Embodied Relational Therapy: A new integrative modality A one-day seminar with Nick Totton London, 8 June 2018 (Friday) 10:00am - 5:00pm
Embodied-Relational Therapy (ERT) is an integrative, holistic approach focusing on two central facts about human beings: we are embodied and in relationship. To be alive, we need to be a body; to be alive, we need to relate to others - our greatest challenges and our greatest joys follow from these twin facts. As human beings, we integrate body-mind-spirit; and on the whole, we find this condition hard to manage. Our nature seeks to express itself freely, while at the same time protecting itself, in conditions sometimes of great difficulty. This double task of expression and protection makes us often subject to contradictory pulls, and offering double messages about what we feel, want and need. Through a relationship which is challenging but supportive and non-invasive, it is possible to disentangle our doubleness and allow our process to unfold. ERT offers a profound trust that whatever is trying to happen, in someone's life or in the wider world, needs to happen. The ERT approach cultivates a playful and spontaneous response to what we observe phenomenologically. It understands symptoms not as problems to be solved, but as a valuable stimulus to change and growth. ERT aims to support connection and integration between estranged aspects of ourselves, and between ourselves and the wider world – the communities of human and other-than-human beings. It thus has elements of both a political and a spiritual practice. This seminar combines a theoretical account of embodied relating, drawing on psychotherapy, neuroscience, philosophy, sociology and more, with a description of a style of clinical practice which embodies this theory. Participants can expect an enrichment of both their overview of therapy, and their clinical toolbag: many aspects of ERT can be integrated easily with other approaches and modalities. Among the topics to be addressed are: How to integrate attention to embodiment into verbally-oriented psychotherapy The reciprocity between embodiment and relationship Working creatively with issues of power and difference How to work with material without having to understand it first The role of a playful attitude in therapy Moving fluidly between different channels of experience – e.g. sensation, emotion, thought, relationship, fantasy, movement, external events (‘the world channel’) The concept of character and its value for therapy About the speaker Nick Totton trained as a post-Reichian body psychotherapist in the early 1980s, and although since then his work has broadened greatly and integrated a number of approaches, its spine has always been work of one sort or another with embodiment. Since the 1990s he has developed Embodied-Relational Therapy (ERT), originally in collaboration with Em Edmondson and later with Allison Priestman and other ERT practitioners and trainers. He will soon be retiring from the ERT training, which will continue in other hands. The political aspects of therapy, the power relations which it uncovers but also sometimes conceals, have always been of central importance in Nick’s work. Nick is a past Chair of both Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility, and the Psychotherapy and Counselling Union. Nick has written a number of books, including Reichian Growth Work (2nd edition, 2009); Body Psychotherapy: An Introduction (2003); Psychotherapy and Politics (2000); Wild Therapy (2011); and most recently, Embodied Relating: The Ground of Psychotherapy (2016). www.nicktotton.net Seminar Schedule 10:00 AM: Session 1: Embodiment and Relationship In this first session Nick will discuss: The integral interconnection between embodiment and relationship, and what this means for psychotherapy New ways of conceptualising familiar therapeutic concepts which recognise the fundamental role of embodiment Ways of working with embodiment in clinical practice without going beyond the conventions of talking therapy 12:00 noon: Session 2: Embodied-Relational Therapy in practice In this session, Nick presents: the seven ‘metaskills’ underlying ERT the four phases of therapy which ERT identifies on every level from the individual session to the whole course of therapy some examples of how these phases operate in practice 1:00PM: Lunch (a light lunch is provided as part of the seminar) 2:00PM: Session 3: How ERT integrates key therapy concepts into its model An embodied, relational approach to some familiar contemporary themes, including: Trauma Complexity Play Language Character 4.00PM: Session 4: Q & A and discussion 5:00PM: Close

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