Who is the course for?
This intermediate course is designed for practising counsellors and therapists, who have been working for a few years, to help you develop your own therapeutic style and identity and find your place within the wider field of counselling and psychotherapy (and the psychological therapies in general).
The aim of the course is to work towards a comprehensive map of the field and develop a relational meta-position that integrates the whole broad range of approaches. This can help us evolve beyond a merely eclectic stance which picks and chooses pragmatically or randomly from the smorgasboard of traditional approaches, but provides a rhyme and reason for how we navigate the complex and confusing multitude of approaches.
- Broad-spectrum integration of therapeutic approaches
By aiming at broad-spectrum psychotherapy integration, the aim is to support you in developing a therapeutic position that can draw flexibly from the whole range and diversity of approaches. Usually such an integrative project tends to minimise the significant extent to which the different approachs are not just similar or complementary to each other, but are also confusingly contradictory. However, we will try to work towards an integrative understanding without minimising or circumventing the contradictions between the approaches.
We will draw on the three great branches of the field - psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioural and humanistic - and their many later hybrid forms and combinations (including their developments into constructivist, systemic, existential as well as transpersonal branches).
- Integration beyond theories and techniques
The basic principle of the course will be a shift away from the attempt to integrate the theories and techniques of traditional approaches and towards an integration of ‘relational modalities’, using a variety of models to clarify what we mean by ‘relational modalities’ (or different kinds of therapeutic relatedness, or simpler: different ‘relational spaces’). This will include the tension between ‘treatment’ versus ‘relationship’, the paradigm clash between humanistic and psychodynamic traditions, the conflicts in the working alliance (rupture-repair), and object versus subject-relating.
- Integrating different kinds of therapeutic relatedness (Gomez, Stark & Clarkson)
In reflecting on the therapist’s internal process within and in response to relational dynamics, we will also be distinguishing the therapist’s habitual stance and countertransference from situational countertransference, and will be integrating Petruska Clarkson's model of a multiplicity of relational modalities. Michael has developed the Clarkson model further and integrated it with Gomez’s critique of integration as well as Stark’s model – he calls this integration his ‘diamond model’.
- Integrating the main branches of the psychological therapies (humanistic vs psychodynamic vs CBT)
On the most basic level, we will want to validate and integrate humanistic, psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioural traditions (as well as those that are more difficult to classify, i.e. systemic, existential, transpersonal and modern hybrid approaches) as the main branches of the therapeutic field, recognising that these traditions are underpinned by paradigm clashes between them (specifically: paradigm clashes that are not reconcilable on the level of traditional theory and technique, nor meta-psychology).
- Recognising gifts and shadow aspects of each traditional approach
We are not aiming at an integration that mixes and combines two (or just a few) different traditional approaches. In this module we are aiming at a broad-spectrum integration, attempting to draw out of each of the traditional approaches and paradigms its special gifts, wisdoms and sensibilities, whilst recognising also its shadow aspects. Beyond that, we will be working on the assumption that even the contradictions and challenges between the approaches can become valid and meaningful information in the therapeutic process.
- Integration on the basis of diverse relational spaces
This module is based on the recognition that on a level deeper than theory and technique the contradictions between approaches and paradigms are rooted in different relational positions or stances and the contradictions and tensions between those.
A significant foundation of the course will be an enquiry into the processes - conscious and unconscious - that shape a therapist's relational position in response to a particular client. The complex territory of the therapeutic relationship – co-created by the forcefield between the psyche of both client and therapist – has only been partially described by traditional approaches.
In order to investigate that forcefield, we will be drawing on traditional psychodynamic understandings of transference and countertransference, but we will also have to significantly go beyond this terminology and theoretical framework, by integrating ‘one-person-’ and ‘two-person psychologies’ (using the model by Martha Stark), attachment theory, modern relational perspectives as well as neuroscience and bodymind models of the therapeutic relationship.
- Developing your own style and integration
Michael Soth’s ‘Diamond Model’ is meant to be a comprehensive ‘meta-model’ and should give you a good foundation for integrating a wide range of therapeutic approaches, whatever their particular theories and techniques, helping you develop your own blend of theories and ways of working and your own style of being a therapist.
- Researching experience – and the art of counselling and psychotherapy research
- Understand qualitative and quantitative research.
- Explore and understand evidence based and practice based evidence within counselling and psychotherapy.
- Understand and engage with concepts of ‘Researching Experience’.
- Explore the role of the practitioner as researcher.
- Understand the ‘factors’ involved in change.
- Have a working understanding of Phenomenological Approaches to research (including heuristic, embodied, imaginal and autoethnographic).
- Have a working understanding of the differences in approach within phenomenological research.
- Engage in a research project using own self experience.
The four 7-day modules of the course will be taught in Karachi, Pakistan by Michael Soth and Jan Mojsa. For all further details including booking, please contact TherapyWorks Pakistan.