Map

Weekend Groups: Psychodrama

Psychodrama

A playful action-based form of groupwork that promotes spontaneity and empathy, invites you to "show us" rather than "tell us", yet no acting skills are required. The groupwork space is viewed as a theatre in which peoples sensations, emotions, images and ideas through enactment become the key to recovery of significant memories, to deepening of insight and to rehearsal of new capacities for relating.


Weekend Groups: Psychodrama


Contents

About Bodyspace Groups

  • Bodyspace groups work simultaneously with four dynamics: group dynamics, role dynamics, body dynamics and transference dynamics. Thus Bodyspace groups feature action methods (from Humanistic Psychology) within a psychodynamic frame
     
  • Bodyspace groups aim to integrate body sensations, emotional expressions, fantasy/dreaming and cognitive understanding within a framework of the meaning all these dimensions of being have for the individual.
     
  • Bodyspace groups generally begin with active, movement-based bodywork followed by a go-round phase of checking in with responses to this, with references to carried-over process and claims for the group's further attention. The group then proceeds into a longer unstructured phase known as 'open group time'.
     
  • Bodyspace groups hold the space for the actual concrete body along with its sensations, emotions and impulses to become an organ of experience, for awareness of feeling to precede communication. DH Lawrence wrote, "The body's life is the life of sensations and emotions…All the emotions belong to the body and are only recognised by the mind." Bodyspace subverts the consensual drift in psychotherapy towards cerebralized procedures and "aboutism" (disconnected speech).
     
  • The discourse within a Bodyspace group takes in body language, body image and body structure, homes in on the bodily aspects of issues of identity and differentiation and holds in focus the ways in which bodily events are symbolised.
     
  • Besides its value in supporting whole person presence and the emergence of joie de vivre bodywork has two specific justifications that argue for its indispensability (i) it provides transitional structures or 'bridges' to and from pre-verbal spaces where no words can be found until after a bridging has occurred (ii) with actual trauma (shock) from any time in a person's life the primary defences involved are often physiological rather than psychological and are therefore more responsive to body-based interventions.
     
  • Bodyspace groups address the main domains of ordinary living - love and work, intimacy and creativity, cultivating the capacities to think with feeling and to feel thoughtfully, promoting an articulate, honest and at times passionate encounter between participants. The mode is one of being-with as opposed to doing-to. Ground rules and a working contract safeguard confidentiality and continuity.
     
  • Bodyspace groups are also a response to the contemporary dearth of organic community. Many of the 'natural' or traditional groupings intermediate between mass society and the isolated individual eg families, clubs, churches, political parties fail to perform developmental functions for their members. This leaves an acute need for groups where personal issues can be worked through.
     
  • The term Bodyspace is replete with meaning and should not be misread as a facile market-driven exercise in branding. A schizoid (bodymind split) culture carries deep fears about the emotional body and therefore has need of 'spaces' within which this schiz/schism can safely heal. Bodyspace weekly and weekend groups are a manifestation of this project and are appropriately sited in the supportive environment of London's Open Centre, a growth centre with its roots in the Human Potential movement of the 1970s. See www.opencentre.com.
     
  • Bodyspace carries forwards and reinvents Wilhelm Reich's preoccupation with the cultural and political role of character analytic praxis, while heeding Norman Mailer's qualification of psychoanalysis as a process of attrition in which the worn out wear others out.
     
  • The normalising tendencies within groups are balanced in Bodyspace groupwork by the fostering of deconstructive attitudes. There is also a countercultural emphasis (eg the behavioural challenge of bioenergetic bodywork is distinctly counter cultural) on human potential without the often concurrent New Age transformational hype (whereby meaning is delivered rather than authentically discovered and promises are made which the typically transient teacher cannot possibly deliver).
     
  • Bodyspace is a vehicle for humanistic values of self-actualisation and personal authenticity, and is explicitly in tension with both the adaptive and normalizing ethos of the consumer/patient with medical provider and the tokenism and image-driven, profit-centred, selective accountability of market values.
     
  • Over the last twenty eight years more than two thousand people have participated, many for a period of several years, in Bodyspace weekly and weekend groups. Bodyspace is here to stay.

Psychodynamics

Psychodynamics

Articulates the active nature of unconscious forces and fantasies, desires in conflict, defence mechanisms and developmental phases. The endeavour, in the spirit of the Delphic injunction to "Know Thyself", is to understand both the relationships between different parts of the psyche or self and relations with others.


