affordable, through offering effective group therapy.

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May
13
Sun
2018
TRS: London – What do we mean by ‘relational’? – A Relational School Study Day
 with Michael Soth @ Stillpoint Spaces
May 13 @ 10:00 – 16:30
TRS: London - What do we mean by ‘relational’? - A Relational School Study Day
 with Michael Soth @ Stillpoint Spaces | England | United Kingdom

Organised by TRS (The Relational School)

Michael is a TRS (The Relational School) member and has drawn from Martha Stark’s seminal 1999 book 'Modes of Therapeutic Action’, Lavinia Gomez’s work on object relations and the tension between humanistic and psychoanalytic traditions as well as Petruska Clarkson’s 5 modalities of therapeutic relating to develop a broad-spectrum integration of therapeutic traditions as part of the relational project. For this study day Michael will present and explore with us his particular journey since his own experience of a ‘relational turn’ in the mid-1990’s.

What do we mean by ‘relational’ psychotherapy?

Over the last 15 years or so, relational perspectives have had a significant impact across the fields of psychotherapy. However, the wider its increasing influence has spread, the less clear it has become what we actually mean by ‘relational’. The default common denominator would be the recognition that in therapy it's the relationship between client and therapist that matters, and that the quality of that relationship is a significant indicator of outcome.

However, whilst there is quite a lot of agreement that the therapeutic relationship matters, this apparent consensus breaks down at the first hurdle: there is no such level of agreement as to what actually constitutes quality of relationship. On the contrary: there is a tendency for the traditional approaches to define ‘therapeutic relating’ predominantly within their own frame of reference, taking their own paradigm of relating for granted. It is, therefore, not generally accepted that 100 years of psychotherapy have given us a diversity of distinct notions of what kind of relating is to be considered ‘therapeutic’. The common ground of ‘relationality’ is a negative distinction from classical one-person psychology and ‘medical model’ non-relationality, but beyond that it is unclear whether relating means in Gomez’s terms being ‘alongside’ as an ally or ‘opposite’ as a relational other. And then what kind of other: positive, nurturing and reparative or authentic/dialogical or transferential other? And in amongst all that, what happens with the ‘bad’ object, and who relates to it how?

A multiplicity of diverse, contradictory and complementary relational spaces

Unless we take into account these different and contradictory notions of relatedness - or in the terms of Petruska Clarkson’s seminal contribution from the early 1990's: the different relational modalities we now find in existence across the field - what we mean by ‘relational’ will remain confused and confusing. It clearly means very different things to different therapists, without - however - these differences being sufficiently acknowledged or investigated.

The therapist's internal conflict - processing the countertransference in terms of tensions and pulls between different relational modalities

Understanding how the therapist's internal conflict relates to the client's inner world - in psychoanalytic terms: processing the countertransference and how it interlocks with the transference - can be profoundly helped by understanding how the therapist is being pulled between equally valid, but contradictory and conflicting relational modalities. This understanding, i.e. how the therapist is internally affected by the intersubjective dynamic, turns Petruska Clarkson's theory of relational modalities from an abstract tool of psychotherapy integration into a clinically useful tool moment-to-moment.

This is the essence of Michael's "Diamond Model of the relational therapeutic space": seeing the relational modalities not as some range of helpful stances which the therapist consciously chooses between (one at a time), but considering all the modalities as going on all the time (as a dynamic, systemic whole). The conflicts and pulls between different relational modalities can then be reflected upon and engaged in as manifestations (and enactments) of the unconscious co-constructed dynamic.

The essential conflict: object-relating versus inter(subject)-relating

This day will be an introduction to Michael's diamond model. His starting point will be the perennial and underlying tension (and often: polarisation) between object-relating and inter(subject)-relating in the therapeutic space: the tension between 'using' each other as objects on the one hand (I-it relating, which much of the humanistic field is biased against because of its objectifying and exploitative connotations, but which Winnicott has a lot of positive and developmental things to say about) and subject-subject relating (mutual recognition or I-I relating, as advocated by the humanistic and modern psychoanalytic traditions). When we can validate both as potentially transformative and necessary ingredients in the therapeutic space, and recognise the tension between them as essential to the therapeutic endeavor (a tension not to be reduced, resolved or short-circuited ideologically, but to be entered into in each unique client-therapist relationship), a multiplicity of relational spaces – contradictory and complementary, forming a complex dynamic whole – can be seen to arise from that tension. Michael proposes his ‘diamond model’ as a map that can help therapists process their conflicted (countertransference) experience when involved in layers of multiple enactment.

Booking tickets: tbc