About The Course
This “hands-on” workshop, now in its eighth successful year, will interest counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, play therapists and other professionals working therapeutically with young people in education/ health/social work/ pastoral services. It may also interest those seeking to explore their personal relationship with creativity and play. The workshop is underpinned by gestalt principles and practice. Applicants unfamiliar with gestalt therapy are encouraged to enroll on an introductory short course to experience this unique approach.
This course draws inspiration from the pioneering work of gestalt therapist, Dr Violet Oaklander (www.vsof.org) whose approach puts the relationship between therapist and child at the heart of the therapeutic process. Children tend to express feelings through image and metaphor: when therapists are able to engage young people in a dialogue using expressive arts methods this can be invaluable. Children naturally use their ‘contact’ skills (senses, body, emotions and intellect) as relational tools. Troubled children may struggle to make good contact with teachers, parents, peers or indeed themselves, tending instead to restrict healthy expression of their emotions. Many also possess a poor sense of self. The therapist’s job is to facilitate exploration of these emotional blockages, to help young people regain contact with their emotions, body and their natural ability to cope with life.
Course content includes: demonstrations, theory, experiential exercises, discussion and case vignettes. A folder of worksheets and resources is supplied ,also a recommended reading list. The group will work in pairs, solo and in small groups. Participants will become familiar with many of the following expressive modalities: therapeutic drawing and painting, working with clay, sand tray, music -making, puppetry, creative writing, therapeutic games and structured exercises. The group will experience at first hand the power of the arts to communicate a spectrum of emotions. Participants will acquire a variety of safe, practical skills and techniques suited to therapeutic work with children.
Wednesday’s teaching includes a dedicated evening of improvisational activities hosted by Playback South Theatre (see Facebook page) at the Candid Café, Angel ,EC2). Following a light meal (price not included) we will participate in a warm up session with members of the cast . Later we join the audience and watch a performance from Playback South focusing on stories of childhood. (A separate admission fee of £15 for this event is payable on the door to Playback South.). On Thursday morning we have a late start.
A Statement of Attendance is awarded on completion of the course for CPD purposes showing 33 hours of training. Applicants are kindly requested to ensure they are free to attend throughout the week.
After the course concludes there is an option to work towards the Gestalt Centre’s Certificate in Reflective Practice – details available from the administrator.
By the end of the course participants will be able to:
- Incorporate use of the arts into a gestalt experiential framework
- Become conversant with exploring image, metaphor and play.
- Understand how the relational self emerges and develops uniquely in childhood.
- Begin to engage children in exploration of troublesome thoughts and feelings.
Jon Blend MA Dip Child is an Adult & Child Psychotherapist (UKCP registered), clinical supervisor, international trainer and Lifemusic practitioner. His background includes thirty years working in NHS community mental health services, half of which was spent working with children and families within CAMHS. Jon teaches on the integrative psychotherapy Masters training at the Minster Centre, London. He is a guest trainer with the Oaklander Foundation and works with children and families in private practice (London W3). Recently Jon has delivered arts-based trainings in Georgia, Croatia, Bath, London and Manchester. His writings include a chapter in Relational Child, Relational Brain (eds.Harris & Lee) and and an article entitled I Got Rhythm! in International Gestalt Journal, 2009, v30.
Crissy Duff is a Psychotherapeutic Counsellor who works with adults, adolescents, children and families in private practice and within a school setting. Crissy also mentors students within the Disability and Dyslexia Department of Kingston University and offers supervision for therapists, organisations and others working in the helping professions. Crissy is particularly interested in parent/child relationships, attachment, mindfulness and working with the creative arts. She is a co-founding member of Jon’s supervision and training group and has assisted in delivering this and Jon’s adolescence course over many years.
*20% discount for current GC Dip Couns & Psych Students& Graduate Members
*10% discount to other students, subject to approval