About Bodyspace Groups

  • Bodyspace groups work simultaneously with four dynamics: group dynamics, role dynamics, body dynamics and transference dynamics. Thus Bodyspace groups feature action methods (from Humanistic Psychology) within a psychodynamic frame
     
  • Bodyspace groups aim to integrate body sensations, emotional expressions, fantasy/dreaming and cognitive understanding within a framework of the meaning all these dimensions of being have for the individual.
     
  • Bodyspace groups generally begin with active, movement-based bodywork followed by a go-round phase of checking in with responses to this, with references to carried-over process and claims for the group's further attention. The group then proceeds into a longer unstructured phase known as 'open group time'.
     
  • Bodyspace groups hold the space for the actual concrete body along with its sensations, emotions and impulses to become an organ of experience, for awareness of feeling to precede communication. DH Lawrence wrote, "The body's life is the life of sensations and emotions…All the emotions belong to the body and are only recognised by the mind." Bodyspace subverts the consensual drift in psychotherapy towards cerebralized procedures and "aboutism" (disconnected speech).
     
  • The discourse within a Bodyspace group takes in body language, body image and body structure, homes in on the bodily aspects of issues of identity and differentiation and holds in focus the ways in which bodily events are symbolised.
     
  • Besides its value in supporting whole person presence and the emergence of joie de vivre bodywork has two specific justifications that argue for its indispensability (i) it provides transitional structures or 'bridges' to and from pre-verbal spaces where no words can be found until after a bridging has occurred (ii) with actual trauma (shock) from any time in a person's life the primary defences involved are often physiological rather than psychological and are therefore more responsive to body-based interventions.
     
  • Bodyspace groups address the main domains of ordinary living - love and work, intimacy and creativity, cultivating the capacities to think with feeling and to feel thoughtfully, promoting an articulate, honest and at times passionate encounter between participants. The mode is one of being-with as opposed to doing-to. Ground rules and a working contract safeguard confidentiality and continuity.
     
  • Bodyspace groups are also a response to the contemporary dearth of organic community. Many of the 'natural' or traditional groupings intermediate between mass society and the isolated individual eg families, clubs, churches, political parties fail to perform developmental functions for their members. This leaves an acute need for groups where personal issues can be worked through.
     
  • The term Bodyspace is replete with meaning and should not be misread as a facile market-driven exercise in branding. A schizoid (bodymind split) culture carries deep fears about the emotional body and therefore has need of 'spaces' within which this schiz/schism can safely heal. Bodyspace weekly and weekend groups are a manifestation of this project and are appropriately sited in the supportive environment of London's Open Centre, a growth centre with its roots in the Human Potential movement of the 1970s. See www.opencentre.com.
     
  • Bodyspace carries forwards and reinvents Wilhelm Reich's preoccupation with the cultural and political role of character analytic praxis, while heeding Norman Mailer's qualification of psychoanalysis as a process of attrition in which the worn out wear others out.
     
  • The normalising tendencies within groups are balanced in Bodyspace groupwork by the fostering of deconstructive attitudes. There is also a countercultural emphasis (eg the behavioural challenge of bioenergetic bodywork is distinctly counter cultural) on human potential without the often concurrent New Age transformational hype (whereby meaning is delivered rather than authentically discovered and promises are made which the typically transient teacher cannot possibly deliver).
     
  • Bodyspace is a vehicle for humanistic values of self-actualisation and personal authenticity, and is explicitly in tension with both the adaptive and normalizing ethos of the consumer/patient with medical provider and the tokenism and image-driven, profit-centred, selective accountability of market values.
     
  • Over the last twenty eight years more than two thousand people have participated, many for a period of several years, in Bodyspace weekly and weekend groups. Bodyspace is here to stay.

Weekend Groups: Bioenergetics

Bioenergetics

A body-oriented growth process that emphasises the energetic processes of breathing, movement, feeling, sexuality and self-expression, and addresses interruptions of these life functions, especially through patterns of chronic muscular tension. The exuberant but grounded bioenergetic body with a belly and a heart is the inspiration for the Bodyspace logo.


Weekend Groups: Bioenergetics


Contents

Explanation

Would you like to be able to express yourself to others in a more contactful way? Do you clamp feelings down inside of you, judging them too uncomfortable to share? Will you let others touch you with their feelings? Can you sustain a feeling of contact with yourself?
Over the weeks an ongoing group deepens contact with yourself and others, and enables changes to be recognised and relationships to develop. In this group I will work with your embodied attitudes and beliefs as these emerge, from movement interactions, dialoguing, enactment, recent dreams and the story of your week. Most evenings will include about a quarter hour of bioenergetic voicing, breathing and moving.
The group is limited to 10. Four weeks notice of leaving is required. New members may join as space becomes available. An enquiry can be made at any time. I ask for an initial minimum commitment to seven sessions.
 

