Sally Despenser

Sally Despenser - SIBLINGS

'You choose your friends but you don't choose your siblings'
Thinking about sibling issues brought to therapy by adult clients

Saturday 21st April 2018

A one-day workshop with Sally Despenser

I am remembering a bereaved client in her 50s, who cared for her mother for a long time before she died. A lifetime of simmering discord with her older sister then exploded into overwhelming anger, centred on clearing the contents of mother's kitchen cupboards. She was bewildered by violence of feelings between the two of them. All became clear when she told the story of her early life, and recalled how her family had responded to another death 30 years before. This one day experiential, interactive workshop focuses on sibling issues brought to therapy by adult clients, including past and current difficulties in family relationships.

We will explore
  • What childhood events and patterns may have influenced sibling interaction in adulthood.
  • Issues which arise in different family constellations - step, half, blended, no siblings, ill or dead siblings.
  • Difference, envy, competition and loss, and how these may appear in the transference.
  • Flash points in the life stages of sibling relationships.

please note PowerPoint is not used in this workshop

Sally Despenser:  is a freelance trainer, counsellor, supervisor and writer. She draws on 30 years of professional experience in a wide range of settings, and she currently works with staff and bereaved people in 2 end of life settings: a hospice and a Maggie’s centre.

Date: Saturday 21st April 2018
Time: 10am - 4pm
Venue:  Wallace House
3 Boswell Road
Edinburgh EH5 3RJ
Cost: Early bird £65 if paid by 3rd March, thereafter £75

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Craig Hutchison

Craig Hutchison - The Body in Person-Centred Therapy : Reclaiming the Organism

"psychotherapy (at least client-centered psychotherapy) is a process whereby man becomes his organism - without self-deception, without distortion ... Therapy seems to mean a getting back to basic sensory and visceral experience." (Rogers, 1961)

"our bodies feel a situation directly ... This kind of experience is sometimes attributed to 'the unconscious,' although such a body-sense is, of course, conscious" (Gendlin, 1993)

This workshop will offer participants an opportunity to reflect on what the body means in person-centred therapy – to consider the organismic, bodily basis of experiencing and to question what it might mean to hold the body in mind as we work therapeutically.

Considerable emphasis has been placed on the self-concept and on the distorting influence of conditions of worth in person-centred theory, but far less attention has been paid to what these concepts relate to and require in order for them to make any sense: an experiencing organism (i.e. the body). Rogers’ theoretical writing repeatedly makes clear the importance of the body: he talks about empathy as a process which enables the client to extend “empathy toward his own visceral experiencing, his own vaguely felt meanings”, the "meanings sensed by the physiological organism", the trustworthiness of the organismic valuing process and the "physiological loosening" which accompanies congruent symbolisation of experience (c.f. Rogers 1958, 1964, 1978). Given this emphasis it is strange that the body sometimes vanishes from person-centred writing and thinking.

This workshop will look at the body in person-centred theory and practice (drawing on the work of Rogers, Gendlin and Warner) and will consider relevant philosophical concepts (e.g. the lived body versus the anatomical body). We will examine feeling, as distinct from emotion, the ways our bodies are continually sensing our situation, and will consider how we might better support clients' processing by thinking of and referring to the body. The day will include presentations, group discussions and experiential exercises. You will not need to be able-bodied to participate.

Craig Hutchison is a person-centred therapist and supervisor ( and a trainer and Senior Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, where he teaches on Diploma and Masters programmes. His therapeutic work is influenced by Gendlin and process philosophy and his publications include Trusting the Process? (PCEP 2015).

Date : Saturday 16th June  2018
Time: 10am - 4.30pm
Venue:  Wallace House
3 Boswall Road
Edinburgh EH5 3RJ
Cost: Early bird £65 if paid by 1st May, thereafter £75

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