About Bodyspace Groups

  • Bodyspace groups work simultaneously with four dynamics: group dynamics, role dynamics, body dynamics and transference dynamics. Thus Bodyspace groups feature action methods (from Humanistic Psychology) within a psychodynamic frame
     
  • Bodyspace groups aim to integrate body sensations, emotional expressions, fantasy/dreaming and cognitive understanding within a framework of the meaning all these dimensions of being have for the individual.
     
  • Bodyspace groups generally begin with active, movement-based bodywork followed by a go-round phase of checking in with responses to this, with references to carried-over process and claims for the group's further attention. The group then proceeds into a longer unstructured phase known as 'open group time'.
     
  • Bodyspace groups hold the space for the actual concrete body along with its sensations, emotions and impulses to become an organ of experience, for awareness of feeling to precede communication. DH Lawrence wrote, "The body's life is the life of sensations and emotions…All the emotions belong to the body and are only recognised by the mind." Bodyspace subverts the consensual drift in psychotherapy towards cerebralized procedures and "aboutism" (disconnected speech).
     
  • The discourse within a Bodyspace group takes in body language, body image and body structure, homes in on the bodily aspects of issues of identity and differentiation and holds in focus the ways in which bodily events are symbolised.
     
  • Besides its value in supporting whole person presence and the emergence of joie de vivre bodywork has two specific justifications that argue for its indispensability (i) it provides transitional structures or 'bridges' to and from pre-verbal spaces where no words can be found until after a bridging has occurred (ii) with actual trauma (shock) from any time in a person's life the primary defences involved are often physiological rather than psychological and are therefore more responsive to body-based interventions.
     
  • Bodyspace groups address the main domains of ordinary living - love and work, intimacy and creativity, cultivating the capacities to think with feeling and to feel thoughtfully, promoting an articulate, honest and at times passionate encounter between participants. The mode is one of being-with as opposed to doing-to. Ground rules and a working contract safeguard confidentiality and continuity.
     
  • Bodyspace groups are also a response to the contemporary dearth of organic community. Many of the 'natural' or traditional groupings intermediate between mass society and the isolated individual eg families, clubs, churches, political parties fail to perform developmental functions for their members. This leaves an acute need for groups where personal issues can be worked through.
     
  • The term Bodyspace is replete with meaning and should not be misread as a facile market-driven exercise in branding. A schizoid (bodymind split) culture carries deep fears about the emotional body and therefore has need of 'spaces' within which this schiz/schism can safely heal. Bodyspace weekly and weekend groups are a manifestation of this project and are appropriately sited in the supportive environment of London's Open Centre, a growth centre with its roots in the Human Potential movement of the 1970s. See www.opencentre.com.
     
  • Bodyspace carries forwards and reinvents Wilhelm Reich's preoccupation with the cultural and political role of character analytic praxis, while heeding Norman Mailer's qualification of psychoanalysis as a process of attrition in which the worn out wear others out.
     
  • The normalising tendencies within groups are balanced in Bodyspace groupwork by the fostering of deconstructive attitudes. There is also a countercultural emphasis (eg the behavioural challenge of bioenergetic bodywork is distinctly counter cultural) on human potential without the often concurrent New Age transformational hype (whereby meaning is delivered rather than authentically discovered and promises are made which the typically transient teacher cannot possibly deliver).
     
  • Bodyspace is a vehicle for humanistic values of self-actualisation and personal authenticity, and is explicitly in tension with both the adaptive and normalizing ethos of the consumer/patient with medical provider and the tokenism and image-driven, profit-centred, selective accountability of market values.
     
  • Over the 32 years more than two thousand people have participated, many for a period of several years, in Bodyspace weekly and weekend groups. Bodyspace is here to stay.

Shock and Stress

Shocks

Shocks are exceptional high impact events that can disturb and disorient a person for life. Ten examples of shock events, the impact of which can persist for years, are:-

  • difficulties at birth
  • serious accidents
  • life threatening illness
  • traumatic divorce
  • imprisonment
  • physical or sexual abuse
  • sudden job loss
  • involvement in war
  • the unexpected death of a loved one
  • even winning the lottery.

The impact produces both physical and psychological defences that assist survival but reduce capacity to feel and relate. Often the conditions necessary to allow a process of recovery are missing. Recovery stops some way short of completion or sometimes hardly begins at all.

Unresolved shock needs the continuing support and safety of a specialised helping relationship. The workshop will help you assess how necessary that might be for yourself.

Shock produces a degree of stress but ordinary stress management is insufficient for the more traumatic events that result in continuing states of shock. And dealing with the more inevitable and commonplace stressors is much more difficult where unresolved shock is already present.

Stress

Stress was defined by the originator of the concept, Hans Selye, as the rate of wear and tear caused by life. Stress accumulates through normal constraining and compelling forces and is associated with the pressure of too many (or sometimes too few) demands. Ten examples of stressors are:

  • a family argument
  • being late for work
  • sleep interrupted by a neighbour's all-night parties
  • the car breaks down in heavy traffic
  • Christmas
  • an accumulation of unanswered correspondence
  • disagreeably extreme weather
  • period pains
  • a bounced cheque
  • self-critical thoughts

Like the more traumatic shock events such more banal occurrences also have physiological effects but the difference is these usually clear by themselves or else self help methods are adequate. Thus as a rule stress can be dealt with on your own by making changes or taking avoiding action.

This Workshop

This workshop will be about establishing safety, developing body awareness and practising boundary setting. It will provide some DIY tools with which to begin stress management. A method of non-verbal life review will help with discerning pattern and meaning in what otherwise may continue to be felt and lived as a chaos of shocks and stresses. The workshop is designed as a shallow end experience to better prepare you to swim with deep end experience. By the close of the day the difference between the effects of chronic shock and the temporary stressors in your life will be clearer and this will assist you in regaining control.

Note: A requirement for attending this workshop is that you are in ongoing personal therapy at the time.

What on Earth

What on Earth

What on Earth sessions aim to help you move past overwhelm and engage with active hope. What on Earth takes place over 3 sessions but each can be taken independently. We start by exploring the spiral of the 'Work that Reconnects', a widely practised emotionally grounded cycle of experiential research, developed by Joanna Macy, an American Buddhist writer and activist.

Warning

Participating may prompt you to change your life and your relationship with the world at the same time.

Scope

Your time on this Earth and the impact of your life on the planet.

Content

The activities in WOE (detailed below) nourish, inspire and empower participants, enabling creative responses to concerns about emerging planetary crises.

Aim

To move past overwhelm and engage active hope.

Benefits

These one day events, which may be attended singly or as a series, will be a space to;

  • Step back and develop resilience
  • Speak your truth in the company of the like-minded
  • Reconnect with nature and make sense of your pain for the planet
  • Build your desire and intention to act for the well-being of life
  • Support consideration of the impact of your lifestyle on the earth and its resources. Reduce the urge to buy, consume and party on regardless.
  • Move beyond denial, disavowal (knowing and acting as if you don’t know) and numbing out.
  • Identify your personal pathway to contribute, make a difference and be of service to the future.

Availability

Any part of 'What on Earth' can be attended on its own or in series. Please find the booking form at the bottom of this page. 

Across all 3 days Ecopsychoanalytic Investigation will reduce the out of awareness resistances to change. Beyond the workshops I will be available in a coaching capacity to support your implementation of personal action plans.

Free admission! 

Donation to enviromental charity. (optional)

Part One
Sunday, September 25, 2016 -
10:00 to 18:00

We start with the spiral of the Work that Reconnects, a widely practised emotionally grounded cycle of experiential research, developed by Joanna Macy, an American Buddhist writer and activist.

Part Two
Saturday, June 24, 2017 -
10:00 to 18:00

In the Council of All Beings we give a voice to the non-human elements of the world. Through Ecoconstellations we explore your questions and burning issues systemically to get clearer about the bigger picture.

Part Three
This workshop's dates have not yet been set.

Through Carbon Conversations you get real about halving your carbon footprint (home energy, food, travel, consumption and waste).

Contextual Footnote

For some time now 'out there' a consensus has been building in the scientific community that not only is human-induced climate change irrefutable, but that the window of opportunity for arresting it, let alone reversing it, within a few short years from now, will have closed. As with peak oil a momentous 'tipping point' will have been passed. A related catastrophe in waiting is the almost total dependence of current Western standards of living on a massive energy surplus generated from all fossil fuels. In the 1930s EROEI (Energy Return on Energy Invested) was 100-1 whereas in 2012 it was 14-1 and falling fast. Governments remain under the sway of the industrial growth fetish, and to date will only enact token measures, Their captors and masters, the transnational corporations, promote rampant consumerism, sometimes masked by greenwash. What have therapy and personal development to offer in this dismal context?

We are moved, and moved to act, by our emotions, for better or for worse. Change at the micro level of the individual is a pre-condition for (but not a substitute for) systemic macro level change.

In What on Earth we will endeavour to express our fear, grief, anger, greed, apathy and guilt as they relate to the planetary crisis i.e. global warming and critical weather events, loss of biodiversity and ecological degradation, resource depletion with consequent war and mass migration etc. The workshops will provide a setting where such feelings can be heard without being discounted or rationalised.

Sexualities and Suppressions

Sexualities and Suppressions


Contents

Introduction

In the field of personal growth and self development a cluster of factors may be conspiring to divert your attention away from sexual themes. A century after Freud lifted the lid we have defensive psychotherapy and nervous professionalising, New Age cant, millenarian spiritualising of liberation, the marginalizing of dissonant sub-cultural voices by a more strident moral majority, good olde English reticence, plus the sheer inherent difficulty of staying with these perennials (whatever the current therapeutic fad). Ring any bells for you? This workshop will support you in righting the balance of your attention. The aim is to help you stay with personal reflections, rooted in bodily experience, while not forgetting the cultural context.

There will be sufficient open group time to keep participants ‘with it’ between structured phases and regular interludes of movement to music. The workshop functions on the hitchhiker principle of “tell it while you can” and the lift you get will be catalytic. You can expect a twofold shift after the workshop: a deepening of your dialogue with yourself and a capacity for more openly communicating with others where your sexuality is concerned.

What you can expect from 'Sexualities and Suppressions'

The workshop is an opportunity to respectfully question your sexuality from a variety of angles across a range of themes in the company of others doing likewise. You will be able to:

  • Explore how your identity (who you are) and sexuality are related.
  • Clarify judgements others have made about your sexuality.
  • Own the influence of social class/cultural background on your sexuality.
  • Identify your patterns of attraction and patterns of fantasising.
  • Develop an inner dialogue with your parents regarding your sexuality.
  • Assess the impact of sexual abuse (if any) on your sexual development.
  • Access the sexual dimensions of your body image.
  • Review how your sexuality is mirrored in works of art, films, theatre, literature.

Note: A requirement for attending this workshop is a commitment to not act out your feelings afterwards.

Anger All Angles

Introduction

Anger all angles is a theme workshop designed to do full justice to the complexity of anger. Anger all angles is packed with tried and tested procedures for getting a handle on anger. We need to take responsibility for our anger and be able to choose how we express it. To do this requires first hand bodily knowledge of it's workings and this workshop is designed to provide exactly that.

You will learn about:

  • Anger's part in illness
  • Anger as a substitute emotion
  • The use of calming self-talk
  • Differentiating rage from anger
  • Defusing anger escalating out of control
  • Meditative transformation of angry energy
  • Applications from assertiveness training
  • The cultural/social implications of the anger-aggression-violence nexus

A unique workshop

Anger all angles will help you develop a grounded and practical knowledge of anger, rage and hostility. These are commonly lived as difficult emotions and accordingly are ready candidates for various modes of discounting and inflation. You will be spared three common and erroneous (but seductive) takes on anger - naive catharsis, New Age no-no and corporate positivism. The choice to express, contain or even transform your anger will be emphasised. How to relate to other people's anger, aggression and violence will also be addressed.

This workshop offers you

Anger all angles provides opportunities to practice the expression of anger in an assertive mode as an alternative to exploding in a damaging hurtful way or imploding into passive aggression. Cultivating a variety of expressive capacities will be balanced by a focus on anger management, both of your own and other's anger. Experiential learning during the workshop will be reinforced by copious handouts for your ongoing use.

How this workshop works

You will learn by means of both verbal and non-verbal, both quiet and noisy exercises. Workshop methods will include movement, visualisation, writing, drawing, expressive roleplay, somatic techniques, structured anger discharge and group discussions.

You will develop skills to help with:

  • Dealing with criticism
  • Expression of resentments
  • Deflating catastrophic fantasies
  • Conflict between couples / partners
  • Moving away from passive aggressive behaviour
  • Controlling your own aggressive and abusive behaviour
  • Managing your responses to other's aggressive and violent behaviour and ensuring your safety